The kitchen is one of the hardest working spaces of your home—with your kitchen island at the center of it. Ensure this critical space is properly lit with a layered lighting plan that complements the range of functions your island will need to accommodate, from reading recipes to dicing vegetables.
First, keep in mind your kitchen’s layout when choosing what pendants to hang over your island. If you have an open-concept kitchen where both the living or dining areas are visible, make sure to coordinate your island lighting with other visible fixtures for a cohesive space.
Find the Right Size & Scale
Begin by deciding on how many lights you’ll want to hang over your kitchen island, this is determined by the size of your island, and your aesthetic preferences.
● If you choose a more detailed pendant like a chandelier, use only one as a statement piece or two if they are smaller like these Willamette chandeliers.
● As a rule of thumb, the more pendants you choose, the simpler they should be so they don’t overwhelm your space.
● If you hang more than one pendant, your electrician will need to install junction boxes for each light—unless you plan on selecting a multi-pendant like our Edendale Clear Glass 3-Light.
How Much Light You'll Need
There are several factors that can affect how much light your island or kitchen needs. One of the main ways you can alter both the look and function of your light is through your shade choice. Here's our breakdown of how each type of shade can change the amount of light your space receives:
Metal shades: These durable shades provide focused light that is great for specific tasks like baking and preparing food, or serving up snacks and appetizers.
Glass shades: If you are looking for a light to brighten your entire space, glass is a perfect option. Choose between opal shades that diffuse light or clear shades that project light and allow you the option to showcase a decorative bulb.
Linen shades: These refined shades add soft, relaxing light that will give any space a polished glow. Because linen naturally diffuses, ensure your bulb has a higher amount of lumens to properly light the space.
Another way to determine how much light your space needs is by looking at the amount of wattage or lumens, which might alter how many fixtures you decide to use above your island.
Unlike wattage, lumens are the most accurate way to determine the output of light in a space because they measure a fixture's overall brightness. Start by determining how many lumens your space needs, then you can convert it to the amount of wattage to see how many bulbs or fixtures you want.
We recommend providing anywhere from 35 to 50 lumens per square foot of island. The higher or lower end of that range depends on the size of your space, other lighting in the room, and the ambiance you're looking for.
Example: For a 15-square-foot island, you'll need between 535 — 750 lumens. A 60-watt bulb produces about 540 lumens. This means you'd want only 1-2 lights above your island with 60-watt bulbs each, or 3-4 smaller lights with lower wattage bulbs instead.
Know Your Measurements
It is important to understand what your lights measurements are, especially when you are ordering lights that are custom made. Here are some useful tips to help you properly hang your pendants.
● Suspend a hanging light 28 to 34 inches above the island.
● If you have multiple pendants, leave a minimum of 24 inches between pendants so that light is evenly distributed.
● Leave at least 6 inches between the edge of the island and your first pendant on either side.
● The overall length of our lights include the shade.
Find everything you need to light your kitchen island perfectly with our timeless pendants and chandeliers. Plus, learn how to light other areas of the home like your dining room, bedroom, or outdoor spaces.