How to plan kitchen lighting: Islands

pendant lights for kitchen islands
Islands remain an effective way to squeeze some extra work, prep or dining space into your kitchen. Furthermore, an island, properly utilised, can become a central feature of the room. Because it has such key and varied roles, lighting the kitchen island can feel like a tough task. So, follow our essential guide and avoid being all at sea with your kitchen lighting for islands.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Much like the old adage, proper planning is always of utmost importance. This definitely applies to lighting any space. The best time to choose your kitchen island lighting is early in the renovation process. All too often, lighting is an afterthought and ends up feeling bolted on. Instead, make sure lighting is included in your planning process to ensure functional and effective fixtures which cater to the space.

Flexibile Feels

This early planning will allow you to build flexibility into your lighting array. Kitchen lighting for islands should always incorporate a degree of flexibility as they're used for a huge range of tasks - from kids' homework through to chopping, prepping and entertaining. The best way to tackle this issue is by including a dimmer in your scheme. This will allow you to alter the output to suit the task at hand. Chopping something? Get the lights on full to avoid chopping more than you planned. Having a quiet glass of wine and a catch-up? Turn the light level down and create a more ambient, cosy mood. A dimly lit large globe traditional filament lamp in a copper shade

Higher or Lower

Now, before deciding on fixtures, consider the room. The height of your ceiling will determine what form of lighting will be the best fit. For low ceilings, consider recessed or flush mounted lighting to preserve that precious headspace. With higher ceilings, you’ll have more flexibility to consider pendants or clusters.
A pair of pendants lighting a kitchen island. A graphic indicates the advised height for such fixtures is between 80-90cm above the island surface. As a general rule of thumb, aim to keep pendants 80-90cm above the surface.

Get it Right to the Edges

Whichever ceiling scenario applies, you’ll want to make sure that your lighting provides an even spread of light. Producing an even distribution of light across the length and breadth of the island ensures you make effective use of all the surface area available.
A bank of pendants employed above a kitchen island Higher ceilings allow for a row of pendants to be used in place of flush or recessed fixtures. Image © deVOL Kitchens

Shed Some LED

So, for either fixture option there now exist LED alternatives. While a little more pricey, these lamps definitely deliver more bang for your buck. Go for something with a high output (between 700-800 lumens) but a warm colour temperature (+/- 2700k) to keep things cosy.
Eco-LED in Copper shade Something like our Eco-LED lamp makes a great choice for the kitchen island. Offering a good output and warm colour temperature.

Where dimming was once a nightmare, LED technology has advanced to the stage where it’s now a breeze. Just double-check with the manufacturer and they’ll be able to confirm compatibility. So you've read all the advice, you've seen all the inspiration Now it's time to get to grips with your kitchen lighting for islands.


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