1950s industrial factory lighting was a big source of inspiration for our new Trask Lighting Collection. Designed to match our Trask Hardware Collection, the collection is available in several coordinating finish options.
The kitchen is the hardest-working room in your home—and your kitchen island is at the center of it all. From serving as a casual gathering spot for your family to additional countertop space for meal prep—make sure your island is supported with layers of light that spotlight every role it needs to play. Here’s a step-by-step of what you need to know to make sure that your kitchen island gets all the light it needs.
With clean lines and a minimalist design, our exclusive Blair Lighting Collection plays with geometric forms—and adds a light, sculptural touch to any style kitchen. Our Blair Glass Pendant and Blair Glass Wall Sconce emit a warm, atmospheric glow that spreads throughout the space while our Blair with solid brass cased white shades direct light downward.
Step One: Measure Your Space
Most of our lighting is customizable and made to order, so it’s important to make sure that you measure your kitchen island correctly. Exact measurements are a personal decision and can depend on the surface area of your kitchen island as well as the overall size of your kitchen. The size and scale of the lights that you choose depends on the amount of space you have to hang them. Here are some of our top tips to help you properly measure and prepare to hang your lights:
● Start by measuring the length, width, and height of your kitchen island—these measurements are key to deciding the size and number of lights to hang. You will need to leave at least six to 12 inches on each side, between the end of the island and your pendant.
● We recommend that lights should sit centered, around 30 to 36 inches above your island countertop.
● Overall length for our lighting is measured from the ceiling mount to the bottom of the shade. If you need guidance measuring, our Design Crew is always here to help.
Project Tip: Test your measurements by hanging a piece of paper or a balloon from a string taped to the ceiling—this will help you visualize how much space the light will take up and the right distance it should be from the floor or your workspace.
Bold and brilliant, our Ormandy Lighting Collection makes a statement.
Step Two: Size & Scale
After you’ve taken the measurements of your kitchen island, decide how many lights you want to hang—this is determined by the size of your island and your aesthetic preferences. Here are a couple of style and design considerations to keep in mind:
● Choose either one large statement chandelier or two to three pendants.
● When hanging multiple pendants, 26 to 30 inches is the ideal distance (with a minimum of 24 inches) between pendants to make sure that the light is evenly distributed.
● When using multiples, choose a simple style so that they don’t overwhelm your space.
Mid-Century design meets modern construction with our Allenglade Lighting Collection. Featuring a solid brass down rod and large opal glass shades, Allenglade looks good over any kitchen island or dining table.
Crafted from solid brass with a conical opal glass shade, our Hampshire Lighting Collection is inspired by industrial European fixtures from the 1900s.
Project Tip: When hanging more than one pendant, your electrician will need to install junction boxes for each light—unless you use a multi-pendant.
Lighting Customization Tip: Make your space feel unique with one of our customizable lighting choices. Simply choose a collection and the type of lighting you need, then select a finish and shade—we have hundreds of configuration options to choose from.
Pendant lighting not only brightens your workspace—it adds personality. Lighting collections like Blair and Endicot feature options with beautiful two-piece opal glass shades for allover illumination.
Step Three: Shade Styles
While the shade of a light determines its style, it also affects the amount of light it provides. Here's our breakdown of how each type of shade changes the amount of light your space receives:
Design by @remedydesignfirm, photo by @rebekahwestoverphotography.
Metal Shades: For focused, directional light for specific tasks like food prep, we recommend metal shades. Crafted from spun brass and lacquered aluminum and available in a range of finishes and color options, metal shades add both personality and function.
Project Tip: Customize your metal shades, with our wide range of shapes, finishes, and up to 20 color options. Can’t decide? Order a set of our finish or color samples to help you determine which color is right for your kitchen.
Design by @jeanstofferdesign, photo by @stofferphotographyinteriors.
Glass Shades: If you are looking for a source of allover light diffused throughout your space, we recommend all glass shades. Opal shades create an inviting ambiance with their warm atmospheric glow, while a clear glass shade gives off brighter light—and is the perfect way to showcase our vintage-inspired filament bulbs.
Design by @andreawestdesign, photo by @meaganlarsen.
Linen Shades: Linen shades add a refined look and give off a soft, relaxing light. Because linen naturally diffuses light, choose a bulb with higher lumens to adequately light your space.
Planning Your Space
Keep the layout of your kitchen in mind when selecting pendants to hang over your island. With an open-concept kitchen that is connected to your living or dining areas, you’ll need to look at the space and consider every visible fixture. Coordinating all your lighting will create a more cohesive look.
Influenced by Swedish designs from the 1900s, our Jerico Pendants showcase classic simplicity with a solid brass suspension and industrial-inspired details.
Project Tip: Don’t forget support lighting. Many of our collections feature matching wall sconces, perfect for adding layers of light where you need it most. All you need to do is choose a sconce family and finish, then select a shade—we have over 100 styles to choose from.
Personalize your look with custom wall lights that match your kitchen island lighting—our Jerico Fitter Sconce comes in four finishes and 11 shade options.
Check Your Lumens
Finally, another way to determine how much light your space needs is by looking at lumens—the amount of light emitted by the bulb—which might affect 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.
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.
Classic for a reason, our Hood Pendants are vintage-inspired with contemporary details that create a truly timeless look.
Example: For a 15-square-foot island, you need between 535 - 750 lumens. A 60-watt bulb produces about 800 lumens. This means that one 60-watt bulb—or two for brighter light—above your island will give you enough light, or you could use three to four smaller lights with lower wattage bulbs.
Project Tip: The type of bulb your light needs depends on the main purpose of your fixture and where you are installing it. If you're customizing a ceiling light, you'll need a higher wattage that provides enough light to fill the space. For more targeted illumination, like pendants above a kitchen island, opt for less wattage to create a relaxing, ambient source of light.
We carry light bulbs for every type of lighting and shade style.
Find a timeless selection of pendants, chandeliers, and everything else you need to light your kitchen island. Plus, learn about lighting other areas of the home like your dining room, bedroom, or outdoor spaces. If you need additional guidance determining how to light your space, our Design Crew is always here to help.