Our Top 10 list includes everything from pendent lights to linear chandeliers to lanterns. Many of these lights are available in different price points from a variety of retailers and are sold in a range of sizes and finishes. Bottom line, there’s something for everyone!
We thought it might be helpful to tackle some often-asked questions about island lighting. For example, many wonder, does all of the lighting in the room need to match? We think the lighting should coordinate but does not need to match other lighting in the kitchen. Do I need to hang lights over the island? When thinking about lighting for the island, not only does the island and the lighting above serve as a focal point for the kitchen, it also provides important functional lighting for this critical workspace. So, yes, you should plan on lighting over the island (recessed lights are fine too). How many lights do I need? If you opt for pendant lights, using two to three, equally spaced and lined up in a row over the island works well. For larger fixtures, like lanterns, two can work assuming they are adequately scaled for the island. A long linear chandelier is also a nice option but only if there’s no competing chandelier hung over a nearby table. How high do I hang the lighting? Lighting should be 30”-36” above the island counter top. Which light should I choose? That’s up to you, but here are some we admire and recommend…
Cylinder Glass Pendant from LightologyPhoto Credit: Matt Villano
Sometimes one of the biggest challenges while designing a kitchen is finding lighting for the island that coordinates well with other lighting found in the kitchen. The Cylinder Glass Pendant helps to solve that problem as it integrates well with a variety of other kitchen lights and spans a range of design styles.
Everyly 1 Light Pendant by KichlerPhoto Credit: Matt Villano
A wonderful light to create an open and bright space. This light is a good option for kitchens with lower ceilings and is appropriate in both traditional and more transitional spaces.
Lorford Smoke Bell Lantern by Visual Comfort from Lumens
With the Lorford, Visual Comfort took a classic, bell-shaped lantern and updated it with a smashing, smokey finish. A show-stopper when two are hung over any large kitchen island!
Goodman Hanging Lamp by Thomas O'Brien sold from CircaPhoto Credit: Matt Villano
Found over Jill’s old kitchen island, the Goodman Hanging Lamp coordinates well with other lighting in the space. The chain on the pendant is one of Jill’s favorite details as it really distinguishes this pendant from others.
Country Industrial Pendant By E.F. Chapman for Visual Comfort from Lumens
This pendant may by inspired by an industrial past, but it has a lot of bling and sparkle and makes for a super, chic kitchen! If your island is a key work space in your kitchen, the direct, focused light is great for critical task work.
Boston Slant Pendant By E.F. Chapman for Visual Comfort from LumensPhoto Credit: Matt Villano
Available in a range of sizes, this pendant light is a great solution for any island. The clear glass shades brighten the entire room, not just the island work space below. Shades are also sold with an opaque glass finish or with a metal shade option (see other retailers for addition shade choices).
Agnes Small Pendant by AERIN from Circa
The Agnes pendant is available in white, black, gold, and silver. The delicate, willowy lines change dramatically as the size of the pendant changes from small to large. Elegant and understated, this light is a winner in any kitchen!
Hicks Large Pendant by Thomas O'Brien from Circa
Want to spice up your kitchen design with mixed metals? Look no further than the Hicks pendant that is sold in a variety of mix-and-match metal options.
Basket Pendant by Currey & Company
Adding warmth and texture, this wood basket pendant offers an organic, natural appeal to any kitchen. We find it particularly appealing in white kitchens as the wood warms the room.
Linear Branched Pendant Ceiling Light by E.F. Chapman for Visual Comfort
If your kitchen island serves as the kitchen’s primary dining space, this pendant chandelier is a lovely option. We do not recommend this light if there is a chandelier over a nearby kitchen table, however, as they will visually compete.