Kitchen Island Lighting – How Many Pendants Should I Get?

Pendant lights season your island eating space with perfectly balanced taste.

Tech Lighting 700BLKL Blok 3 Inch Wide 1 Light Mini Pendant

Tech Lighting Blok Mini Pendants

Your kitchen island acts as a safe harbor in the midst of all the activity that tends to fill this family-central living area. Your kitchen lighting should illuminate the entire space, eliminating shadows and glare so that those seated at your island can fully enjoy the sheltered atmosphere. A measuring tape, a design plan and a sense of purpose are all the tools you need to decide how many pendants you should place above your island, and a visit to provides the selection and inspiration you are looking for.

Pendants by the Numbers

Several considerations factor into how many lights you decide to go with:

  • The size of your island
  • The number of seats
  • The ways you use the island
Tech Lighting 700TLSL Talisma 3 Inch Wide 1 Light Mini Pendant

Tech Lighting Talisma Mini Pendants

The dimensions of the island space can help you determine which size and number of pendants are ideal. One method you can use is simply dividing the length of the area up evenly. For example, if your island is six feet long, you could put a light every three feet for a total of two pendants, each one centered over one-half of the space. Keep in mind, however, the mystical rule of three, which presumes that three is a more pleasing number, visually, than two or four. Accordingly, you would place three pendants above your 6-foot-long island. Check out our Dale Tiffany and Meyda kitchen lighting designs for some of our most decorative styles.

Alternatively, match the number of lights to your number of seats, simply placing one mini pendant above each stool. This works best if you can count on a fixed seating arrangement. However, if you need more flexibility for additional guests, consider pendant lighting with multiple lamps for complete illumination no matter how many are sharing the island. Check out our Elk Lighting and Sonneman lines for tons of ideas.

Be sure to consider how your island functions when you are planning your kitchen island lighting. If it has separate sides for eating and food prep, you may want to assign mini pendant fixtures for the eating area and track lighting from WAC Lighting or another trusted manufacturer above the working space. In that case, a trio of pendants from such popular brands as Hudson Valley or Artcraft above the seats would highlight your excellent taste.

Kitchen Island Lighting – Sizing and Placement

When selecting your fixtures, keep in mind that the diameter of the pendant is a key consideration. Larger pendants measuring more than 12 inches in diameter tend to crowd a smaller space. Go with compact pendants if overcrowding is an issue.

Your pendant lighting should extend between two and three feet above your island countertop to avoid awkward head bumping and the like. The exact height should depend upon the footprints of the fixtures themselves. Ideally, the spheres of light will co-mingle on the countertop to provide allover illumination. The higher your pendant lighting is placed above the island, the wider its beam, but remember that the brightness dissipates incrementally with the height of the fixture.

Other factors to consider include whether the fixture directs light down, up or both. Broader fixtures with clear glass, like many of our Capital Lighting selections, create more diffuse light while those with smaller opaque or metal shades, like some of the distinctive mini pendant fixtures from Access Lighting, funnel illumination into a tighter beam. In this case, you will need more of them to dispel the shadows.

The Key Consideration for Lighting Your Island

Although you may measure for height, carefully position each light for full coverage and make sure each spot at the table is fully lit, what ultimately dictates your kitchen island lighting are your family’s personal preferences. The unbalanced look of three pendants above four stools might fill you with energy, inspiring you to seize the oncoming day. The precise arrangement of five lights suspended above five stools may fill you with a sense of order that gives you strength and purpose, or you might find the artfully clustered grouping of a multi-pendant fixture to be the most inspirational choice for you.

Tech Lighting 700ELA Mini Ella 3 Inch Wide 1 Light Mini Pendant

Tech Lighting Mini Ella Pendants

When planning a lighting strategy, look through the vast selection at 1800Lighting to find the fixtures that are just right for the space. Whether task lighting for your kitchen island or a grand fixture for your entryway head your agenda, we have exactly what you are looking for in our online showroom. Visit us today.

Pro Tip: LED task lights focus more lumens on your countertop than their incandescent counterparts. Additionally, LEDs are more energy efficient and last longer than standard lighting.

1 Comment on Kitchen Island Lighting – How Many Pendants Should I Get?

  1. Home Improvement
    July 25, 2018 at 12:41 am (3 years ago)

    We were able to refinish our cabinets for under $100.
    Though it was a ton of work.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.