Kitchen

Island Lighting: How to Place and Space Your Pendant Lights

Island lighting is very important in a kitchen design. Where to place and how to space the lights are a couple of the biggest challenges many people face during the design process. Figuring this out is actually just as important as the style of lighting you choose. Hopefully the tips I’m including will help with both of these. I’m also going to share some of my favorite pendant island lights at the bottom, so make sure and check those out.

How Far Should you Space Island Pendant Lights?

This is a question that first has to be determined by the number of pendant lights you are using above your island. If you are choosing to use just one large light, then you would probably want to place it in the center of the island. That’s an easy one to figure out. But, when you are using two or more, it becomes more difficult.

Whether using two or three lights, the lighting should all be the same distance apart. But, the first thing is figuring out what the distance should be. Start by measuring the overall length of the island. You then will count the number of pendant lights you are using/hanging. Finally, use this formula:

Island Length / (Number of Pendant Lights + 1) = The Distance Between the Lights

This formula will get you very close to the correct spacing to use between each pendant light and the end of your island.

If you are using two lights, you’ll want to hang them each at the calculated distance / 2 from the center of your island. If you are using three, hang the middle one in the center of the island, and use the calculated distance to space the other two accordingly.

How High Do I Hang Island Pendant Lights?

Not only do you need to know the spacing, but the hanging height of the island pendant lights is also very important. This will really depend on how large your pendant lights are. For a larger light that has more illumination, you should hang a bit higher. A smaller pendant light should hang lower and not have tons of space between the island and the bottom of the light. The most common spacing between the top of the island and the bottom of the light is 30-40 inches.

Our Favorite Pendant Lights

Pendant lighting is my favorite! I love the way it illuminates the kitchen island and adds extra detail. Here are a few of our favorites. Some of these could be hung solo or could be paired with one or two matching of the same pendant light. This will be determined by the size of your island.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Geraldine

    Eero Saarinen said “The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs.” The same might be said of hanging light fixtures in the typical great room. Do you have suggestions for aligning pendants, chandeliers, and other fixtures in a great room, especially one that doesn’t have perfect symmetry? Thanks!!

    May 11, 2021 at 11:41 pm
  • Reply Brenda

    This was good to know! I have low ceilings in a lake house we bought and want to do pendants over a 6 x 4 island any suggestions on size? I was thinking clear or seedy glass so it wasn’t to overpowering seeing the ceiling is low. I don’t recall the exact height but 90-92″?? I found some from pottery barn that were 10″ wide by 9″ high and figured I could use one of the 12″ rods, so total height would be 21″ plus the top plate. Any thoughts??

    May 12, 2021 at 1:57 am
  • Reply Danielle

    What color white paint did you use in your home?

    May 16, 2021 at 4:55 pm
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