Overhead Lights to Showcase Kitchen Countertops

A good kitchen design always includes lighting because you can hardly work without adequate lights. However, some kitchen designs put much emphasis on task lighting, especially over kitchen countertops, when they are not necessary. The right kitchen overhead lights can provide general lighting that eliminates dark corners and still show off kitchen countertops just as well, and probably more economically. Here are three types of overhead lights to showcase kitchen countertops.

Surface lights

Surface lights are the most common type of overhead lights for kitchen in any room in the home, including kitchens. It was most popular between the 1980s and 2000 but lost some steam until 2010 when it made a comeback with energy-efficient LED varieties. Most kitchens today combine surface lights with other types of lighting. 

Surface lights mount on the ceiling and are easy to install, requiring just a small hole to accommodate the wiring. Most contractors provide this wiring for new or remodeled kitchens because most people do put surface lights for kitchens, and they can do it on their own.

In most cases, surface lights go in the middle of the room, but you can put it anywhere at all. If you plan for surface lights in your design, your contractor can put these kitchen sink overhead lighting anywhere you want because it does not require any special accommodations.

The great thing about most surface lights is they cast light over a large area, so you will only need one to illuminate your kitchen adequately. Of course, this will depend on the number ad wattage of the bulbs. More bulbs and higher wattage will provide more light and hence more lit up countertops. That said, you want to avoid glare from a too-bright kitchen, so choose kitchen overhead lights appropriate for the size of your kitchen.

Surface lights are ideal for kitchens with standard kitchen heights, but not so much for kitchens with low ceilings. They also tend to make small kitchens look smaller. 

Quick tip: All-white kitchens reflect light very well and light up kitchen countertops more strikingly, so you might want to choose warm white rather than daylight for your bulbs to keep the kitchen from looking too sterile.

Pendant lights

Also called drop lights, pendant lights are actually tasked lights as they illuminate a specific area of the room such as to light kitchen countertops or kitchen island. They make this list because they typically hang from the ceiling or other surface from height.

Pendant lights are popular in kitchens, especially those with quality kitchen countertops because they provide light where you work without taking up any floor space. These kitchen overhead lights also look great suspended from the ceiling, whichever of the many styles they come in you choose. It leads the eye down to whatever it is illuminating, usually a kitchen island, countertops, or bar if it’s an overhead sink light, so it is important that they are equally striking.

Since pendant lights make a resounding design statement when they light up countertops, you have to be careful with the style you choose, as this will influence the rest of the room. Some are industrial, while others are decidedly vintage.

 The only problem with pendant lights is you typically have limited placement options. They need to be in areas where people are not likely to bump their heads into them by accident. Having such kitchen overhead light over a bar, kitchen island, or other type of countertops is ideal, unless you have a high ceiling, in which case put it anywhere you want. 

Recessed lights

Also called down or can lights, these kitchen overhead lights, as you have probably guessed, are recessed. This means most of the fixture is inside the ceiling, with just the trimming and inner baffle showing. Some styles such as eyeball lights show a bit more, but this is usually to allow adjustments to the direction of the light. In most cases, recessed lights have a fixed direction and quite small at between 2 and 6 inches in diameter, and work best as countertops lights. 

The real purpose of recessed lights is to provide diffuse lighting in a kitchen with a low ceiling. Since most of it is out of sight, it gives any room a sleek, modern look. The problem is you have to accommodate the housing inside the ceiling, so that means there has to be some open space above these overhead lights for kitchen. In most cases, that means avoiding ceiling joists and other support structures. Recessed lights are also difficult to clean

Recessed overhead kitchen sink light can be pricey as you need quite a few of these lights to give enough illumination. A 15x 20 foot kitchen, for example, will need at least a dozen lights. Additionally, you probably need a professional to install these kitchen overhead lights, as you have to deal with several electrical lines and holes. The best time to install recessed lights is during a renovation, so it is important to include them in the design.


Good lighting is essential for a kitchen that is efficient and has a certain style, and you can achieve this with these three types of kitchen overhead lights that also showcase kitchen countertops. The best way to maximize their impact is to include them in your remodeling design so you can choose the best ones to pair with your new kitchen countertops. 

Badger Granite knows all there is to know about granite, marble, and kitchen countertops in general, aside from kitchen overhead lighting. We are a local company with licensed contractors specializing in all types of countertops, especially granite countertops, servicing major Wisconsin cities. 

We are highly skilled at the fabrication and installation of kitchen countertops of several colors, sizes, and styles. We have no hidden fees, so you can be sure that you will have no problems when you contract with us. 

Our staff will gladly walk you through our showroom in Wisconsin so that you can see actual slabs in various colors and samples in a range of sizes before you buy. If you prefer engineered stones, we carry only the best brands at the best prices, and have a much quicker turnaround than big box stores.  All our products have manufacturer warranties from the best quartz companies, including Cambria, Silestone, MSI, and DuPont Zodiaq. 

We can offer you free in-home consultation and quote at no obligation to you. Give us a call or send us a message now!


Surface lights, pendant lights, and recessed lights are the three best options for kitchen ceiling that work as overhead kitchen sink light as well.

Kitchen ceiling lights have different names based on their style and purpose. The kitchen overhead lights are based on three variants, i.e., surface, pendant, and recessed lights. Others include chandeliers and ambient lighting.

Ceiling lights are the best option for kitchen sink overhead lighting. Usually the pendant light would work well with the sink since it illuminates the limited, specific area.

These overhead lights for kitchen hang above the kitchen islands as a suspended light fixture. They’re called pendant lights and come in different styles, sizes, and colors.