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Low Ceiling Kitchen Lighting Ideas:(7 Eye-catching Lights You Can Select)

Ceiling height is a crucial consideration when buying kitchen lighting fixtures. A standard kitchen ceiling these days is nine-foot or taller. If a kitchen ceiling is eight feet tall, it qualifies as a low ceiling.

Such a ceiling makes the room feel smaller than its actual size.

Additionally, a low ceiling makes a room appear more crowded even when spacious. All you need to counter height issues are brilliant low ceiling kitchen lighting ideas.

Appropriate kitchen lights are necessary if you have a low ceiling plus an island. Besides facilitating food preparation, the best lighting fixtures can make your kitchen look taller and less cluttered.

Our informative guide will help you select the best types of lights for a low-ceiling kitchen.

Read more about why LED ceiling lights flickering.

What Lights to Use for Low Ceilings?

If your ceiling hangs low, there are ways to create an illusion of height with light fixtures. Recessed lights are the best choices because they do not dangle from the ceiling.

Suspended light fixtures like chandeliers and pendants require creativity and caution when installing. Mount these in areas with less foot traffic or avoid them altogether.

Are Recessed Lights Good for Low Ceilings? 

 Recessed lights are the natural option for low-ceiling kitchens. Besides, recessed lighting can be functional and decorative.

Crystal, colored glass, and faux plasterwork are top examples of decorative recessed lights. Recessed lights require a globe or a shade except for modern LED fixtures.

As high-quality and classy as they might be, the installation of recessed lights requires professional knowledge.

Low Ceiling Kitchen Lighting Ideas & Fixtures

 How can you make a low ceiling look taller and more attractive? Selecting the best ceiling lighting fixtures is an effective way to achieve that.

Before we discuss the best selections, here are installation tips for you:

Avoid dangling lights

Suspended lights are not off-limits if you are creative and thorough. Regardless, lights that stay closer to the ceiling are the best choice.

They remove the cluttered and crowded appearance to help clear your field of vision.

Embedded recessed fixtures should become your main light source. They will not obstruct your sightline and can make a small kitchen look bigger.


When installing ceiling heights, where to place them matters. Proper positioning ensures that you have the correct light intensity under each area.

If you want to use pendant lights, install them so they cannot obstruct your movements and field of vision. Install a bright light source above your countertop or under your task station on the kitchen island.

Use your creativity when arranging suspended pendant lights to enhance the overall look of your kitchen.

Recessed lighting fixtures look great if they cover the perimeter of your low-ceiling kitchen with a two to three feet gap.

Spacing and clearance

Selecting and buying the appropriate lighting fixtures for a kitchen with a low ceiling are not all. Depending on the types of lights you want, there is correct spacing.

For instance, if your kitchen island is ten feet long, choose three pendant lights and create a 30-inches distance between them.

Create a 6-inch clearance, which entails the space between the lighting and the end of the island.


Lighting fixtures have different diameters and lengths. So, choose small and round or long, narrow pendant fixtures for your low-ceiling kitchen.

A large-sized chandelier will overwhelm the kitchen if it is small or spacious with a low ceiling. Instead, choose a linear arrangement for your small-sized pendant lights.

Next, you need to buy the most appropriate lighting options for a kitchen with a low ceiling. These include the following:

Best Low Ceiling kitchen Lighting Ideas

01. Recessed

We cannot emphasize the need to have recessed lights are the top choice for your low-ceiling kitchen. They do not stick out from the ceiling and can enhance the ambiance.

Recessed lights provide more natural light. As they stay closest to the ceiling, their size does not matter. An oversized translucent frosted lamp will ensure broader light diffusion.

On the other hand, small, recessed lights provide even beams when they cover the entire ceiling or the perimeter.

02. LED group lights

Here you have an option to select small or large-sized LED Group lights. No matter the preferred size, arrange your lights closely or around the ceiling border.

Make sure your LED lights face downward to provide adequate and even light. Hence, your best choices are lights with a bell-like shade.

03. Fluorescent lights 

Long fluorescent bulbs do not ever go out of fashion. If you line up your ceiling trim with these tube lights, the room will have adequate light.

Also, tube lights are narrow, take less space, and can stick to the ceiling or dangle below it. You can use suspended fluorescent bulbs with recessed lights.

04. Flush mount 

Choose flush-mount lights to add ambiance to a kitchen with less natural light. A single flush-mounted light can scatter light all over the kitchen. Also, it does not add clutter to a dark room with a low ceiling because it is not a drop light. 

05. Semi-flush mount lights 

One of the quickest ways to make your ceiling appear taller is to install semi-flush mount fixtures. Again, these are the best lights to help reduce your power bills. 

We also love these lights because they have varied designs. You can choose metal mesh, metal drum, industrial, schoolhouse, or vintage farmhouse semi-flush mount lights. 

06. Under-cabinet fixtures 

If you install under-cabinet lights, they will illuminate even the areas underneath. As a result, you can prepare and cook food without accidents.

As they tend to be flat lights that do not drop from the cabinets, they cannot create shadows or block your field of vision.

07. Pendant lights 

Professional interior designers do not rule out pendant fixtures for a kitchen with a low ceiling. Although they are not that great, you can use your creativity to install them sensibly.

Pendant lights should not drop too close to the floor or a high foot traffic area.

Also, you can choose crystal or glass pendant lights to create an illusion of roominess. Small pendant lights take less space and entail several patterns and shapes.

With these alone, you can make your kitchen more attractive and roomier. Long, narrow pendant fixtures need to cover a space you do not often walk under.

How much light do I need in a small kitchen?

Small kitchen lighting can be tricky to decide upon. Before you select any item, watch its daylight light spectrum. Natural light is a priority when designing your small kitchen lighting plan.

You must focus on the number of windows available, window treatments, and adjacent rooms. All these features can negatively affect the amount of natural light entering your small kitchen.

Often, you need to remove things that can block the light entering via windows. If you must select a sink, ensure it is under the window or where there is no window.

As the room is already small, you need a lot of natural and artificial light. Hence, use sheers instead of heavy curtains to allow more natural light to enter.

If there is a small window or no windows at all in the small kitchen, you need some skylights.

Can you have pendant lights with a low ceiling?

Yes, you can use pendant lights in a kitchen with a low ceiling. Most professionals do not highly recommend the idea, but they do not limit your creativity.

Choose pendant lights with shorter cords and small bases. Your mini lights should hang 12 to 20 inches below an 8-foot ceiling.

Also, use pendant fixtures where they cannot interfere with your field of vision.

How low should a light hang over a kitchen island?

Most people prefer pendants to chandeliers for their island area. An Island size matters when considering how low or high these fixtures should hang.

If you have an eight-foot kitchen island, use three small-sized pendant lights. Consider the correct symmetry when mounting these mini lights over the eight-foot island area.

An odd or even grouping pattern is okay. Suppose you have a ten-foot island.

Your best bet is to mount three pendant lights to offset the island’s length. If you want to install only two pendants, they need to be at least twenty-five inches in diameter.

Also, leave a space of thirty inches between the two pendant fixtures and create a six-inch clearance.

If installing three pendants, leave a six-inch clearance between them and the edge of the island and leave a space of thirty inches in between them.

What about the recommended light height? From the base of the light to the countertop, create thirty to thirty-six inches.

Whether you have a high or a low ceiling, the gap between the base of the pendant fixture and the floor should be seventy-two inches.

Ensure that the lights are not too far off the floor, or else they might vanish under the high ceiling.

Furthermore, consider how the pendant lights affect the sight line or field of vision.

If they drop so low, you cannot see things well from where you often stand on the island.

How wide your kitchen island is matters because it can let you determine the best diameter for the pendant lights.

If you have a 5-foot island, you require pendant fixtures with a large diameter and vice-versa.

How can I make my 8-foot ceiling look higher?

An eight-foot ceiling kitchen is not as bad as you think. If you creatively design it, you could make the ceiling seem taller than it is.

Besides the low ceiling kitchen lighting ideas, we have provided above, you can do the following:

  • Ceiling color – Choose a bright color for your ceiling and a darker color for your walls. An alternative solution is to use a lighter shade of the wall paint on the ceiling and extend it about two feet below the perimeter.
  • Vertical lines – If you want to make your body slimmer and taller, all you need is a shirt with vertical stripes. You can apply the same reasoning when decorating your walls. Wallpaper with vertical lines of distinct colors can make the walls taller than they are.
  • Curtains – Color blocked; wall-to-floor curtains can create an illusion of height where the ceiling is low. Windows – Floor-to-ceiling windows can increase the amount of natural light entering your room and raise the ceiling height. Alternatively, install glass walls to create a sense of space and elegance.

Important FAQs On Low Ceiling Modern Kitchen Lighting

Should my kitchen lighting fixtures match my cabinets, faucets, and other appliances?

Metal, wood, tiles, and other materials are easy to use together in your low-ceiling kitchen. How to mix and match them depends on your creativity and personal preferences.

Most lights are metallic and so you can choose a unique metal you have not added to your kitchen yet. For instance, you can opt for gold pendant light fixtures to match your chrome knobs.

How will I know if my ceiling lights are bright enough?

When buying your lamps, read the label on the packaging material. Most types of ceiling lights indicate the number of lumens they contain.

Lumens determine how bright or dull a lamp is. Use the foot-candle measure to determine how many lumens you need per square foot of space in your kitchen.

Experts recommend thirty to forty foot-candles per square foot for the kitchen. So, for 100 square-feet, you need 3000 to 4000 lumens.

Which is the best type of light to install above my countertop or cooking area? 

We can highly recommend recessed lights or semi-flush fixtures. As these stay on the ceiling, they are not a safety concern when installed over the cooking area.

Pendant lights are not the best to install over your stove or countertop. They can emphasize the island or dining area more.


We have discussed the best low ceiling kitchen lighting ideas in this article. As you create your kitchen lighting plan, apply our tips and ideas.

Having a small ceiling height is not the only point to consider. Also, reflect on how perfect lights can improve the appearance of a small kitchen.

Lastly, pendants are ideal lighting fixtures for kitchens. However, you must use them cautiously when the kitchen has a low ceiling.

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