Upgrading your island pendant lighting? Answering all your questions about spacing and height for pendant lights over a kitchen island.
There are so many questions about pendant light height and spacing.
We have a lot of experience with hanging pendant lights so I thought I would create a post to share a few tips on how to choose the right height and spacing for your pendant lights over your kitchen island.
- Pendant Lighting Over Island
- Pendant Light Height Over Kitchen Island
- How Many Pendant Lights Over Island
- Pendant Light Spacing Over Kitchen Island
- What To Consider When Choosing Pendant Lighting Over Kitchen Island
- Beautiful Ideas For Affordable Pendant Lighting For Your Kitchen Island
Pendant Lighting Over Island
Whether you are building or renovating, the right kitchen island pendant lighting can totally transform your kitchen.
You can also change out your island pendant lights in your existing kitchen for a quick & inexpensive way to change the look!
Many people don’t realize that the key to a truly standout kitchen island is in the lighting.
We have been in our home for four years now and have changed our kitchen island lighting out 3 times!
We have even gone from 3 pendants over our island to 2 pendants over our island.
Related: Add Warmth To A White Kitchen
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through a link and make a purchase, it will earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you! See our disclaimer for details.
Pendant Light Height Over Kitchen Island
As you choose your lights for over your kitchen island, it is important take into account the height of the light in relation to the island itself. In other words, how high off the island countertop should your pendant lights hang?
The ideal pendant light height over an island is about 30-36 inches.
This will ensure that the light is high enough to provide adequate illumination while also being low enough to avoid being a visual obstruction.
Note that the average pendant light is between 20 and 36 inches tall.
There are many pendant lights that are adjustable in height vs some that aren’t.
For 8 foot ceiling height, your pendant light height over your island should be about 30”.
If you have 9 foot ceiling height, your pendant light height over your island should be between 30”-36” depending on the size of the pendant light itself.
Maybe you have a smaller island, opt for shorter pendants that won’t overwhelm the space.
For a larger island, taller pendants will make a statement without being too overpowering.
How Many Pendant Lights Over Island
The number of pendant lights should be based on functionality as well as personal preference.
When we had our 3 smaller glass island pendants, I loved that they put out a lot of light.
I was able to turn on my kitchen pedant lights without any other lights even at night!
We loved the look of our kitchen island pendants and that fact that they were very functional too.
Now we have two oversized lantern pendants that each have 6 smaller light bulbs.
Even though we only have two pendants over our island now, we still have plenty of light since these are open pendants.
I absolutely love look of the two pendants.
Not only is it trendy, I feel like it opens up the kitchen island and makes the entire kitchen feel bigger!
This lantern also comes in a 4 light lantern island pendant if you are looking for something a bit smaller.
I have a matching pendant chandelier for my dining room too!
Pendant Light Spacing Over Kitchen Island
The spacing of your pendant lights should be based on the size of your island and the height of your ceilings.
For a small island, you’ll want to space your pendants closer together.
With a larger island, you can space them further apart. And if you have high ceilings, you’ll need to adjust the spacing accordingly.
Now let me show you some actual examples of how you can calculate and hang your pendant lights above your island.
3 Pendants Over Island
To hang 3 pendants over your island, divide your kitchen island length by 4.
This will be the amount of space you need in between each pendant and also from each end island.
Put measurements of my current pendant in description & dimensions and link
As I mentioned before, we started with 3 small clear pendants over our island.
This allowed us to have one pendant light over each bar stool.
This worked well and looked great.
We got lots of compliments.
See more below on the pros of glass pendants.
One day I decided that I wanted a little more color in my kitchen.
I shopped and shopped for new pendants and ultimately decided to try a darker more modern pendant.
We did three kitchen island light pendants again.
As you can see from the photo below, these pendants were too large for the space so they didn’t last long.
2 Pendant Lights Over Kitchen Island
After having just gone too big with the pendant lights over our island, I contemplated between 2 or 3 pendants over our island.
I talked it over with my husband…
Instead of changing around any of the existing electric, which was doable but would have been a bit painful, we decided to use the existing electric and just cover the 3rd one in the middle that we were no longer going to use.
At first, I was worried about doing this because I thought the light cap would be an eye sore but truthfully, I never notice it and if we really wanted to we could close up the hole.
Divide your island length by 4.
Use that measurement to hang your pendants from the left and right side of your island end.
This formula will leave a larger opening in the center.
Note: this is the formula that we used for ours and it works well for us because we have a cooktop in the center of our island.
Pro Tip for hanging a pendant light: when you get your pendant lights, lay them out on top of your island to test out the spacing options and see which one works best in your kitchen.
Divide your island length by 3.
Use that measurement to hang your pendants from the left and right side of your island end.
This formula will put your 2 pendants more toward the center of the island and is also a great option.
Pro Tip for spacing a pendant light: you can use one of the easy formulas above or use a custom layout for your kitchen. You just want to be sure that your island pendant lights are at least 6” for either end of the island.
What To Consider When Choosing Pendant Lighting Over Kitchen Island
When choosing pendant lighting for kitchen projects, it’s important to start with some basic considerations, such as the material the lights are made with, the size, color and other features.
Don’t miss tons of beautiful, affordable kitchen pendant lighting ideas linked below.
Clear Glass Pendant Lights For Kitchen Island
- Pro – the light penetrates through the glass into the space
- Con – you need a very specific light bulb for the lighting to look good – linked some below!
Solid Pendant Lighting
- Pro – very trendy!
- Con – the lighting does not put out as much light as the clear glass so you will need to pair these with other accent lighting such as under cabinet lighting
- Con – consider how your kitchen is set up and if the solid lighting will be too obtrusive to the view of the kitchen
Size Of Pendant Lights Over Island
Oversized island pendants are in right now!
If you are like me and you have 3 pendant lights, you could just hang 2 and put a cap over the middle one and do larger pendants! Make sure you measure to ensure the right fit.
If your kitchen is smaller or you’re worried about obstructing the view to the kitchen with large lights, then there are still lots of beautiful options for small kitchen pendant lighting.
Kitchen Pendant Lighting Dust
All pendants collect a lot of dust and need to be cleaned regularly. But some colors show it more than others – exactly like car colors! If you’re not a fan of dusting, you may want to consider a lighter color pendant that won’t show dust as quickly as darker colors.
Light Bulbs For Pendant Lights
It’s also important to consider the type of light bulbs you’ll need when shopping for affordable pendant lighting for kitchen projects. Some pendants will need very specific types of bulbs, so be sure to do your research when choosing your kitchen lighting.
Here are some light bulb finds. I did a lot of trial and error with light bulbs for our pendants so I hope this helps you find some the first time.
Beautiful Ideas For Affordable Pendant Lighting For Your Kitchen Island
Pendant Lights Clear Glass
Gold Pendant Lights For Kitchen Island
KItchen Pendant Lighting Coastal
Farmhouse Kitchen Island Lighting
Modern Pendant Lighting For Kitchen Island
Affordable Kitchen Pendant Lights Under $100
The Best Island Pendant Lighting for Kitchen
I’m loving all these pendant lights! It was hard for me to decide which ones were right for me which is why I have switched mine out 3 times in 4 years!
Whether you’re shopping for kitchen pendant lighting to hang above an island, a sink or even a dine-in table, there are so many beautiful options out there to fit your kitchen style.
All of my current home lighting sources are linked on my lighting source page.
Also check out my Amazon storefront where I have rounded up the best pendant lighting!
Please let me know if you have any questions! If you are building, renovating or just doing a kitchen pendant switch out, I would love to see pictures!! You can send me an email at [email protected] Thanks for checking out my affordable Pendant Lighting for Kitchen post!!