22 Stylish Kitchen Light Fixtures + How to Choose Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen with large island
A kitchen light fixture from Rejuvenation

Kitchen light fixtures are the ultimate marriage of style and function.

On the one hand, your lighting is one of the few chances in a kitchen to add a decorative touch (since you don’t typically have things like throw pillows or wall art or coffee table books in the kitchen). But at the same time, your kitchen lighting also needs to provide the essential function of lighting up your space.

If you choose the wrong fixtures from a functional standpoint, you could be left with shadows or dimly lit areas that make it tough to see when you’re cooking and doing food prep.

With a little consideration, though, it’s easy enough to find kitchen light fixtures that are both stylish and functional.

Here, I’ve rounded up my favorite kitchen lights for the ceiling, as well as sconces, and some affordable lighting options to round it all out. I’ve also included a section at the end with important factors for creating a lighting plan that will help you choose the right fixtures for your kitchen space.

Best Kitchen Light Fixtures

I’ve broken this list down into two common types of light fixtures, kitchen ceiling lighting/island lighting, and kitchen wall sconces.

Quick browse some of my favorites:

Kitchen Ceiling Lighting/ Kitchen Island Lighting

Kitchen ceiling lighting, like pendants and flush mounts, is common for two areas of the kitchen: above the island, and above the sink.

1. Piatto Pendant by Visual Comfort

This specific light is probably the biggest kitchen lighting trend of 2023. It was made popular by Studio McGee and Jean Stoffer, two of the biggest names in kitchen design, and has since blown up. The fixture is expensive, however, which brings me to my next pick.

2. Eddy 1-Light Pendant

If you love the look of the Visual Comfort Piatto pendant above, but want a more affordable lighting option, this white and brass dome light is as close as you’ll get!

3. Nautical Brass Flush Mount

If you’re looking for simple overhead lighting for the center of a small kitchen, or for a hallway adjacent the kitchen, I love this nautical inspired, sturdy brass pendant.

4. 1-Light Single Cone-Shaped Pendant

Another big kitchen lighting fixture trend is cone-shaped lighting. This black-shades fixture is more of a decorative look, since a black metal shade won’t allow much light to escape. If you have lots of other ambient lighting in your kitchen, like can lights, you can usually get away with a pendant that puts out less light.

5. Black & White Mini Pendant

This classic-style globe pendant is the perfect tie-in for a kitchen with a mix of black and brass kitchen hardware.

6. Hinkley Nickel Pendant light

If you love the look of the pendant above but prefer a cool-toned fixture, I found a similar kitchen fixture in a polished nickel color that has the same vintage appeal.

7. Rattan Tapered Pendant

I love that this pendant is a chance to add warmth and texture to a space where it can be hard to add warmth and texture. This cone-shape is also one of my favorites in lighting right now.

8. Fabric shade cone pendant light

If you like the look of a cone-shaped pendant but need something that gives off more light, try this larger version. It has a white fabric shade, which allows more light to get through.

9. Rejuvenation Conical Pendant

I’m pretty sure this is the pendant that started the cone-shaped kitchen lighting trend. This pendant has been everywhere for the last few years, and I still love it. It works well in pairs (or a trio) over a large kitchen island. If you don’t love the colorway above, you can also choose different frame and shade colors.

10. Black Cone Drum Light

Again, I’ve found a dupe in case you love the Rejuvenation cone pendant but it’s out of your budget. This one is almost identical, except with a black body, though it comes in brass, too.

11. Antique Brass & Clear Glass Pendant Light

This cute pendant light is on the smaller side, which makes it a great pick for a light above the sink.

12. Rejuvenation Hood Pendant

The Rejuvenation Hood pendant has been one of my favorite lights since I first saw it about five years ago. It’s got a vintage look and is heavy on the details, which means it’ll add character to any kitchen. You can also customize the light, choosing a different finish (i.e. nickel or oil-rubbed bronze) shade color, or shade style.

13. Half-Dome Pendant

The best part about this simple oil-rubber bronze-and-glass pendant: it looks way more expensive than the $90 it costs!

14. Serena Pendant Light

If you love the modern coastal look, these rattan pendant lights are perfect for above the island.

13. Rustic Mesh Kitchen Light Fixture

If you’re looking to add an industrial or rustic touch to your kitchen, I love this mesh pendant. It feels almost like something you’d source from an old warehouse, but without all the work of finding an original.

16. Brass and navy pendant light

This kitchen light fixture reminds me of the much more expensive The Urban Electric Co but at a much more affordable price.

17. Hull Pendant Light

Which brings me to: If you have a larger budget, I love the light fixtures from Urban Electric Co. They’re not exactly inexpensive light fixtures, but well worth the style infusion!

Kitchen Sconces

A Jean Stoffer kitchen with sconces from Stoffer Home.

Kitchen sconces have become popular for areas in the kitchen with accent shelving or no upper cabinets, as well as above windows or as task lighting. While they bring a bit of light to the room, installing kitchen sconces is just as much about the aesthetic.

18. Brass swing-arm sconce

This brass sconce is by Visual Comfort Studio, the brand’s more affordable line.

19. Katie Conical Sconce

I love the burnished brass look on this Visual Comfort sconce, and the way it contrasts the sleek white shade.

20. Stoffer Home Lupe Wall Sconce

This midcentury-esque sconce would add a modern touch to a traditional space, or complement a sleek contemporary interior.

21. Antique sconce

OK so I am obsessed with this Amazon light. It looks like way more expensive versions, but is under $60. I need to find somewhere in my home to use this.

22. Retro Rejuvenation Sconce

This fixture is from Rejuvenation, which means that, while I personally love it in the polished nickel option, if you want a different finish, you can choose from 10 of them.

How to choose kitchen lighting:

When you’re planning kitchen lighting, the goal is to make sure you have enough light. In a functional space, it’s especially important to make sure you’re able to see clearly.

Luckily, there’s actually a guide for knowing how much light you need in your kitchen. In the lighting and interior design industry, each room has a certain amount of recommended light it needs for proper function. This amount of lighting can be measured in two units: “lumens” or “foot-candles.” Both essentially measure how much light is in a room.

Image via Arhaus

For a kitchen, the recommended amounts of light is 70-80 foot-candles, or about 70-80 Lumens/square foot. If your kitchen is 10×10, that’s 100 square feet, so you’d need about 7,000-8,000 Lumens of light.

Once you know how many Lumens you need, you can figure out how many light bulbs your room will require.

A 60-watt lightbulb, for example, produces 800 Lumens of light, so you’d need about 10 lightbulbs in your kitchen. If you have 8 recessed lights in your ceiling, plus two pendants lights above the island, you’d meet the 8,000 Lumens mark. Make sense?

Aside from Lumens and Foot-candles, the type of lighting you choose will also have an impact on your space. As I mentioned earlier, a pendant light with a black metal shade will throw less light than a pendant with a white fabric shade. So, if your kitchen doesn’t get a ton of natural light, you’ll want to opt for fixtures that give off more light.

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