Are you building a new home (or renovating your kitchen) and it’s time to pick out pendants to go over your kitchen island? Maybe you’re confused about what size pendants you need or where to even shop for pendants (other than the local lighting store your builder recommended).
If you’re looking for some pendant ideas PLUS a little guidance on how to choose the correct size pendant, this post on how to choose kitchen island lighting will help! As you’ll see, though, interior design isn’t an exact science. There is no ‘one size fits all’, but I can give you some general guidelines.
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When shopping for pendant lights, you need to figure out a couple of things before you can start narrowing your selection. You need to know how many lights you want and the optimal size (based on your island size as well as your ceiling height).
Once you figure these things out, it’s time to start shopping! I’ve made this easier by sharing many of my favorite pendant lights below (as well as a list of where I buy light fixtures).
DO I REALLY NEED PENDANT LIGHTS OVER KITCHEN ISLAND?
First of all, let’s answer the question, Do I really need to hang pendant lights over my island?
Absolutely not! This is YOUR home, my friend! You can do WHATEVER you want! The reason people hang pendant lighting over their island is for task lighting as well as decorative purposes. If you have ample task lighting in your ceiling, there is no need for pendants if you don’t want them for decorative purposes.
HOW BIG SHOULD A PENDANT BE OVER AN ISLAND?
Ultimately, the size of your pendant lighting should be related to the amount of light you need (i.e. a larger pendant will provide more lighting than a smaller pendant). However, there is more that goes into it than just that.
When choosing pendants to hang above your kitchen island, you should consider the width and height of the pendants as well as your ceiling height and island length. All of these measurements (pendant width, pendant height, ceiling height, and island length) should be taken into consideration when choosing pendants.
In general, the longer your kitchen island and the higher your ceiling, the larger (wider and taller) your pendant can be. The shorter your island and the lower your ceiling, the smaller (narrower and shorter) your pendant should be. Error on the side of going a little bigger though (i.e. don’t go below 10″ wide … I did this and I regret it!).
I understand this is a very simplistic and vague way of suggesting what size pendant you should order, but it’s tricky for me to recommend actual sizing without really looking at photos of your space and putting the light fixtures into a digital design board (to scale).
Like I said above … this is YOUR kitchen! Interior design isn’t an exact science, so do what YOU want! Below are some looks that I love and might inspire you :).
I am OBSESSED with this design by Bria Hammel Interiors … these huge gold cone pendants look beautiful over this long island.
I also happen to love this look by Kate Marker Interiors. These are smaller-scale pendants over a large island. Remember when I said, ‘interior design isn’t an exact science’? I’m proving my point right now … these two very different looks are both equally beautiful!
This island isn’t huge, but these gold dome pendants are a substantial size … and they look great! Here is a similar pendant … it comes in three sizes.
Learn much more in HOW TO HANG PENDANT LIGHTING ABOVE KITCHEN ISLAND.
Design Tip: Use blue painter’s tape to ‘map’ out the width of the pendants on your kitchen island to see if you like the spacing. Cut your tape to be the same width as the desired pendant’s width dimensions.
HOW MANY LIGHTS DO I NEED FOR KITCHEN ISLAND?
Like pendant sizing, the number of lights over your island is dependent on how large of a pendant you choose as well as the length of your kitchen island. The number of pendants will also be dependent on the look you’re going for (i.e. do you love the look of three smaller pendants or two larger pendants more?).
I, personally, have three smaller (about 8″ wide) pendants over my 8′ island and I SO wish I had done two larger pendants instead (unfortunately, larger pendants didn’t start trending until after I built my home in 2013).
The island below could easily have three smaller pendants, but I love how the two large pendants flank the range.
WHERE CAN I BUY KITCHEN ISLAND PENDANT LIGHTING?
Here is a list of my personal favorite places to order lighting online. Simply click on the pink text to be redirected to the retailer’s website.
I hope you found this guide on how to choose kitchen island lighting helpful. Of course, I can’t give you specific answers to the best choice (i.e. actual size of pendants) for your kitchen but you can use this information as a guideline on how to choose the best size of pendants for your kitchen dimensions!