Best Over-the-Sink Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer designing your kitchen from scratch or a long-time homeowner who wants an upgrade, we instinctively all know that finding the best lighting makes a world of difference to a space.


With endless possibilities, choosing over-the-sink kitchen lighting can sometimes be daunting. Like a balancing act – you want to find fixtures that add to the overall look of your space, plus function well so you’re able to see while washing the dishes or prepping for your next meal.

Table of Contents

Pendant Lights/ Pendant Lamps
Flush Mount Lights
Wall Sconce
Recessed Lighting
Under-Cabinet Lighting
Kitchen Island Sink Lighting Ideas
Light Bulbs

Pendant Lights/ Pendant Lamps

Pendant lights, also known as pendant lamps, are an excellent choice no matter the location of your kitchen sink. The downlights are handy for essential tasks like washing the dishes as well as bringing a certain charm to the area. *Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Pendant lamps are available in various shapes, materials, sizes, and colors. However, your best bet is to try to coordinate your pendants with your drawer pulls, cabinets, countertops, and/or faucets.

Let’s say your cabinets are white and your drawer pulls are black, you may want to consider a light fixture made of iron or one with black accents. If your drawer pulls are gold and your countertops are white, a glass pendant light with gold accents would be beautiful.

Using pendant lights is a great way to experiment and gives you a lot of room to get creative. Low hanging pendant lights, in particular, can serve as a great focal point while adding visual interest to your kitchen area.

I recommended positioning your pendant lights 33 to 38 inches above your kitchen sink area or counter for the best look. If you’re looking for the best pendant lighting options for your kitchen space, check out my post on the 60 Best Pendant Lighting Fixtures of 2023.

Flush Mount Lights

Flush mount lighting is perfect for an aesthetically pleasing look. They’re functional without taking up too much space. While more traditional than pendant lights, flush-mount lights can safeguard against overbearing lighting. You can even install a dimmer switch to control the sink lights’ brightness according to your preference.

Flush mounts are the best alternative for over-the-sink kitchen lighting when your ceiling is low. These relatively affordable lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can pick and choose the best style to go with your kitchen design without breaking the bank.

Wall Sconces

Providing functionality and style, wall sconces are another way of adding personality to your kitchen through lighting. These space-saving fixtures come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and finishes, so you can easily find a wall sconce that complements your kitchen décor.


Sconce lights add a touch of style while bringing utility. Wall sconces allow you to position your lights wherever needed most to provide ideal task lighting that will make it easier for you to see what you’re doing.

If you’re planning to install wall sconces yourself, my post on How to Install a Wall Sconces: Hardwired or Plug In has everything that you need to know.

Recessed Lighting

Using recessed lighting with pendant lighting adds layers of light to your space

Recessed lighting also known as can lights is an excellent choice if you have limited space in your kitchen. The ceiling lights provide a subtle glow to your kitchen space. They are typically circle shaped, around six inches wide, and lie flat to the ceiling.

Recessed lighting is a good choice if you’re looking for subtle and ambient (main source of light in the room) light. While recessed lighting emits a soft glow, these downlights are bright enough to lighten the area above the sink for your everyday kitchen tasks.

Under-Cabinet Lighting


If you want to elevate the overall look of your kitchen, under-cabinet lighting provides a subtle yet sophisticated touch. While under-cabinet lighting adds to the overall look of your space, these kitchen lights also offer functionality. The cabinet lights pictured below have an easy installation process – calling all DIY’ers.

Placed on the underside of the cabinets, they can provide excellent task lighting and bring a nice accent to the area. Typically a secondary lighting source, undercabinet lighting is the best option for task lights under your cabinets while bringing a more polished look to your kitchen space.

Kitchen Island Sink Lighting Ideas

Depending on the overall look of your kitchen space, there are several options that you can choose from. When you have a sink on your island, you can still have excellent lighting. The most ideal lighting fixtures that you want to use are pendant lights and recessed lighting. 


Pendant lights are one of the best options for this area — and frankly, our favorite to use for kitchen island sink lighting! Not only do they provide great task lighting, but they can frame your island and can be a focal point in the room. Additionally, you can pair pendant lights with recessed lighting to illuminate your space even more. 

What Types of Light Bulbs Can You Use for Over-the-Sink Kitchen Lighting?

*The brightness of a light is measured through its Kelvin rating. The higher the rating, the brighter the light is.

Here are the type of bulbs that you can choose for your over-the-kitchen sink lighting and their Kelvin rating:

Soft white (2700-3000 Kelvin)


Soft white bulbs have a warm and yellow glow that’s often seen in incandescent bulbs. A good option for mood lighting, this type of light bulb is Ideal for living rooms, bedrooms, and spaces where you typically spend time relaxing. The bulbs are 40-60 watts and give a nice light. I personally use 40 watts bulbs because 60 tends to be a little too much for my small kitchen. These are my favorite bulbs because they look the most natural in a home setting.

Warm white (3000-4000 Kelvin)

Warm white bulbs are one of the most popular lighting options around the home. They emit a yellowish-white glow that’s perfect if you want your space to be more comfortable, relaxing, and inviting. These bulbs are commonly used in dining rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Warm white bulbs 3000-4000K are brighter than the soft whites so if you’re looking for a little extra light, these are ideal.


Bright white bulbs (4000-5000 Kelvin)


Bright white bulbs bring light hues of white and blue. While still bringing a cool and relaxing atmosphere, they also have an active feel to them which is why these lights are best suited for working spaces like a home office or the garage.

Daylight-colored bulbs (5000-6500 Kelvin)

Daylight-colored bulbs emit a bluish tone and help maximize color contrast. The light from these bulbs helps you stay awake and focused so they are ideal for reading, working, and even for putting on make-up. To be honest, these are my least favorite bulbs – the blue tone on the human skin doesn’t look natural. That’s my opinion and it’s ok to disagree with me 🙂


Overall, selecting the best over-the-sink kitchen lighting depends on several factors. Lighting can make a big difference not just in terms of functionality but also in the overall look of your space.

While these options are proven to elevate most areas they’re a part of, you have to also consider what’s best suited for the kitchen space you’re trying to design or upgrade.

Choosing the right lighting fixtures will depend on your style, budget, and lighting needs. You should consider the amount of illumination required, the height of the fixture, the ceiling height, the overall aesthetics of your kitchen, and the type of tasks you will be performing in the area.


With the proper kitchen lighting, you can create a warm and welcoming space you’ll enjoy spending time in. The best lighting should transform your space while giving you the necessary functionality. So, take some time to carefully pick the perfect lighting fixture that is best suited for your kitchen area.

Hopefully, this article gave you some great over-the-sink kitchen lighting ideas. If you’re currently working on your kitchen space, I’d love to hear how things are going.

Until Next Time,

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