14 kitchen Lighting Ideas When You Have Low Ceilings

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings // kitchen lighting fixtures // kitchen lighting ideas // kitchen lights ceiling // www.Tantrumsandtools.com

Do you have lower ceilings and wonder about the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings? There are plenty of kitchen lighting ideas, but not all light fixtures are created for lower than eight-foot ceilings. 

When I remodeled my 1960’s cape house, although the interior design was impeccable, the one thing I disliked the most and could not change was the lower ceilings. The good news is that plenty of kitchen lighting ideas are available that work well for these spaces and ensure enough light for the area.

Here are the fourteen best lights that will give plenty of light and are best for lower kitchen ceilings.

Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings

Here are the 14 best kitchen lighting for low ceilings:

  1. Wall Scones
  2. Upper Cebinet Lights
  3. Under Cabinet Lights
  4. Inner Cabinet Lights
  5. Recessed Lighting
  6. Flush Mount Lighting
  7. Semi Flush Lights
  8. Chandelier
  9. Pendant Lights
  10. Track Lights
  11. Floor Lamp
  12. Table Lamp
  13. Clear Glass Globe Lights
  14. Natural Light

Wall Sconces Make the Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings

Sconces are one of the best ways to add light, style, and character without being the room’s primary lighting source or focal point. These wall lights don’t obstruct the space, making them a popular choice for adding lighting to any room, especially where the ceilings are lower. Having the lights attached to the wall helps to illuminate dark corners, over kitchen floating shelves, and the sink area, to name a few ideal places to hang wall sconces.

These lights come hardwired or plugin, but if you don’t have electricity, wall sconces are also easy to turn into a DIY cordless lamp. Puck lights, strip lights, or battery-operated E26 bulbs make this possible, and the guide linked above gives you the super simple steps to complete this DIY.

Best Lighting for Low Kitchen Ceilings: Cabinet Lighting

Upper Cabinet Lights

Using lighting on top of your upper cabinets is another option for a kitchen with low ceilings, and it’s a great use of that mysterious space that no one knows how to decorate. Placing lighting higher up toward the ceiling makes the room feel like you have taller ceilings. It’s an illusion similar to when you hang curtains higher than the window frame (and trust me, I used this in my dining room, and it’s incredible how much taller the ceilings feel).

Since there is likely no electrical outlet on top of your kitchen cabinets, use this DIY cordless lamp guide to turn any light fixture into one that works without electricity. It’s also best to have something that operates by using a remote because you’ll want to avoid climbing up high to turn the lights on and off each time.

Under Cabinet Lights

Adding lighting directly to your cabinets keeps the light source hidden and completely out of the way. An option for placement is under the upper cabinets. Using LED strip lights is a great choice to add general-purpose lighting; these come in either battery-operated or plug-in types. Another option is to use puck lights, a great solution for lighting in a kitchen with low ceilings, to add task lighting under kitchen cabinets.

Inner Cabinet Lights

Another type of cabinet lighting that pertains to using your kitchen cabinets to hide the light source is placing the light inside the kitchen cabinet door. Putting lights inside the cabinets works with glass door styles and adds the most beautiful accent lighting to your kitchen. If you place lights inside a solid cabinet door, you won’t add accent lights, but you could still use this since it will light up the inside of your cabinet, making it easier to see what is inside.

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings: Ceiling Fixtures

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Recessed lighting

The kitchen ceiling lights that add an incredible amount of light without needing additional space in the kitchen since they are tucked into the rafters and lay completely flush with the ceiling. Once referred to as a “can-light,” these now come in canless, which means they are ultra-thing and take up even less space. These lights are round and come in four or six-inch diameters, a white surround, and various lighting color temperatures. You also can use these in place of bulkier task lighting, such as over the sink or island.

Opting for dimmable recessed lighting provides the most versatility to meet your kitchen lighting needs. Also, evenly space these throughout your entire kitchen to illuminate the space. A good rule of thumb when spacing recessed lighting is to leave a distance between the lights equal to half the ceiling height (i.e., 4 feet apart in a kitchen with an 8-foot ceiling).

Flush Mount Light

Flush mount lights are ones where the base of the light fixture sits or touches the ceiling. Flush lights differ from recessed lighting since flush ceiling lights have a portion of the fixture that extends below the ceiling, whereas, in recessed lighting, the fixture is inside the ceiling.

A flush mount fixture is a great choice for a low ceiling height because this option still gives you a decorative element yet does not hang too low, where it could obstruct your path. Most of the time, these lights also provide substantial light, and when they don’t, it is because of the shade style blocking the light. The amount of the fixture that extends down from the ceiling is a few inches or depending on what you select.

Semi Flush Lights

Semi-flush mount lights are low-profile like a flush mount; however, these two fixtures have different heights. A semi flush light, the base of the fixture does not touch the ceiling. Usually, this light style hangs down a few inches from the ceiling and is a good option for low ceilings because those few inches will not obstruct or intrude into walking or working areas. So, these light fixtures have all the same benefits as a flush mount, with just a few inches of difference between them. 


If you’re looking for statement lighting, then a chandelier is the best kitchen lighting idea for low ceilings. Although a chandelier may not have been your first thought for low ceilings, these totally work if you hang them in a specific area. You need somewhere out of the way, like over your kitchen island or sink area. There is a wide variety of styles, colors, shapes, materials, and so on when it comes to chandeliers, so no matter your personal preference, the right lighting is out there.

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights have an adjustable cord that dangles the light from the ceiling and are definitely not just for kitchens with high ceilings. Pendant lights are a good choice as long as you place them correctly. Since these lighting fixtures hang a reasonable distance down from the ceiling, these are best to be put where they won’t get in the way, so over the island or sink is best for placing pendants in a kitchen with low ceilings.

Pendant lighting provides less ambient light than the other options covered here, and downward lighting is better for more focused light. Many decorative pendants are available, making these a fun way to add character and charm to your kitchen design.

Track Lights

If you think track lighting is outdated, well, think again. Not only great as general lighting, but this type of lighting is a great way to target and illuminate dark spots with their directional lights. Track lights work particularly well in a galley kitchen, where the ceilings are low, and the area is also narrow. Another ideal placement for track lighting is above the island. These lights would be a much cheaper alternative to recessed lighting.

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings: Lamps

A Floor Lamp

Floor lamps are for more than just the living room! This light style is an excellent and decorative way to light up dark corners and I highly suggest you incorporate one into your lighting design. They can easily be tucked into a spot, out of the way, and provide substance ambient light for the entire kitchen. Since the lamp rests on the floor, kitchen ceiling heights do not matter, which is why these are the best kitchen lights.

Table Lamps

Table lamps are a good idea for a kitchen with low ceilings since they don’t take up much space and can rest on your countertops. Table lamps in a kitchen create a design statement since they are more commonly used in a living or bedroom. This style of lighting is also so versatile, adding accent lighting to an awkward countertop corner, task lighting on your kitchen island, and even ambient lighting if positioned more centrally in the kitchen.

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings: Clear Glass Globe Lights

A light fixture with a clear or transparent shade or globe is a perfect choice for a kitchen space with low ceilings or small spaces because they provide so much light. A light fixture with a solid, nontransparent shade forces the light downward, so the reason this works so well is the shade does not block the light, allowing more of it to emit into the room. Glass globe lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Since you can see the light bulbs, it’s best to use a decorative bulb like an Edison lightbulb. 

Natural Light Makes the Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings

Don’t forget some good old natural light! Although not helpful in the evening, natural light is still a winner for one of the best lighting ideas for kitchens with low ceilings. Large windows bring in light without obstructing your path while giving the illusion of more space. 

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings: FAQ

What are the different types of kitchen lighting?

These are the different types of lighting that make the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings:

  1. Ambient lighting is the primary light source for any space, including the kitchen. Often this type of lighting is used in conjunction with the other types of lighting options to create the right amount of light for the space.
  2. Accent lighting (task lighting) is a light source for a specific purpose or task, such as food prep. Often, these types of light are over your sink area or kitchen island. Task lighting’s goal is to provide a more significant amount of light to work areas so you can better see what you are doing.
  3. Decorative lighting can serve as ambient or task lighting, but the appearance of the fixture has a more significant impact on the overall design and aesthetics of the room. A great place for decorative lighting is over the kitchen sink, kitchen island, or kitchen table.

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