How to light a kitchen island - inspiration and ideas for pendants and more


Looking for inspiration for lighting your kitchen island? Well, look no further...

If you’re lucky enough to have an island in the middle of your kitchen, you’ll know that it’s quite possibly the most important bit of your whole house: the central hub around which daily life operates. So the lighting is incredibly important – for practical cooking and eating reasons, but also because the kitchen sets the tone for your whole approach to interior design. The right lighting for your kitchen island can make a bold and inspirational design statement.

Tips for lighting a kitchen island with pendants

Pendant lights are the classic choice for lighting a kitchen island. As well as providing an excellent source of downlight, they look gorgeous.

How high above a kitchen island should you hang pendant lights?

When you’re hanging your kitchen island lights, you should take into account the size of the space, the height of the ceiling and the dimensions of the island.

As a general rule of thumb for getting the height right, pendant lights should hang around 30-36 inches from the top of a kitchen island, and should be spaced around two feet apart. Using odd numbers can create a balanced look – pendants look fabulous placed over an island in clusters or rows of three or five.


Making a statement

If you’re looking to make a more dramatic, offbeat statement, try varying the height of your lights to create an interesting staggered effect. Most pendant light fixtures can be adjusted to the required height fairly easily - speak to your electrician for more advice.

Don’t forget the fittings

When choosing the right lighting for your kitchen island, it’s also important to consider the fittings. Available in a range of materials, including antique brass, chrome, silver and bronze, the right fitting will set off your pendant light beautifully. You can view our range of designer ceiling light fittings here.



Six inspirational approaches to lighting a kitchen island

When it comes to choosing the right style of kitchen island lighting there are plenty of options, from classic to sleek contemporary to cool industrial. You can be as bold with your look as you want to - it’s really up to you/ Here are some ideas...

Go for glamour with glass

Glass is fabulous for making pendant lights which transmit the light beautifully, while also adding a touch of glamour to your kitchen island. From hand blown pendants and globe lights, to prismatic domes and lanterns, a glass pendant can make a lovely, subtle style statement - especially when teamed with a designer lightbulb and topped with a beautiful light fitting. Take the Espere with its gorgeous blown glass dome, which looks stunning in combination with a solid brass or antiqued silver gallery. For an extra point of interest, try using coloured glass. Hand blown in Portugal, the Lisboa pendant is available in a range of colours, including a lovely warm amber, and looks great in groups of three! Meanwhile, for a contemporary take on a classic style, lantern pendants are just the job. The Luxor lantern has thick bevelled glass and a solid brass frame and looks ideal in a row, while its big brother the Large and Long Luxor lantern does the job for you, by combining three lights together in one elegant set.



Get classy with brass

As well as casting a lovely buttery light over your kitchen island, a brass pendant light will make a real style statement. Brass can be fashioned into all sorts of different styles. For a cool Scandi vibe, the Thea in antique brass is a fabulous choice for a kitchen island. Modelled on a Danish design and made from solid brass with an antiqued finish, the Thea is sleek and classic. Meanwhile, perforated brass gives a lovely elegant, decorative look and casts a beautiful soft light. Our Stanley and Mundo perforated brass pendants are Moorish by design - and moorish by nature, as we think they look great hung in rows over a kitchen island! Or for a real statement piece, try using an oversize pendant such as the beehive, which has a gorgeous eye-catching shape - while not being overstated. Made from hammered brass with a copper finish, it will create a lovely glow above your kitchen island and will have your guests buzzing.

Beehive - Unfortunately the Beehive is no longer available, but please take a look at our extensive range of pendant lights here


Create a cool vibe with ceramic

Ceramic 'coolie hat' pendant lights offer a sleek, contemporary shape combined with a lovely handmade feel. With a range of colourful glazes, from classic black and white to buttercup yellow and cornflower blue, our ceramic cookie pendants look uber cool suspended over a kitchen island (see picture top). Or for that extra personal touch, our Hania pendants are handmade in the hills of Southern Poland, meaning that no two are the same.

Go industrial

If you want to make a bold statement, industrial style lighting can really add depth and drama to your kitchen island, whether yours is a country-style kitchen or a contemporary city pad. An industrial look doesn’t have to be heavy-handed. For a sleek, contemporary feel with an industrial edge, the Dexter is a sturdy little number with clean lines and a slick design. Or for a spot of industrial drama, try a bowl pendant light. The strong shape and stone interior of the Timothy offer a sense of solidity, while the lovely deep maroon colour lends a contemporary twist. For a more subtle take on the industrial theme, try using a set of smaller pendant lights. For example, the Stanlette in gunmetal grey is just 19cm in diameter and will cast an elegant light over your kitchen island. Available in a choice of six colours, in this example the rich copper interior contrasts beautifully against the grey metal exterior.

Dexter - styled by @no.8project


Set it in concrete

While concrete may seem out of place in a homely space such as a kitchen, it’s actually a very versatile material which can add texture and an urban edge to your space. With its gorgeous shape and its raw feel, our Soprano concrete pendant offers a striking contrast against those smooth kitchen surfaces and looks superb suspended in rows over a kitchen island.

Soprano - styled by @carasuthers


Make a statement with a chandelier

Finally, if you're looking for a show-stopping statement piece over your kitchen island, why not consider a chandelier (or two)? Nowadays chandeliers come in a wide range of different styles, from the more traditional crystal and glass styles to modern takes made from metal, such as our bow tie 6 arm chandelier with its strikingly stylish hoods. You can see our range of chandeliers here.

Bow tie 6 arm chandelier

For more kitchen lighting inspiration, see our guide to guide to pendant lights and kitchen islands.

At Pooky we make affordable designer lighting for beautiful homes. Browse the full collection of designer pendant lights here.