Lighting above the kitchen island – 5 ideas for your home

by Kremy

linear chandelier pendant light fixture above kitchen island

What is the best lighting above the kitchen island? Proper lighting of the kitchen island can solve many problems. Choosing the right lighting for every room in the apartment is not as easy as it might seem at first glance. Buying beautiful lighting fixtures is not enough. You need to correctly position and combine them.

In modern kitchens you can often find an island as a separate structure in the center of the room. It is not only convenient, but also incredibly beautiful. The biggest mistake that can be made when decorating the interior of a kitchen is to provide for only one light source. For comfortable operation of the kitchen island, you need to organize high-quality lighting above it, since the main light in the room will not be enough. The easiest way to achieve this is to place light fixtures in this area.

To make sure that there is enough light, it is worth considering the specifics of the room itself. For example, in a bedroom you are focused on relaxation and dim light from the chandelier is enough but the kitchen should be lit as much as possible. This can be achieved by using various types of lamps and combining them. Thanks to the huge range of lighting fixtures, you can organize a bright and functional lighting in your kitchen.

General design tips for the lighting above the kitchen island

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Kitchen island lighting is both decorative and functional. In a modern home the kitchen is a multipurpose space. The island is rarely used for one activity only. Quite on the contrary – it is a place for cooking, dining, guest entertaining, kids often do their homework, so the function changes depending on the occasion and the needs of the family. Planning the lighting above the kitchen island is based on some rules:

  • Plan the location of the fixtures in advance. Determine the number and location of the fixtures when you have outlined the main functional areas.
  • Install sockets, switches, fixtures, wires at least 60 centimeters from the sink and water lines.
  • Use more than one light source. Be sure to include a work surface illumination. If there is a dining area, the ideal option is a lamp above the dining furniture or a sconce for softer lighting. Decorative light and illumination of wall cabinets will be useful.
  • Correct the space using lighting. Does the room have architectural flaws? To adjust the geometry of a narrow kitchen, place lights along one wall. If you place lamps in the midline of the ceiling, this will visually “stretch” the room. Wall sconces with upward light visually raise the low ceiling but for a very high ceiling, pick up a massive chandelier.
  • Adjust the color temperature of the lighting. Modern LED lights give light in a variety of colors and shades. Keep in mind that cooking is best with the most natural light – choose a cooler shade of lamps for the working area. On the other hand warm and soft light contributes to appetite.
  • Do not forget about electricity cost. Use LED lamps as they reduce energy consumption by up to 90%, and their lifespan is up to 15 years. Dimmers also help to reduce energy costs.
  • When you plan to install a group of pendant lights you need to know that the distance between the lower part of the lamp and the tabletop is at least 65–70 cm (28 to 34 inches above the island). Keep in mind that the distance between the fixtures above the island should not be less than 30-40 cm/12-16 inches. A hanging light fixture can be centered above the island and this is a popular option that offers even light distribution.

What are the most popular types of lighting above the kitchen island?

contemporary kitchen decor modern chandelier above island

There are different types of kitchen island lighting. It can be ceiling, wall and built-in lighting. Spotlights, ceiling chandeliers and hanging pendants, recessed lighting – let’s have a look at each of those. For a small kitchen, a small chandelier in the center will be quite enough, but for a large room it is better to choose a combination of several types.


modern kitchen with crystal chandeliers and recessed lighting

Chandeliers above the kitchen island can be used in a room of any size. You can center one massive chandelier above the island or place two (three) smaller ones. A chandelier immediately draws the eye and set the island apart from the rest of the kitchen. Elongated chandeliers visually raise the ceilings, and spherical designs will make your kitchen visually wider. In terms of design, chandeliers come in any style, color, size and material. If this is your preferred type of lighting, make sure that the model you choose matches the overall décor. We mentioned size, but we want to pay special attention to this point. Yes, chandeliers are meant to be eye catching but if you choose a massive and oversized model for a small room, it will overwhelm the rest of the interior. Remember that size matters so be careful when choosing.

Pendant lights

kitchen pendants above island modern home lighting

Pendant lights are beautiful and functional. They are a great option for the kitchen island and allow you to illuminate a specific area in the room, directing a powerful stream of artificial light precisely at it. The market offers a dazzling variety of designs and everyone can find suitable lighting fixtures that will complement the decor concept of the kitchen. If that is your choice, you need to consider the size and number of pendant lights. Obviously, a large island will need either more pendant lights or bigger ones.

Recessed lighting

pendants and recessed lighting above kitchen island

Recessed lighting is a great option for people who do not want anything hanging above the kitchen island. This type of lighting is ideal for low ceilings or slope ceilings and for homeowners who want a cleaner look while maintaining functionality. Recessed lighting provides continuous illumination and most often they are combined with other light fixtures – chandeliers or pendant lights.

Hood with lights

Lighting above the kitchen island 5 ideas for your home

This is another kitchen island lighting option. All modern exhaust air cleaning systems are equipped with lamps.

Indirect lighting

kitchen island with seating ceiling LED lights

Indirect kitchen island lighting is mounted directly on the ceiling. The lighting fixtures are usually large and can even be used as decoration. They are a cheap option with easy installation and provide enough light for the kitchen. In any case, you have to light the kitchen area with a pendant lamp.



multiple teardrop glass mini pendant lights above kitchen island

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kitchen pendant lights and recessed lamps above island

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small kitchen with island and chandelier

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