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30+ Kitchen lighting ideas – kitchen pendant lights, functional lighting

By Elise Hodge

Updated: May 2nd, 2022

Take your kitchen design to the next level with fancy feature lighting.

One simple way to transform your kitchen’s design without having to overhaul everything is to switch out your kitchen lighting. The chances are your kitchen lighting could do with a change to something slightly newer and more modern.

When it comes to choosing your kitchen lighting, there are so many creative lights to choose from – from glamorous pendant lights to industrial lights to simple wall lights to black-and-white statement lights to dramatic chandeliers. But with so many options on the market, how do you decide which light is the best fit for your kitchen?

When it comes to picking a kitchen light you need to consider what colour your kitchen is, how many you need, what metal finishings you have and whether you’re looking for feature or functional lighting.

kitchen-lighting-glass
Source: Photo by Laurence Katz on Unsplash

Refer to your colour scheme

First, you need to consider your existing colour scheme. Make sure you choose light fixtures that match your current style and don’t detract from it. You might want to think about whether you want something to blend in or stand out, which is down to personal preference.

Decide on the number of lights

Secondly, you need to decide how many lights you require to provide the right level of ambience. If you have a large kitchen, then you might need to consider a mixture of ceiling lights, wall lights and lamps. But if you have a smaller kitchen, then a simple ceiling light might do the trick.

Think about your hardware

Third, you need to think about your hardware. Do you have silver, brass or black finishings? It’s important to match your lighting fixtures to your hardware for a consistent design.

Consider a feature light

Lastly, you need to consider whether your space requires a fancy standout feature light or whether it just needs some simple subtle lighting.

To kickstart your research, I’ve dished up ##+ kitchen lighting ideas, including pendant lights and functional lighting to help you find the right light for your kitchen.

1. Extra-long brass pendants

These brass pendants are ultra-modern and sleek. I like how they’ve been positioned to hang directly above the kitchen island. This creates a classy finish.

kitchen-lighting-thin-pendants
Source: Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

2. Glass pendant lights

If you want to choose something elegant, then simple hanging pendant lights might be the perfect option for you. A popular look is to choose lights that come together in a pod of three, and have them gently hang down from black cord.

3. Circular black pendant lights

If you’re looking for something that’s modern yet out of the box, then these pendant lights might just be the right fit. They’re a pleasing circular shape and they add personality to the room. Not to mention that the slick dark colour provides the perfect amount of contrast against the light neutral cabinets and flooring.

kitchen-lighitng-pendants
Source: Photo by Im3rd Media on Unsplash

4. Brass pendant light

Nothing makes a statement more than a large brass light shade. And this one is no exception. If you’re going for a brass light, like this, then it’s important to consider the rest of your kitchen. I recommend keeping things fairly neutral by using whites and timber, so your brass light can truly be the star of the show!

kitchen-light-feature
Source: Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

5. Brass dome

Brass, brass and more brass! OK, you’re going to be seeing a lot of brass lights in this list because brass is very much in right now. But the luckily they come in so many different shapes, sizes and styles, that I can keep sharing them. Take the classic dome light, for example. Even better if it’s textured on the outside to add character to the space!

6. Brass and glass

Here’s another brass option, but this time with fluted glass. This is a stunning choice for a modern  farmhouse kitchen design. I love the way the light fittings complement the brass faucet.

kitchen-lghting-brass-and-glass
Source: Photo by Laurence Katz on Unsplash

7. Rose gold pendant lights

If you’re after something that adds a feminine touch to a mostly masculine slick-black kitchen, then gorgeous rose gold pendants are a great option.

8. Trio of pendants

This trio of black caged pendants creates a striking focal point for this kitchen. And I love how the black accents have been continued throughout the kitchen, including in the kitchen island seating and cabinet handles.

kitchen-lighting-wire-cage
Source: Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

9. Multiple Edison bulbs

Light up your kitchen with an entire row of Edison bulbs encased in rectangular glass. This is a great option if you’re wanting to add a statement lighting piece without detracting from the rest of your kitchen.

10. Rattan lamp shades

Over the last few years, rattan has had a renaissance, and there are no signs of the trend fading anytime soon. While there are so many ways to incorporate rattan in your kitchen, one of the most simple and effective ways is to install rattan pendants. They typically resemble upside-down baskets, and they are a more relaxed option than fancy chandeliers. And they add a Boho touch to your kitchen. But whether you’re into Boho style or not, rattan is worth considering. However you use them, they’ll look fabulous.

kitchen-lighting-woven
Source: Photo by Sosey Interiors on Unsplash

11. Polished nickel pentagon

Love a fancy light? How about an open cage, polished nickel pendant. These look very glam in a modern kitchen. Combine the pendant with silver hardware, marble and white touches for a gorgeous final design.

Need a new light put in? Find someone to measure up and take care of your pendant light installation.

12. Country style

If you’re going for a rustic kitchen design, choose lights that match. These pretty and unusual pendant lights are the perfect option for this kitchen. The colour works with the rest of the kitchen while adding a point of interest.

kitchen-lights-with-character
Source: Photo by Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

For more timber, natural stone and metal, you should take a look at these country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas.

13. Dandelion chandeliers

While it’s important to choose great lighting for practical purposes. You should also allow yourself to have a bit of fun. Choose something out of the box, like dandelion-inspired chandeliers. These glass beauties look great surrounding the traditional kitchen island, and I bet they would look pretty cool in your kitchen too.

14. Elegant silver

If you like glitz and glam, then go all out with silver or gold touches. These bulbous silver hanging lights are a beautiful choice for this white and timber kitchen. And they tie together nicely with the cabinet hardware and tapware.

kitchen-lighting-contrasting-silver
Source: Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

15. Glossy colourful pendants

If you want to choose coloured light shades, then it’s important to first think about the existing colours in your kitchen. For example, if your kitchen colour scheme is timber and grey, then a glossy green light will look stunning.

16. Black and glass

And here’s another twist on the glass light. But this time, the glass is contained in a black steel frame. This is a great choice for a modern kitchen. The black hardware stands out against the clean white ceiling, and looks lovely teamed with the dark timber island and white cabinets.

kitchen-lighting-bar
Source: Photo by Jonah Brown on Unsplash

If you love this darker kitchen and fancy some more examples. Here are my favourite black kitchen ideas.

17. Wall lights

While hanging pendant lights are usually the focus of attention when it comes to kitchen lighting, it’s important to consider wall lights. These understated beauties add light where it’s needed the most – above benchtops and sinks. And they can be used to highlight important feature pieces like décor or paintings and prints.

18. Cabinet lights

If you’re looking for something more discreet that will light up your shelves then you should consider small cabinet lights like these. You can find them in a range of colours and styles – from white to black to brass and everything in between. Just make sure you choose a colour that suits your kitchen colour scheme.

kitchen-lighting-cabinet-lights
Source: Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

19. Tinted globe

If you want to add some light and shade to your kitchen lighting, choose a tinted globe. This allows the light to contrast against the rest of the white kitchen.

20. Classic lighting

These lights are a little more classic. While they can work in a modern kitchen, they’re best suited to a kitchen that’s an infusion of modern and traditional. And I think this kitchen hits both of these marks.

kitchen-lighting-subtle
Source: Photo by Point3D Commercial Imaging Ltd. on Unsplash

21. Two-toned pendant

While most pendant lights stick to one colour, you can add interest by combining two! For instance, you might have a light where the inside is brass and the exterior is white, allowing the brass to peep out from under the white cover. It’s such a nice touch that gives your kitchen a little extra oomph.

22. Metallic design

You can always spruce up your kitchen with metallic light fittings as they add shimmer and sparkle to your space. These golden pendants do a wonderful job of warming up this grey kitchen.

kitchen-lighting-warm-metallics
Source: Photo by Helen Thomas on Unsplash

23. Large lantern light

While lanterns have traditionally been used outdoors, they’ve made their way indoors in recent years. And they can make a bold statement piece in any kitchen – whether it’s traditional or modern.

24. Gold chandelier

If simple and understated isn’t your style, then your kitchen up with a fancy gold chandelier like this one. Now, you might think this should only be reserved for large, grand houses. But if you have a large enough kitchen, you can incorporate whatever kind of light you like!

kitchen-lighting-chandelier
Source: Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

25. Orb lights

Glass orbs are a simple yet striking pendant that will look good in any kitchen. These are the choice for you if you’re after something simple that won’t detract from your kitchen design.

26. Light above the sink

You need light when you’re doing dishes, too! Choose a gorgeous black and gold wall light like this one. And, if that’s not enough, add classic black lamps to your walls as well.

kitchen-lighting-farmhouse
Source: Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

27. Classic bar light

If you’re going for a classic kitchen, then you can’t go wrong with a cylindrical bar light. And going for a black bar light will make it more contemporary.

28. Ceramic pendants

With ceramics being all the rage right now, why not install a ceramic pendant light? This pod of white lights adds a layer of interest to this small kitchen without being too much. And white and gold lights are a thing of Pinterest kitchen dreams!

kitchen-lighting-white-ceramic
Source: Photo by Sabrina Mazzeo on Unsplash

29. Glass and silver

Go ultra-modern with a white kitchen with glass-encased lights. Silver hardware is a great touch for these lights, because it keeps the space simple and clean. You can have your lights over your kitchen island different from the lights over your table, but you should try to select a similar design with silver and glass.

30. Glam it up

On the other hand, if you want your light to be the hero of the show, choose something fancy and fun like this light. I don’t know exactly how many bulbs are on this fixture but there sure are a lot! The white colour means the light won’t take away from the rest of the white kitchen but will add a gorgeous warm glow in the night.

kitchen-lighting-dramatic
Source: Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

31. Chain

Add an industrial touch to your country style kitchen by choosing a hanging light that uses a chain or exposed electrical wire. This adds a layer of detail and intrigue to your kitchen design.

If the edgy warehouse aesthetic appeals, then an industrial kitchen might be the look you need.

32. Feature piece

There’s nothing like a fancy feature piece to catch the eye and make your guests exclaim “wow!” And I love this one with its unique squiggle design.  The unstructured style makes it a great fit over the top of the structured kitchen island area.

kitchen-lighting-quirky
Source: Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash

33. Downlights

Finally, add atmosphere to your kitchen by placing downlights in strategic spots like above your sink, on top of floating shelves or in little nooks and crannies. Downlights always look very contemporary and chic, and add a gorgeous gentle glow to your kitchen.

kitchen-lighting-downlights
Source: Photo by Steven Ungermann on Unsplash

There you have it – that’s 30+ kitchen lighting ideas, including kitchen pendant lights, functional lighting, wall lights and more. Of course, you’ll need to choose the best lighting for your unique space. And make sure the colours match up with your cabinets, benchtops, flooring and existing hardware.

Before you go, I’d love to hear from you! Which lighting fixture is your favourite? Maybe you prefer coastal rattan or ceramic white. Or perhaps your style is modern brass or multiple bulbs encased in clear glass. Comment and share your favourite! And if you think something is missing from the list, comment and share your lighting suggestions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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