Recently one of my favorite readers (and best friends) asked if I could share some ideas for affordable kitchen lighting. Happy to oblige, I’ve put together a little roundup of my favorite modern industrial farmhouse lighting options.
Picking the right lighting for a room can be one of those design challenges that you don’t think about until you find yourself overwhelmed with thousands of choices, wondering how you could have paid so little attention all your life to the lights you use every day in your home.
Affordable kitchen lighting has been on my mind lately, because when we recently replaced the floor in our kitchen and breakfast nook, we (well, really my husband, but who’s keeping track?) broke the light over our breakfast table. Sadly it can’t be fixed, but happily I get to go shopping!
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3 Types of Kitchen Lighting
When I asked my friend what kind of lighting she needed, she replied that she didn’t even know, a problem I often find when working with design clients. So I thought I’d start with a quick run-down of what kind of lighting you should be looking for in your kitchen.
Overhead lighting is the light that turns on when you flip the wall switch by the door. Some people don’t like overhead lighting as it can feel oppressive and one dimensional, but I think it’s necessary in a kitchen.
Personally I love recessed lighting for this job. You can get retrofit kits to turn any ceiling light into recessed light. They’re easy to install and can really streamline the look of your kitchen ceiling.
If you already have recessed lights but they’re old and dated (like those big UFO looking things from the eighties!) you can quickly and easily replace them with modern LED recessed lights for just a few dollars a piece. No electrician necessary!
One last word about overhead lighting… I love dimmer switches. I have them in all the main living areas of my house. They make it so easy to turn the lights down to a comfortable level while still using the convenience of a wall switch. When I replaced all my recessed lights, I made sure the new ones (linked to above) were dimmable.
Task lighting refers to specific lighting that helps you perform your work in the kitchen. It could be as simple as the light over your stove, or as decorative as a lamp on the counter.
I prefer under-cabinet lighting because it’s invisible but it gives you light where you need it at the touch of a button. Plus, it casts a nice soft glow over your kitchen if you turn off the overhead lights at night.
These under cabinet lights are easy to install and don’t require any rewiring.
This is the fun part. In the kitchen we usually put decorative lights in two places: pendant lights over the sink and/or island, and a large pendant or small chandelier over the breakfast table.
Here’s where you can really let your style shine through. (Sorry about the awful pun!) These lights should coordinate with your overall style, and you should think about how they match your other fixtures, such as your faucet, cabinet pulls, and any other hardware in the room.
Designer Tip: You don’t need to match all your metals in a room. Feel free to mix it up, just keep your styles cohesive so the combination looks deliberate. For modern style you might mix chrome and brass, or for farmhouse style you could mix black and copper.
Modern Industrial Farmhouse Lighting Options
Speaking of style, what does Modern Industrial Farmhouse even mean? It sounds like word soup!
Modern Industrial Farmhouse style pulls elements from farmhouse style (rustic woods, traditional silhouettes) and combines them with industrial touches (masculine lines, unrefined metals) for a modern take on both styles. Think farmhouse with an edge, or industrial slightly softened.
My kitchen has elements of both farmhouse and industrial style, as well as a few modern pieces thrown in for good measure, so this style suits me perfectly, but it also translates well to all sorts of other design styles.
Affordable Kitchen Lighting
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s just take a look at some of the options I’ve put together. These ideas are all pendants or small chandeliers that would fit nicely over a kitchen table or breakfast nook, and won’t break the bank at $50 – $199.
Light Society Margritte Pendant Light, Matte Black Shade with Copper Cage
I love the combination of matte black and copper. It feels a little edgy, but sophisticated.
Emliviar 14 inch Vintage Metal Hanging Light with Dome Shade, Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish
At 14 inches, this pendant feels substantial enough to light up a breakfast nook table.
Progress Lighting Gulliver P500022 Mini Pendant Light
A new take on the cage light, this whitewashed wood contrasts nicely with the edison bulb.
Transparent Glass Lampshade Matte Black 3-Lights Pendant
This adjustable-length light gives a nod to mason jars, with a modern size and shape.
I hope that helps give you some ideas for kitchen lighting. Which one is your favorite? I won’t tell you which one I’m leaning toward just yet for my breakfast nook… I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you have more lighting suggestions!