Selecting the Best Kitchen Island Lighting: 10 Things You Should Consider



If you want to select the best kitchen island lighting but don’t even know where to start, don’t worry; in this article, we’ll tell you about everything you need to take into consideration so that you can choose the best kitchen island lighting.

Image: Design by Andrea West Design / Pendant lights over the kitchen island: Savoy House Lighting

Selecting the Best Kitchen Island Lighting: 10 Things You Should Consider

1. Cost

This is a very important factor you can’t ignore. Imagine that you finally find the perfect lighting just to discover later that it is too expensive for you. Then you go back to searching again. To avoid this, stick to a certain price range and select the best lighting within your budget that is both affordable and to your liking.

Image: Vogue Living / Interior design: Lauren Nelson Design

2. Pay attention to the kitchen island light fixture

As a rule of thumb, having 30″ to 36″ clearance between the surface and the bottom of the fixture’s rim is the most optimal option. Small islands (four to five feet long) typically do well with two medium pendants or one large pendant. As for larger islands, they can handle three medium-sized or two larger-sized pendants.

3. The shape and size of a kitchen

Carefully think about the kitchen’s shape and size and then select the light fittings which are in proportion. And don’t worry; you don’t even have to be afraid of selecting larger pendants for smaller islands. Why? Because they are better than tiny ones. Also, larger oversize lights usually have a greater impact. Plus, they can even liven up the neutral kitchen.

4. Consider what are the functions that the kitchen island will perform

In case you plan to use the kitchen island for the food preparation, ensure that you have the right amount of bright task lighting for doing the job safely. And in case you want to use the kitchen island as the buffet for entertaining, you should go for ambient light or softer understated light. In other words, kitchen islands are often multi-functional spaces, which need adaptable and versatile lighting.

Image: Remington Avenue

5. Aim to achieve balance

Achieving a balance is one of the basic yet important design guidelines. To do this, make sure to repeat elements three times. Or if you prefer, you can even break the rules as well as add a little imagination to create something more unique and a bit different.

For example, in case you have a relatively smaller kitchen island, you can hang 2 larger pendants or lights over kitchen island instead of using 3 smaller ones. Remember, finding a perfect balance as you pull every competing element should be your key priority. For inspiration, you can take a look at certain kitchen design magazines; they can give you some good ideas regarding what may work in your own kitchen.

Image: Elysse Interiors

6. Strive to create the focal point by using kitchen island lights

This can be a great way for injecting some color as well as interest into the kitchen, especially if the rest of it is neutral. Observe the kind of lighting you have in the rest of a kitchen – a rich variety of lighting is of utmost importance in any space, especially in the kitchen. Also, the kitchen with good lighting requires additional lights above a kitchen island. In case you have spotlights or low-key downlights, you may use the kitchen island pendants for spicing things up a little bit. Make sure to select over island lights that can complement the style of the kitchen as well.


7. Ensure that the kitchen island pendants are hung at the correct height

Usually, pendants over surfaces are hung at sixty to sixty-six inches from the kitchen floor to the pendant’s bottom rim. However, you still shouldn’t take this as a rule because it can depend on the certain height and design of the pendant as well as how much light it sheds onto a surface. If the kitchen island is central, you need to ensure that the light fittings are high enough so that the room will be well-lit. Before you install the lights, you should get someone to help you out so that they can hold the lights up at the right distance from the floor and fine-tune them later since every room is different from one another.

Image: Vivir Design

8. Consider fitting the dimmer switch

If you do this, you will be able to create flexibility; for example, you can have the ambient light for dining and bright light for food preparation. In short, a quick switch is all you need to create a different atmosphere in your elegant kitchen.

Image: Cecilia Moyer

9. Go for accent lighting if you want to add a decorative touch to your kitchen space

Accent lighting is popular decorative lighting for outdoors or indoors. Some of the best examples of accent lights are outdoor landscape feature lights, lighting over the piece of artwork, as well as sconces on the dining room wall. The table lamps are also another source of accent lighting. But for a much better effect, make sure to use it sparingly.

Image: Julia Berolzheimer

10. Daylight factor

While it is true that you cannot add the “daylight” to the room, it is nonetheless a crucially important factor you need to consider as you choose the number of light fixtures as well as their placement. Additionally, natural light can also produce feelings of openness and warmth in the room when it’s diffused. However, it may also be harsh to a certain extent, producing heat if a room is facing into the sunlight and there aren’t any window treatments for diffusing the light. Note that the room that gets good daylight may not require as many task lights during a day. On the other hand, a room that does not have any natural light may require additional lighting.

Image: Sarah Sherman Samuel

Kitchen island lighting ideas

Farmhouse kitchen island lighting

Images: Bonnie Ryan

Image: Lisa Furtado Interiors

Image: Ali Henrie Design

Image: Marisa and Chris

Pendant lights over kitchen island

Images: Lexi Westergard Design

Image: Aimee Lee Kinssies Design

Images: Micah Abbananto Designs

Images: Park and Oak

Images: Kathleen Field

Images: KT Marshall Design

kitchen Huntington Island Light & Sconce⁠

Image: Huntington Island Light & Sconce⁠


As you can see, there are a lot of important factors and details you should consider while selecting the best kitchen island lighting that meets both your needs and personal taste. All you should do now is to remember the information that you read in this article so that you can use it to your advantage, helping you to choose the best kitchen island lighting.

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