Give Your Wallet a Break and Try These 6 Budget Kitchen Lighting Tricks

If you're setting out to renovate your kitchen, you're likely learning that dollar signs add up really fast. There are so many things to consider from tile for the backsplash to the appliances, countertops, cabinets, sink, decor — and don't forget about kitchen lighting, which can definitely get expensive. Although we love the top-tier brands that designers often turn to when crafting a culinary space, it's not always a realistic option when you're on a budget.

Materials such as Swarovski crystals, gleaming brass, and hand-blown glass tend to be more expensive, while ornate chandeliers and pendants (like sputnik or geometric fixtures that double as artwork) are also typically pricey. But don't worry — you can still have stylish kitchen lighting and give your wallet a rest when you keep money saving tips and tricks in mind. Here are six approaches to kitchen lighting that won't interfere with your bottom line, along with the best brands to shop.

1. Only light essential areas.

For your budget-friendly kitchen, you don't necessarily need to buy multiple pendant lights or a huge chandelier to fully light your space. You can still provide plenty of illumination by strategically planning out where your lights should go in your kitchen according to where you spend the most time.

For example, in this kitchen belonging to Lauren of Bless'er House, a semi-flush mount offers light above the sink, a place where many of us spend a lot of time. You can also choose to light your bar or island if you know you'll be snacking or cooking frequently in those spots.

2. Score online deals.

Sure, it's fun to go to a brick-and-mortar to pick out your lighting, but there are real deals to be had online. Sign up for your favorite brands' email newsletters and receive a percentage off, scope out sales, and track down coupon codes to save a few bucks. In this pretty kitchen styled by Jen of City Farmhouse, the pendants were discovered through the cost-effective website AllModern.

3. Rewire a vintage light.

Vintage lighting, especially when rendered in simple metal finishes and basic silhouettes, can be an extremely economical choice for a kitchen — plus, they're one of a kind, which makes for instant conversation starters. Comb through flea markets, thrift stores, Etsy, and Craigslist to find a storied fixture for your cook space. Just be sure to get it rewired by a pro, which will likely still be less expensive than buying a brand-new fixture. Vanessa of Vintage Whites Blog hung an antique bell-shaped pendant in her farmhouse kitchen, and it acts as the ideal finishing touch.

4. Choose versatile fixtures.

Instead of picking ornate or overly artistic kitchen lighting, opt for fixtures that will stand the test of time and your personal preferences. Think classic and neutral, which is what blogger Doreen Corrigan did in her kitchen. The pendant lights, with simple white conical shades, will look great for years to come. And, they'll blend in seamlessly when she decides to change up her kitchen's decor.

5. Don’t worry about matching.

Brass and ceramic budget kitchen lighting
credit: Studio McGee

Gone are the days when you have to flawlessly match every fixture and finish in your kitchen. It looks more contemporary to do the opposite, and it'll help you save money, too. For instance, if you're drawn to a ceramic pendant light, don't shy away from also installing those brass wall sconces you found on sale. In this cook space designed by Shea of Studio McGee, the brass and ceramic light fixtures make a beautiful pairing.

6. Go minimalist.

Straightforward, minimalist kitchen lighting is usually less expensive than their elaborate, luxurious counterparts. And it works with a variety of decor styles. In this culinary space belonging to Jen of The Effortless Chic, gray pendant lights display clean lines and act as an uncomplicated accent in this space.

Where to buy budget kitchen lighting:

Naturally, big-box stores will offer the most options when it comes to budget kitchen lighting. However, you can also turn to places that don't instantly come to mind, like Etsy (yay for handmade, budget-friendly fixtures!) and contractor-approved websites like Build.com.

If you're looking for on-trend and fun lighting for your kitchen (that won't break the bank), you'll head straight to the one and only Target, of course.

Aiming for a Scandinavian or artistic aesthetic for your kitchen? Then you'll want to shop IKEA. Where else can you score a light that looks like it came straight from an art museum and only costs $26.99?

Shop this humongous online marketplace to find myriad deals, steals, and budget kitchen lighting options.

We love all forms of modern lighting, but when it's handmade? It just scored major bonus points. Peruse Etsy for one-of-a-kind, handcrafted budget kitchen lighting that's often light on the wallet, too.

This website is a contractor favorite for its traditional fixtures and reasonable prices. If you're remodeling your kitchen on a budget, Build.com is a fantastic resource.


Shelby Deering

Shelby Deering

Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Architectural Digest, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets or walking around Madison, Wisconsin with her beloved corgi.