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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

20 ideas for the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings

Updated: May 10

semi flush mount lighting
Image credit: Lime Lace

Don't worry if you're flummoxed about finding the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings; it's a tricky and often frustrating subject. Any interior designer will tell you lighting spaces with lower ceilings is challenging, particularly in kitchens where functionality meets aesthetics. I live in a house with low ceilings, which certainly adds a layer of complexity when it comes to sourcing lighting. 

How to find the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings

For me, finding the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings was a process of trial and error and lots of research, so I thought I'd save you the hassle of doing that yourself and share my top tips on how to pick the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings for various interior styles and budgets.

Selecting the best lighting for low ceilings in your kitchen involves considering both practical needs and personal preferences. From flush lights to statement chandeliers, these 20 ideas offer a variety of choices to enhance your kitchen's ambience and make it a well-lit, inviting space even with low ceiling height. Remember, the right lighting can not only illuminate a room but also contribute to its overall aesthetic and heightened appearance. So, embrace the opportunity to transform your low-ceiling kitchen into a beautifully lit and functional space that suits your unique style using the best lights from this guide. 

1. Flush mount lights

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings
Image credit: Houseof

Flush mount lights are lighting fixtures that are mounted directly against the ceiling, with no gap or hanging component between the fixture and the ceiling. They are ideal for low-ceiling rooms, providing general lighting without taking up much space. In the past, there wasn't a huge selection of flush-mount ceiling lights, but happily, that's not the case any more and most lighting retailers have stylish and practical options. 

2. Semi-flush mount fixtures

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings - semi-flush mount
Image credit: Sweetpea & Willow

Semi-flush mount light fixtures are a kind of halfway house in our list of best kitchen lighting for low ceilings. They hang down further from the ceiling than flush mounts do, but they aren't as low as say a pendant light so still suitable for most lower ceilings. Semi-flush mounts usually have a wider selection of designs to suit more interior styles making them high on the list of best kitchen lighting for low ceilings. 

3. Kitchen island lighting 

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings
Image credit: Lime Lace

If you have a kitchen island (or peninsula) you're in luck as they provide a way to indulge in lower hanging lighting without risk of damage (to the lighting or people's heads!) There are also a multitude of pendant lights available these days (more on that in a minute) so you really can go as bold or pared back as you like. See below for some examples of very on-trend lighting for use above a kitchen island or peninsula. 

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings
Image credit: Pooky

4. Pendant lights for kitchen islands

Pendant lights wouldn't usually be on the list for a room with a low ceiling, but when it comes to the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings we have to make an exception because there are a few locations where they can work really well. The key is to hang pendant lights strategically over the kitchen island to create a focal point and add task lighting where needed. See below for a few examples of stylish pendant lights that would work really well above an island

5. Track lighting

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings
Image credit: Nedgis

Track lighting used to have a bit of a bad rep. There are lots of basic and affordable examples favoured by landlords in basic and student accommodation which are very practical but often not very easy on the eye. However, I'm here to tell you that track lighting can be super stylish and there are lots of designs which lend themselves to industrial style interiors or even Japandi, and minimalist. Track lights are especially useful in a kitchen because the individual bulbs can be directed to focus on difference areas or zones without having to have an excessively bright 'big light' which has definitely fallen out of fashion

6. Wall sconces

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings
Image credit: Original BTC

There's no denying that wall sconces are having their day or should that be decade? For a while now, everywhere you look in magazines and on social media there are endless wall scones popping up and stealing the show. They are great for providing ambient lighting and are a great choice for a low-ceiling room as there's no risk of bumping your head on one. There are so many different styles available below are some of my favourites. 

7. Plug in wall lights

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings
Image credit: B&Q

Plug-in wall lights are so handy and convenient as they provide extra illumination without having to call an electrician out. Plug ins are a great option for adding a bit of pizzazz to your kitchen lighting scheme in a non-committal way and can be moved easily from room to room (perfect for shopping your home). 

8. Rechargeable wall lights 

I love rechargeable wall lights as they solve the age-old problem of wanting stylish lights but not wanting the electrician bill that comes with installing them . As well as being one of the best kitchen lights for low ceilings they also pop up in my post about lighting hacks. 

9. Floor lamps

Ok, so not every kitchen will be able to house a floor lamp, but they are a handy addition for kitchen diners with low ceilings because you can position a floor lamp near the dining table for more ambient lighting than spot lights or even track lights. Floor lamps can be subtle and minimal with a focus on functionality or the lamp body can provide an injection of character and style. 

10. Table lamps

table lamps for kitchen lighting
Image credit: Dunelm

One thing I noticed over the last year or two on social media is that table lamps have been popping up a long on kitchen worktops. Previously, worktop space was reserved for cooking and food prep, but now its frequently an opportunity for adding style to your kitchen space. When it comes to best kitchen lighting for low ceilings, this lighting trend can work in your favour as table lamps are a great way to introduce light at different heights around the room. Pooky lights and lamps are a popular choice as they come in some many beautiful designs. In my blog post about Decorex 2023 I featured the Blossom lamp by Original BTC which is a great kitchen table lamp as it's cordless and rechargeable meaning you can move it about as required. 

11. Cabinet lights

best kitchen lighting under cabinets
Image credit: B&Q

Under-cabinet lighting is ideal for task lighting to Illuminate the kitchen worktops ensuring you have the right amount of light for food preparation. I've seen so many great examples of LED under cabinet lighting that isn't hardwired, meaning they can be retrofitted easily and don't require an electrician, which really keeps the price down. Hardwired options require less ongoing maintenance and lower costs for replacement batteries, etc. 

12. Natural light

How has she got to no. 12 in the list of best kitchen lighting for low ceilings without mentioning natural light I hear you cry?! The fact is, as much as natural light is preferable and wonderful and far superior to artificial light during the daytime, there aren't many ways to improve your natural light without spending a fortune by adding light tunnels and windows. Therefore, if you are lucky enough to have lots of natural light in your low-ceilinged kitchen, make the most of it, highlight it, and enhance it with window treatments that allow extra light through. Don't compromise it. However, even with lots of beautiful natural light, you might still have some dark corners in your kitchen that will benefit from the other items on this list. 

13. Statement chandelier

Previously, lighting as ostentatious as a statement chandelier would have been reserved for huge houses but not anymore. Why not make a statement over an island or dining table with a knock-out chandelier? It's a great way to make up for the lack of or reduction in ceiling lights due to the height restrictions of the room. You can pick up reasonably priced chandeliers from most lighting retailers these days and even on Amazon.

14. Recessed lighting

A classic choice for low ceilings, recessed lights offer a streamlined and clean look, providing even illumination throughout the room. However, it's not a popular choice with many interior designers as it can be quite clinical and too many recessed downlighters can make the space feel like a school or a hospital rather than a relaxing home. Lots of new build homes have numerous recessed downlighters installed in every ceiling as standard which is not advisable, but when it comes to the best kitchen lighting for low ceilings then there's definitely a role for these lights, just don't rely on them solely.

15. Lights above dining table

statement lighting over dining table
Image credit: Loomlight

If your kitchen includes a dining area, use track lights to spotlight the table, enhancing the dining experience or consider adding a statement light for big impact.

16. Contemporary ceiling lights

Keep it simple with flush ceiling lights that blend seamlessly into the ceiling space while providing adequate illumination.

17. Motion sensor lighting

This is a great type of lighting to install in a kitchen with low ceiling height because it is activated by movement so saves energy (& cost) and can help you by coming on when you want to cook or prepare food. 

18. Smart lighting

The future of interior lighting is undoubtedly going to be smart. Many people already control their lighting via an app on their phone - all part of the 'internet of things' and it's due for mass adoption in the coming years due to the convenience and energy-saving benefits. 

19. Picture lights

picture light
Image credit: Besselink & Jones

Although not terribly practical from a task lighting perspective, picture lighting is great for illuminating kitchen artwork and contributing to ambient and relaxing mood lighting for when you are not cutting things precisely. 

20. Task lighting for workspaces

Incorporate task lighting above workspaces, such as the sink or countertop, to ensure you have the right lighting for specific activities.

Don't lose hope because choosing the right lighting for low ceilings is a game-changer and totally transforms the space, meaning you not only don't notice the lower ceilings but they can even become a benefit as they can help provide a cosy feel. I've written a lot about my various kitchen makeovers; there was the first kitchen makeover, which set the new style and solved lots of the issues that bugged me in the previous kitchen, then there was the second kitchen makeover, where I finessed the space by adding lots of features that spark joy every day! (the brass hanging rail DIY, the coffee station shelves DIY and the fluted mdf additions to name a few).


Kitchen recommendations - click to shop 

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