how to light a kitchen island - inspiration and ideas for pendants and more

Are you in search of inspiration for illuminating your kitchen island? Look no further...

If you're fortunate enough to have a kitchen island at the heart of your culinary space, you'll recognize its pivotal role as the central hub around which daily life revolves. Consequently, lighting is of paramount importance, not only for practical cooking and dining purposes but also because the kitchen sets the tone for your entire approach to interior design. The right lighting for your kitchen island can make a bold and inspiring design statement.

How to light a kitchen island...

Tips for lighting a kitchen island with pendants

Pendant lights are the quintessential choice for illuminating a kitchen island. Apart from providing excellent downlighting, they offer a visually stunning touch.

How high should you hang pendant lights above a kitchen island?

When positioning pendant lights above your kitchen island, it's essential to consider the room's size, ceiling height, and island dimensions.

As a general guideline for the correct height, pendant lights should hang approximately 30-36 inches from the top of the kitchen island, with a spacing of around two feet apart. Using odd numbers can create a balanced look – clusters or rows of three or five pendants can be visually striking.

Making a statement

For those seeking a more dramatic and unique effect, consider varying the height of your pendant lights to create an intriguing staggered appearance. Most pendant light fixtures can be easily adjusted to the desired height - consult your electrician for guidance.

Don't overlook the fittings

When selecting the appropriate lighting for your kitchen island, remember to consider the fittings. Available in various materials, including antique brass, chrome, silver, and bronze, the right fitting can complement your pendant lights beautifully. You can explore our collection of designer ceiling light fittings here.

Six inspiring approaches to lighting a kitchen island

When it comes to choosing the ideal style of kitchen island lighting, there are numerous options, ranging from classic to sleek contemporary to cool industrial. You have the freedom to be as bold with your aesthetic as you desire. Here are some ideas...

larger espere pendant shade in clear glass

Opt for glamour with glass

Glass is an excellent choice for crafting pendant lights that transmit light beautifully while adding a touch of sophistication to your kitchen island. From hand-blown pendants and globe lights to prismatic domes and lanterns, glass pendants can make a lovely, subtle style statement. This effect is particularly captivating when paired with a designer lightbulb and crowned with a beautiful light fitting. Consider the Espere with its stunning blown glass dome, which pairs exquisitely with a solid brass or antiqued silver gallery. For an additional point of interest, experiment with colored glass. Hand-blown in Portugal, the Hazelette pendant is available in various colors, including a warm amber, and looks fantastic when grouped in threes. Meanwhile, for a contemporary twist on a classic style, lantern pendants are an excellent choice. The Luxor lantern features thick beveled glass and a solid brass frame, ideal when arranged in a row. - For a even bigger statement there's the Larger Luxor lantern.

equilibrium rise and fall pendant set in antique brass

Elevate with brass

In addition to casting a warm and inviting light over your kitchen island, a brass pendant light can make a substantial style statement. Brass can be molded into various styles. For a perfectly personalizable approach, consider the Equilibrium in antique brass - a fantastic choice for a kitchen island. For a remarkable statement piece, explore oversized pendants like the Spangle, which boasts an eye-catching shape without overwhelming. When you switch it on, the light pools down beneath and it also escapes in little chinks of sparkle through the wire.

ted ceramic pendant shade in orange with stone interior

Create a cool vibe with ceramic

Ted pendant lights in ceramic offer a sleek, contemporary shape with a handmade touch. With a range of colorful glazes, from classic black and white to bottle green and deep navy, our ceramic cookie pendants exude ultra-cool style when suspended over a kitchen island. 

For a more personal touch, the quaintest, daintiest little ceramic pendant Cecilia might be more your thing. Made entirely by hand, the glazes are to die for and reminiscent of some of the glazes found in Provence.

supermoon pendant light in antiqued brass

Embrace the industrial aesthetic

For those seeking to make a bold statement, industrial-style lighting can add depth and drama to your kitchen island, whether your kitchen boasts a country-style or contemporary city design. An industrial look need not be overpowering. For a sleek, contemporary feel with an industrial edge, explore the Supermoon (above), solid brass, with the most outstanding antiqued finish. For a more understated approach to the industrial theme, consider a set of smaller pendant lights, such as the Stanlette in gunmetal grey. Measuring just 4.75 inch in diameter, it casts an elegant light over your kitchen island. Available in six colors, the rich copper interior beautifully contrasts with the grey metal exterior in this example.

large soprano pendant light in pale gray concrete

Integrate concrete elements

While concrete may seem unconventional in a homely kitchen, it is an incredibly versatile material that can add texture and an urban edge to your space. With its striking shape and raw feel, our Soprano concrete pendant offers a captivating contrast against smooth kitchen surfaces and looks superb when suspended in rows above a kitchen island.

charlotte chandelier in antiqued brass

Make a statement with a chandelier

Finally, for those seeking a show-stopping centerpiece above their kitchen island, why not consider a chandelier (or two)? Nowadays, chandeliers come in a wide range of styles, from traditional crystal and glass designs to modern interpretations crafted from metal. Discover our collection of chandeliers here.


At Pooky, we create affordable designer lighting for beautiful homes. Explore our complete collection of designer pendant lights here.