Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Low Ceilings

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Last updated: March 24, 2023

A ceiling eight feet or lower is a low ceiling height. Low ceilings normally exist in older homes where the fireplace doubles as a heating source for cooking and a heating source to warm up homes. It was easier to heat homes with a low ceiling than with a higher ceiling, and that still rings true today.

However, a low ceiling space in the home today signals a small and cramped house too. A low kitchen ceiling makes it frustrating to find adequate lighting without bumping into it. Luckily, the best kitchen ideas for low ceilings are in many lighting selections like pendants, lamps, chandeliers, flush mounts, touch lights, directional lights, ceiling fans, strip lights, and recessed lights. There is no shortage of ceiling lighting or accent lighting options to guarantee there is enough light. Of course, large windows in your kitchen can also be the ideal choice since the kitchen is a great place for plenty of light since it is a high-traffic location.

Did you know that Thomas Edison received his patent for the incandescent lamp on January 27, 1880? This led to the broad American use of electric light and changed life forever. People could work and socialize longer at night. It was transformational. Today, you can buy Edison bulbs with the viewable filament as it was originally invented. In many modern look homes, using kitchen lights with Edison light fittings is an easy way to give off a rustic vibe and more traditional feel. Done properly, the right lights can your kitchen very trendy.

The last thing you want is dark corners as a design statement.

Table of Contents

Pendant Lights

Pendants are light fixtures hanging down from the ceiling. Should pendants be a lighting fixture in your kitchen, it’s about selecting a wonderful location without bumping into them during tasks.

The best location is over a section where there’s less traffic.

There are so many different types of lighting fixtures that work for different use cases. Examples include a dining table, a kitchen island, a countertop, or a breakfast bar. For the right amount of light, hang two or more in a row to lengthen the kitchen space visually and give the illusion of more space.

I absolutely love tiered pendants but they would be very difficult to use where hanging light in homes is limited by a low ceiling.

Floor Lamps

Floor lamps, usually found in a living room, are task lights complementing a primary ceiling light. The portable lamps are great at night to complete tasks without disturbing sleepers with the ceiling kitchen light. A floor lamp should be in an area away from traffic, yet close to where light is necessary to help make the kitchen well-lit.

A lamp illuminating downward focuses the light on one section. When the floor lamp illuminates upward, it creates the illusion of high ceilings. Therefore, choose an adjustable lamp to face upward, yet select a semi-transparent shade for multi-directional illumination. 


Chandeliers with or without glass shades are perfect as a dining room centerpiece. However, chandeliers are not always elegant and formal. There are chandeliers suitable for any kitchen home decor style.

With lower ceilings and a small kitchen, the best chandelier choices are wide or compact with a short suspension length. It’s a lovely light source that illuminates the whole kitchen.

Track Lights

A light fixture with three or more lights attached in a row is track lights. What makes track lights great in a kitchen is the adjustable lampshade. An example would be to point one fixture toward the wall, another fixture toward the dining table, and another fixture toward the floor.

Ascher 6-Light LED Track Lighting Kit, Flexibly Rotatable Light Heads, 6 Way Ceiling Spotlight Black Finish, Including 6 GU10 LED Bulbs (4W 400LM Daylight White 5000K)

What you get is a fully illuminated kitchen from all directions. It’s a great way to control light to highlight the kitchen areas of importance. 

Flush Mount Fixture

One of the best ways to add a light source to low kitchen ceilings is flush mount fixtures. Flush mounts come as a single light or with multiple lights. The ceiling light fixture is a great focal point because of its versatile decorative designs suitable for any kitchen. 

Unlike chandeliers and pendant lighting, a complementing flush mount begins with the shape. Dome, drum, bowl, globe, cone, bell, square/rectangle, star, caged, and geometric pattern versions make the flush-mount design one of the most versatile on the market. The amount of light transmitted through the fixture, including any dimming features, determines the ambient lighting the room gets.

What makes flush lights a fantastic choice is that it stays close to the ceiling rather than hanging down from it. Flush lighting is not intrusive during cooking and cleaning tasks. It also hides the ceiling’s height imperfections by making the ceiling appear taller. 

The flush ceiling lights come in LED or bulb options, and the power illuminates the kitchen table, desk, island, breakfast bar, flooring, appliances, and other details. Furthermore, it doesn’t take up much space on the ceiling, leaving room for ceiling task lights like recessed lights or scones.

Table Lamps

Like the floor version, a table lamp is not a popular choice for kitchen lighting, but it is a worthy task light source. If you have a countertop or extra table space, a table lamp highlights the surrounding area. Conversely, it may take up precious countertop space. 

It’s best to place a table lamp as a dining area centerpiece or on top of a kitchen desk. Like the floor lamp, a table lamp can assist the ceiling light in spreading light radiance throughout the area.

Touch Lights

Also called puck lights or push lights, touch lights are not something you think about for low kitchen ceilings. Yet, no matter how bright, some kitchen areas remain dark. Touch lights go where artificial and natural light cannot. 

Tap Light Push Lights STAR-SPANGLED Mini Night Touch Light LED Puck Lights Portable Under Cabinet Lighting Battery Operated Powered DIY Stick On Lights Wireless Closet Counter Kitchen Warm White 5Pack

Touch lights adapt to different heights depending on how high you’re willing to reach to touch the button. Ideas for touch light locations are under cabinet lighting, inside cabinet lights, and a pantry light. Some touch lights also contain a dimmer switch for mood ambiance and late-night tasks in the kitchen.

Directional Flush Mount Lights

Some flush mount ceiling lights are directional. A directional light is a ceiling-installed fixture that is task-specific. What differs from traditional and semi-flush lights is the fixture illuminates in one direction.

Directional lights are permanent ceiling lights for the pantry and kitchen storage rooms rather than cabinets and the kitchen ceiling. Turning it in the right direction will provide the right lighting to find what you need.

Westinghouse Lighting 6632600 Three-Light Multi-Directional Flush Mount Interior Ceiling Fixture, Off White Finish

Semi-Flush Mount Lights

Semi-flush mounts hang lower from the ceiling than flush mounts, but not extremely low like pendants. It’s a go-between compact light that offers a pendant appearance without being in the way. The ceiling light makes the room feel larger, imitating tall ceilings. 

Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Low Ceilings: Modern Kitchen with Recessed Lighting and White Kitchen Cabinets
Modern Kitchen with Recessed Lighting and White Kitchen Cabinets

Recessed Lighting

According to Home Depot, recessed lights consist of the housing and trim parts. The trim is the only visible item on the ceiling, making it less noticeable than flush mounts. The housing part installs inside the wall (i.e., attic or roof), including the light source. 

The recessed wall lights come in retrofit, canless, and smart lighting choices. You can choose one large recessed light or several small lights. Then, choose between LED lights or traditional bulbs.

Recessed lights exist for task lighting underneath cabinets and inside the pantry. Recessed lights can mimic track lighting when evenly spaced small lights are in a row or a circle encompassing the kitchen. Once on, the light radiates direct light similar to outdoor sunlight while reducing glare. 

Recessed lights are the best light for kitchens because they are space-saving and non-intrusive. The simple design focuses on cooking and cleaning more and less on light maintenance.

Ceiling Fan with Light

A ceiling fan with a light and a low kitchen ceiling doesn’t go together often, but it is a refreshing mix. If this becomes your primary kitchen light source, it does two jobs for the price of one. Therefore, the ceiling fan and light combo is an affordable option to include as part of the multi-layered lighting scheme. 

The first purpose: turn on the fan to cool or warm the kitchen area after cooking. A window, door, or range hood should act as ventilation to help remove smells and smoke. The second purpose: use the fan’s light to illuminate the kitchen. 

The downward-facing light comes in flush, semi-flush, angled, and downrod mount options. Kitchen lighting ideas should spring to mind once you browse the many shapes, colors, and designs. A ceiling fan needs to have seven feet between the blades and the floor, so a compact ceiling fan one foot long or shorter will suffice.

Portage Bay 51444 Miller Park Ceiling Fan, 44, White

The best choice for your kitchen focuses on complementing incumbent kitchen decor and a ceiling location where the kitchen receives a lot of light. Designs on the market include a chandelier ceiling fan, a clear glass shade fan, and a multi-bulb ceiling fan. There are also curved blade ceiling fans, caged ceiling fans, and ceiling fans with retractable blades all made for the center of the room.

52″ Crystal Ceiling Fan with Lights and Remote Control, Modern Chandelier Fan with Dual Finish Reversible Blades, Quiet Indoor Fanderlier for Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom. (Chrome)

Sconce Lights

A subtle task light operating in the background is sconce lights. Unlike puck touch lights containing adhesive that fit in any location, sconce lights are permanent wall lights installed on the wall or installed into a wall outlet. Sconces use LED lights or light bulbs to illuminate a concentrated area.

The sconces’ lighting design adds a touch of style and function without being a centerpiece. There’s a great choice of colors, styles, sizes, shapes, light/dimming options, and material finishes available. The trick is not overdoing sconce lights, adding only one, two, or three in the whole room.

A second trick is keeping sconce lights uniform. Two or three of the same light style keep the pattern consistent while matching or complementing kitchen decor. Another good choice for consistency is positioning the lights in the same row with adequate space between them.

Licperron Vintage Wall Sconces, Industrial Sconces Wall Lighting, Antique 240 Degree Adjustable Black Wall Sconce for Restaurants Galleries Aisle Kitchen Room Doorway, 3 Pack.

Opposite ends of the wall in a dining area light up the entire area. The best choice for adding sconces is on the wall space above the kitchen window to illuminate the sink below and the corner shelves beside it. 

Two brilliant areas for wall sconces are above open shelves and inside the pantry. The last idea is installing sconce lights in the corners. If there is a wall outlet around the backsplash, a wall outlet sconce will fit there and illuminate the countertop area. 

Strip Lights

Also called tape lights, strip lights are low-profile LED lights combining a task light and its ambiance. The minimalist lights do the job without interference. Of the kitchen lighting ideas for low ceilings, strip lights are a space-saving and cost-effective solution. 

LAFULIT 8 PCS Under Cabinet Lighting Kit, Stick on Lights, Flexible Led Strip Lights with RF Remote and Power Adapter, for Kitchen Cabinets Shelf Desk Counter Corner, 2700K Warm White, 13ft, 2400lm

The most popular kitchen installation is underneath upper cabinets for countertop tasks. The strip lights can also install underneath floor cabinets, above upper cabinets, and inside cabinets. It illuminates the backsplash, flooring, the ceiling, and the belongings, respectively.

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