21 Kitchen Lighting Ideas For 2024

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28 June 2022

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10 min read

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When designing a kitchen, every element makes a difference. Lighting can be one of the most important factors, and if done right it can bring your whole kitchen together. With all the choices available, you can get pretty creative, so you should explore the options you have to help make your dream kitchen a reality.

Choosing the right type of lighting can be difficult. Your choices will influence the look and feel of your kitchen so it's crucial to match it to the style you're after. As these great kitchen lighting ideas demonstrate, you can use different types of lighting, different placements, positions, combinations and more for a wide range of looks

1. Mixing up features

One of the most interesting lighting ideas you can go for is to vary your ceiling lights. Mixing and matching your fixtures can give a quirky, unique look.

Bear in mind this works best if you have a variety of fixtures, but stick to a core theme ensuring that everything works well together. An example of this could be to have three lights in a row that are different styles, but all made from brass.

2. Feature lighting to add to a neutral theme

A white kitchen has long been a popular choice and is still common in many modern homes. With a neutral theme like this, you can make lighting choices that really stand out as features of the space.

Adding light fixtures that are a different colour can add an instant pop to the kitchen area. Some even choose to do this in conjunction with other aspects of kitchen hardware like faucets and cabinet handles. This adds an extra element of cohesion and definition to the room.

3. Illuminating textures for depth

There are some fantastic lighting fixtures available these days in a wide range of interesting finishes, each with their own textural qualities and characteristics. These can bring great depth to a space, especially when illuminated.

Light and shadow can also play a part in this especially when choosing lighting sources with enclosed frames. These can be strong or subtle depending on the desired effect one’s after.

4. Solo pendant light as a focal point

It's common to have multiple light fixtures in a kitchen, but sometimes a single light can work very well. If your kitchen has high ceilings you can add something quite elaborate that really stands out while serving all your needs for ambient lighting.

Pendant lights are fantastic for precisely this purpose. There is a great range of unique and interesting options, especially when considering designer pendant lights that have functional and artistic qualities.

Related article: Pendant lighting ideas to inspire a refresh

5. Incorporate materials and kitchen fixtures that reflect light

The materials around your kitchen can affect how the lighting works. This applies to both the lights you add as well as natural light. Adding reflective surfaces can make the light bounce around the room, helping make your kitchen feel a bit brighter. You can do this with glass cabinet doors, adding a mirror, or even using reflective materials in the light fixtures themselves.

Reflective surfaces such as a fridge, or particular lighting fixtures help reflect light around the room. Photography: Suzi Appel.
Reflective surfaces such as a fridge, or particular lighting fixtures help reflect light around the room. Photography: Suzi Appel.

6. LED strips for hidden lighting

LED strip lighting can go in a range of places in your kitchen and is easy to conceal. You can add it underneath or on top of cabinets, around open shelving, or even under the edge of countertops.

With LED strips you can often adjust the colour, which makes them great for mood lighting. They're also generally very easy to install.

This minimalist LED strip light hangs gracefully over the kitchen island. Featured product: Hollow Pendant
This minimalist LED strip light hangs gracefully over the kitchen island. Featured product: Hollow Pendant

7. Cabinet lighting, inside and out

When thinking about the lighting in your kitchen, you shouldn't just consider the overall aesthetic, but also the functionality. Depending on your ceiling lights, there might be some darker spots in your kitchen.

Cabinet lights will ensure all areas of your countertop are well lit. You also have the opportunity to install lights inside your cabinets too. Again this can cover any dark spots that exist and add a bit of visual depth to your kitchen.

Related article: The secret to great cabinet lighting

Cabinet LED lighting illuminating the kitchen workspace, providing both task lighting and aesthetic appeal
Cabinet LED lighting illuminating the kitchen workspace, providing both task lighting and aesthetic appeal

8. Give your kitchen an edge with industrial pendant lights

Give your kitchen an edgy makeover with industrial pendant lights. Their rugged design and metal finishes can transform an ordinary space into one with character. These lights are more than just functional; they bring a touch of the old factory charm right into your home. Perfect over a kitchen island or dining space, they set a bold, urban tone, making every meal feel like an event in a chic downtown eatery.

Industrial or farmhouse pendant lights add a rustic appeal to a kitchen.
Industrial or farmhouse pendant lights add a rustic appeal to a kitchen.

9. Save energy with LED Lights

Lighting plans in the modern era need to be energy efficient and embracing the use of LED lights is a great way to ensure that it is. LED lights use far less energy than traditional bulbs make them cost-effective and sustainable.

On top of that, LED lights also last much longer, so you won't need to change them as often, lasting for a number of years in most instances.

LED kitchen lights providing ample light in a kitchen, while helping a homeowner keep their bills down.
LED kitchen lights providing ample light in a kitchen, while helping a homeowner keep their bills down.

10. Oversized lighting that stands out

Regardless of how most people design their kitchens, you should design yours however you want to. This might mean thinking a bit outside of the box with some bold, eye catching and even perhaps unorthodox lighting choices in the space.

Something like task lighting with large lampshades over a kitchen island can create a very unique feel. Some even go as far as to install chandeliers in their kitchens which are about as big a statement as you can make with lighting. If you add anything oversized, just ensure it hangs above the eye-line so it doesn't become a hazard for taller members of the household (you’d be suprised how often this happens).

Related article: 8 tips for great room lighting

11. Boost sustainability with a timber strip light

Using a timber strip light alongside wooden kitchen pieces highlights wood's natural beauty and long-lasting nature. This matching design is eco-friendly and makes the kitchen look consistent and appealing. Timber is strong and can fit in with many styles, making it a great choice for a green and good-looking kitchen.

The large swaths of timber, including the switch light, contrast well with the exposed sandstone walls.
The large swaths of timber, including the switch light, contrast well with the exposed sandstone walls.

12. Match light fittings to your furniture

This can be a bit tricky but adding light fixtures that match the furniture can bring the room together better and give a more sophisticated feel. If you have an open plan modern kitchen and dining room area you can match the fittings to the furnishings within, be it chairs, dining tables or fabrics.

If possible you can try to match the light fixture materials, finishes or patterns but sometimes just matching the colour can help give the desired effect, making it feel like a professional interior designer has pulled it all together.

The right light fitting and light designs can match the whole design of a kitchen. Featured project: Park Project.
The right light fitting and light designs can match the whole design of a kitchen. Featured project: Park Project.

13. Add a touch of tradition to a modern kitchen with a chandelier

Introducing a chandelier to a modern kitchen brings a unique blend of styles. While chandeliers often evoke feelings of classic elegance and grandeur, they can also complement the streamlined designs of contemporary spaces.

In a state-of-the-art kitchen, a chandelier doesn't just provide light; it becomes a focal point, adding a hint of traditional charm to the room. By mixing this classic lighting fixture with modern design elements, homeowners create a space that feels both timeless and fresh.


14. Enjoy more control over lighting levels with a mixture of pendant and downlights

Achieve perfect lighting harmony in your kitchen by pairing a pendant light with downlights. For those moments when you need bright, even illumination, switch on all the downlights. But when you're after a more subdued, intimate atmosphere, you can switch the downlights off and just have the pendant light on. This combination offers you the flexibility to adjust the lighting level based on your mood or activity, ensuring your interior always feels just right.

The combination of downlights and a pendant light give you flexible light control. Photography: Alan Bouvier.
The combination of downlights and a pendant light give you flexible light control. Photography: Alan Bouvier.

15. Complete a coastal kitchen with lighting to match

Brighten up your kitchen with coastal-inspired lighting. Drawing cues from the sea and shore, this style blends breezy colours with natural textures, evoking feelings of a sunny beachside retreat. Whether you opt for fixtures that incorporate driftwood, sea glass, or rustic metals, coastal lighting infuses your kitchen with a relaxed, vacation-like vibe. Ideal over counters or dining areas, these lights serve as a gentle reminder of seaside serenity,and help every meal feel like a beachfront feast.

Coastal pendant lights are the perfect addition to a coastal-themed kitchen, contributing to the laid-back feeling.
Coastal pendant lights are the perfect addition to a coastal-themed kitchen, contributing to the laid-back feeling.

16. Embrace large windows for more natural light

Installing large windows in your kitchen is a simple strategy to lessen the need for artificial lights. During daylight hours, you can often rely solely on the sun, leading to noticeable savings on energy bills. Beyond just illumination, natural light beautifully showcases the kitchen's colours and details. Plus, expansive windows offer delightful outdoor views, adding pleasure every time you cook.

Expansive kitchen windows allow abundant natural light to fill a space, helping to cut down on energy bills while offering great scenic views. Photography: Alan Bouvier.
Expansive kitchen windows allow abundant natural light to fill a space, helping to cut down on energy bills while offering great scenic views. Photography: Alan Bouvier.

17. Have your kitchen lighting compliment your wall art

Harmonising your kitchen lighting with wall art and the surrounding interior design can elevate the entire ambiance of the space. When lights are chosen with an eye for complementing art and design elements, it helps ensure the kitchen has your individual stamp on it. 

Consider the tone and theme of your wall art. If it's a vibrant contemporary piece, accent lighting can be used to highlight its distinct colours and shapes. For a more classic painting or print, a soft light might be preferable to help the artwork stand out. 

The lighting fixture in this kitchen matches the worktop style and compliments the wall art and record sleeves placed on the wall.
The lighting fixture in this kitchen matches the worktop style and compliments the wall art and record sleeves placed on the wall.

18. Add a hint of retro flair with globe pendant light

Add globe pendant lights to your kitchen for a hint of retro flair. Their clear design puts the bulb's detailed filament on full display, casting a cosy, warm glow. It's not just about lighting; it's about setting a mood. Whether you're whipping up dinner or chatting over the kitchen counter, these lights lend a relaxed and stylish touch to everyday moments.

Globe pendant lights, while looking a little retro, still work in modern kitchens.
Globe pendant lights, while looking a little retro, still work in modern kitchens.

19. Diffuse natural light with a frosted or textured glass kitchen light

Incorporating textured or frosted glass kitchen lights can add a unique dimension and subtle sophistication to a kitchen. The glass helps to diffuse light softly, creating a gentle and warm atmosphere while preventing the harsh glare that clear glass sometimes suffers from. The material of the light can also match other parts of your kitchen, such as transparent kitchen chairs, cabinets, a glass-topped kitchen bench or dining table.

Glass kitchen lighting adds an elegant touch to a modern kitchen.
Glass kitchen lighting adds an elegant touch to a modern kitchen.

20. Bring in the wilderness with antler shaped lighting fixtures

Integrating an antler-shaped light holder with corresponding decor elements in a kitchen presents a distinct rustic charm reminiscent of cabin life and the wilderness. The intricate shapes and textures of the antler design, whether crafted from actual antlers or mimicked in materials like resin, add a touch of the wild outdoors. When combined with other nature-inspired elements, such as a raw wood dining table or chairs draped in fur throws, it evokes a sense of untamed natural beauty.

21. Incorporate a classic iron chandelier - perfect for a traditional Hamptons-style kitchen

Introducing a classic iron chandelier to a kitchen, particularly a Hamptons-style kitchen creates a striking balance between rustic charm and seaside sophistication. The light and breezy feel of Hamptons design is beautifully offset by the chandelier's deep, sturdy character.

The detailed ironwork harks back to traditional craftsmanship, pairing well with the Hamptons' timeless appeal. Imagine it hung over a kitchen island or dining space: the chandelier not only lights up the room but also stands out as a centrepiece, adding a rich contrast to the Hamptons' signature soft colours.

A Hamptons Style kitchen with a graceful iron chandelier.
A Hamptons Style kitchen with a graceful iron chandelier.

Pick your favourite kitchen lighting ideas

With all these kitchen lighting ideas to choose from, you’ve got some great starting points to begin making your own plans. The design of your kitchen will affect how these various options will work, so think about how your kitchen looks and the style you're going for to help you make the right choice. They don’t have to work in isolation either so feel free to integrate whatever ideas you need to create a kitchen lighting plan that works for you.

Article updated 20th December 2023.

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