Kitchen Island Lighting

Kitchen Island Lighting

The last few years have seen us spending more time than ever at home. A space which was originally designated for cooking is now a multifunctional area. The kitchen island in particular is not only a spot to gather and socialise while being productive - we find ourselves eating, studying and working at our kitchen island. 

Figuring out the right lighting to service so many different functions can be, without a doubt, a tricky undertaking. With a dash of planning and a sprinkle of consideration, we have compiled a list of ingredients to help you maximise the potential of your kitchen island.


Pendants may seem like an obvious option, but there is good reasoning for their popularity above a kitchen island. Pendants can be a striking visual feature, whether you choose to compliment your kitchen design choices or to create contrast is up to you. Providing practical task lighting as well as ambient entertaining lighting, pendants can tick all the boxes.

Pendants are often seen grouped in three but there are no hard and fast rules here. Creating balance by considering  ceiling height, length of the island as well as the overall kitchen space should be a focus when beginning to look at different shapes and sizes. 

As an example; If you have a low ceiling but a large island -  pendants that are shallow in height and longer in width will create an overall balanced look. If you were to have a high ceiling but a short island, tall but narrow pendants will compliment. 

For optimal lighting pendants should be hung 750mm - 900mm above the worktop.

If you want to make a bold statement with your pendants go for colours and finishes that contrast the surrounding area. You can still have an orderly and considered look when contrasting by popping smaller touches of the same finish in the decorative aspects of the kitchen to pull everything together. 

Clear glass pendants, being translucent in nature, maintain an organic and open feel to open-plan living spaces. These same qualities make them perfect for smaller spaces.

Bold, statement fittings, such as chandeliers, can be hung on their own or in twos to become the centrepoint of a space with a stunning result.

While pendants draw attention to a focal point, you may prefer the sleek look downlights can offer. 

Again we need to look at ceiling height in order to identify the right downlight. Recessed downlights all have different beam angles - the measurement of the light distribution from the fitting. Getting the right beam angle is crucial to ensuring the light hits the worktop. For a lower ceiling we want to keep the beam angle wide at 90 - 120 degrees. For a high ceiling look for downlights that have a narrower beam angle of 40 - 60 degrees. 

The kitchen is an area where a high colour rendering index (CRI) is recommended. Colour Rendering index is the measurement of how accurately a light source will show colours - look for downlights that have a CRI of 90 or above. The high CRI brings out the vibrance in your dishes and kitchen finishings - whereas a low CRI can alter the appearance.