Fast Forward Kitchen Sink Lighting Guide

When you think about all of the important tasks that you do at the kitchen sink, you realize how important it is to have adequate lighting. Whether it is peeling a vegetable over the garbage disposal or washing a dish, you need light bright enough to discern where you need to cut or wash. Having an appropriate light above the sink also has other uses, such as complementing the overall appearance of that very important room in your house and possibly deterring burglars as an excellent night light. And, don’t forget, that kitchen sink light can guide you on that all-important quest for a midnight snack in the refrigerator.

Kitchen Sink Lights

The options you have for a kitchen sink light are more numerous than you might realize. Task one is to make sure that the light is bright enough to perform certain jobs that you do at the sink, such as washing and peeling vegetables and rinsing dishes. The light also can act as a nice complement to your dining room lighting (if they adjoin) and you can use it as back light for a candlelight meal, depending on the position of your sink.

Among the options for kitchen sink lights are recessed lights, pendant lights, track lights, ceiling lights, lanterns and desk lamps (to be explained below). If the sink is located underneath a cabinet, under-cabinet lights are a must.


Picture 1: If your sink is located underneath a cabinet, under-cabinet lights are your best option

Don’t forget that natural light can accomplish a lot during daytime hours – be sure to install your sink near a window if at all possible. At night time, though, you’ll need to turn on a light somewhere to see what you’re doing at the sink.


Picture 2: Kitchen sink lighting – The power of natural light

Different Kitchen Sink Fixtures

If your kitchen is not very large, recessed lights can be a good option. They can be unobtrusive yet give you adequate light above the sink. If your ceiling is not too high, install recessed lights there to shine on your sink.

Pendant lights can be used if your kitchen is larger with a ceiling too high for recessed lights. You can hang one about 70 cm above your sink and it should provide enough light for all of your needs, while not disrupting your kitchen décor or theme. If you can match your pendant shade to your other light fixtures and décor, better yet.

You can also opt for a single bulb above the sink, but spice it up with a paper lantern shade in a Japanese or Chinese style. The soft shine that results will work well with kitchens that have a lot of glass or highly lacquered wood. Compact fluorescent light bulbs will help you to reduce the risk of fire, but be sure that your lantern is approved for such use before mounting it. You also need to decide if a bit of Asian flavor will work for or against your kitchen’s decorating scheme.

Some homeowners even choose to have a desk lamp bolted to a shelf above the sink. Don’t laugh – this option can work very well and not look too makeshift. Such a lamp can also be attached to a windowsill if it is large enough, and you’ll need a GFI outlet to be sure that you can plug it in near water. Two tips for this option: be sure to securely attach the lamp to the shelf or ledge because it will get bumped, and use a light with a glass cover because it will get splashed. A good choice for this usage is a low-voltage LED reading lamp with an adjustable arm, which will enable you to aim the light and keep it away from your head as you work.


The kitchen sink is an important work area in your home and needs to have some sort of light shining on it. Daylight is great, but when night falls, you need to choose the kitchen sink fixture that works best for you practically and thematically. Don’t turn off your creativity simply because you are decorating a fairly mundane area; you can still add a touch of pizzazz to your home by choosing a sleek kitchen sink light fixture.

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