Small sinks tucked under cabinets benefit from undercabinet lighting. Chandeliers and large pendants work well for sinks at counters and kitchen islands. Depending on these factors, the lighting design comes to the fore: sleek and minimalist, or one large artsy chandelier, or anything in between.
How to Hang Lighting over the Kitchen Sink
With kitchen-sink lighting, whether over an island or by the window, it is essential to make sure the view is not obscured. No one likes trying to talk around a huge pendant while preparing dinner or entertaining. Or bumping their heads when helping to put dishes in the sink. And if you have a window with a view, you don’t want to block it and the natural light it provides.
Make sure the light is centered over the sink so that it offers needed task lighting. Even if the light is off by a few inches, it can look way out of balance. If there are multiple pendants over a large island, consider adding a can light on a dimmer over the sink so that the design doesn’t look crowded. Get more tips on kitchen island lighting here.
Size the Lighting to the Sink
Size matters when it comes to over kitchen sink lighting. Getting the proportions right will make a difference in the look and feel of the space, as well as the functionality of the lighting. In general, 30-40 inches between the bottom of the light and the countertop is ideal.
Hang pendants approximately 12-20 inches below a ceiling that is eight feet high. If the ceilings are higher, add 3 inches for each additional foot of height, so a 9-foot ceiling would mean the pendant should be 15-23 inches below the ceiling.
Also, consider the size of the sink. At least six inches works for most sinks and up to 12 inches for large farmhouse sinks. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it is vital to make sure the scale of the lighting matches the scale of the sink.
To Sconce or Pendant, That Is the Question
Direct light above the sink can be either decorative or functional, depending on the rest of the lighting in the space. In a perfect world, it will be both. Depending on the height of the kitchen ceiling and how close the sink is to the wall, a pendant or scone will offer beautiful task lighting to enhance the kitchen design.
Putting kitchen pendant lighting, or any other over-the-sink lighting, on a dimmer is recommended to allow for brighter task lighting and gentle mood lighting as needed. Whether you choose a sconce or a pendant over the sink near a window, try playing a bit by adding something a little different than the lighting in other areas of the kitchen. This can mean a different shape, different finish, or even the same lighting in a different size.
Below are a number of unique over kitchen sink lighting ideas to inspire your next kitchen design.
Go Big or Go Home: Large Pendant Lights over the Kitchen Sink
Nothing makes a statement like a big, bold pendant over the kitchen sink, especially on a kitchen island. Depending on the size of the space, installing several pendants will provide enough illumination over the sink. Pendant lights with metal shades will help focus light downward for task lighting, while opaque shades will offer diffused, ambient lighting. Either way, the right bold design will make a statement that keeps people talking.
Tech Lighting Sean Lavin Gunnar 23 Inch Large Pendant
With its black satin gold finish, the simple design of the Tech Lighting Sean Lavin Gunnar 23 Inch Large Pendant makes a surprisingly bold statement over the kitchen sink. Its grand scale is tempered by the sleek geometry of the shade that stands at more than 26 inches in height. It creates a dramatic yet functional look that brings high contrast to this mainly white kitchen.
Somerset 15 Inch Large Pendant by Hinkley Lighting
Firmly ensconced at the other end of the spectrum, Somerset 15 Inch Large Pendant by Hinkley Lighting with its etched opal glass and heritage brass finish works as a counterpoint to the lattice weave backsplash tile. Chic and elegant, it exudes quiet and precise sophistication. A subtle fusion of modern and vintage sensibilities, the simple, understated shape highlights design elements throughout the space.
Light, Bright, and Airy Pendants
Clear crystals or semi-transparent shades can make the kitchen feel light and airy. Contemporary, modern, or glam, they add the perfect touch to any space. This contemporary cage pendant offers openness and adds sparkle to a more casual coastal room.
Alpine 13 Inch Cage Pendant by Hudson Valley Lighting
Icy crystal prisms send light throughout the space with the Alpine 13 Inch Cage Pendant by Hudson Valley Lighting. The striking design blends Hollywood glamour with a geometric frame, turning the pendant into a stylized, cubist masterpiece. Staggered clusters of lamps create an ethereal glow, warmed up by aged brass accents.
Small but Mighty Makes an Impact: Wall Sconces
Small wall sconces are the perfect choice for over the kitchen sink lighting, especially near a window, since they fit into spaces of just about any size. And you don’t need very many of them to make an impact. Choose ones with dramatic or bold color, such as black, to add rich visual texture to the kitchen.
ED Ellen DeGeneres Joan 10 Inch Wall Sconce by Generation Lighting
Pairing a lush, two-tone finish with bold, geometric lines, the ED Ellen DeGeneres Joan 10 Inch Wall Sconce by Generation Lighting gives this space gorgeous contrast and aesthetic appeal. Warm burnished brass and midnight black make a sleek and stylish statement while offering a perfect mix of form and function.
Hudson Valley Lighting Herkimer 17 Inch Wall Sconce
In a space perfect for entertaining, nothing adds presence better than a pair of Hudson Valley Lighting Herkimer 17 Inch Wall Sconces. The wide top shade brings contrast in size and texture to the slightly smaller perforated brass shade below it. The etched opal ball at the center brings the look together and provides soft, diffused light. A spectacular update of Danish mid-century modern style, this light can work in modern, contemporary, and eclectic designs.
Embrace the Chandelier
Choosing a decorative chandelier, whether contemporary or more traditional, is a great way to add personality to the kitchen lighting. Not only are chandeliers basically pieces of art, but they can also change the visual depth of the space. Modern or contemporary versions offer visual texture, while more traditional ones add a bit of flair.
Gem 37 Inch 16 Light LED Chandelier by Hammerton Studio
In a space filled with elements such as a wood ceiling, marble countertops, and chic counter stools, choosing lighting that won’t compete with but instead support the design is quite the challenge. And the Gem 37 Inch 16 Light LED Chandelier by Hammerton Studio is up to the task. Sparkling LED-lit gems of hand-blown glass illuminate the space without making it feel heavy. Heritage brass finish adds a touch of traditional appeal to this otherwise contemporary design, making it ideal for modern and transitional designs.
Aerin Jacqueline 19 Inch 4 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort and Co.
Nothing brightens a pure white kitchen like the dazzling style of the Aerin Jacqueline 19 Inch 4 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort and Co. – one is good, three is better. They are a sparkling addition to any space, providing task lighting when needed and the perfect mood for entertaining. Everyone ends up in the kitchen sooner or later, so why not make it a stunning space for all the enjoy.