Kitchen islands have recently gained popularity and become the go-to feature for a kitchen remodel, and with kitchen islands inevitably come the pendant lights. Instead of settling for the old and tired builder-grade pendant lights, you should treat your kitchen pendant lights as the room’s jewellery which goes beyond lighting the space for your everyday tasks.

With the abundant choice of beautiful pendant light styles available on the market, you have the opportunity to really amp up your kitchen style and add unique character to the space. What style pendant you pick will depend on what type of light you require over your kitchen island, and the overall décor of the room. We’ve put together an easy guide to choosing the best pendant type to suit your needs:

1. Keep things in proportion

One of the first things you should think about when choosing a pendant for your kitchen island is the size. As a general rule of thumb, bigger is better, so don’t shy away from choosing larger pendants even if your island is on the smaller side. Oversize light fixtures tend to have more impact as part of the interior design and can serve as a focal point of your kitchen, especially if the rest of the space is quite neutral.

If your kitchen island features multi-level counters, you could even experiment with hanging your pendant lights at different heights to create a dramatic effect. As a general rule, pendants are hung about 30-36 inches (75 to 90cm) above the counter surface, but you can change this according to the design of the fixture and the main purpose of the light.

2. Find the right pendant for the job

Depending on the main function of your kitchen island, and the types of lighting already available in your kitchen, you may need different types of illumination. If the primary use of your island is food preparation, you are going to need task lights – bright pendants (aiming downwards and ideally with an open or translucent bottom) which help illuminate the area so you can work safely.

If your kitchen island is more of a space for mingling and light snacks than vigorous chopping, ambient light is the best choice for you. To ensure good lighting for the whole area rather than a targeted spot, opt for a few pendants* you can spread out, or a multiple-bulb fixture which will provide even glow and avoid metal shades which only emit the light below.

(*While interior design often follows the rule of three, don’t feel restricted to having three pendants over your kitchen island – two larger pendants, for instance, might work better for your individual case than three smaller ones!)

3. Style it right

As we mentioned before, there is a whole lot of pendant light styles to choose from when it comes to the lighting of your kitchen island. There are a few things to consider when picking the design of your fixtures, such as the other lights already visible in the room (especially in open-plan spaces) and the materials used in the rest of the décor.

Clearly Classy

While clear glass pendants are undoubtedly the perfect choice if you need more subdued lighting solution, they could also be styled in a way which adds elegance and sparkle to your kitchen island.  Choose a clean-cut solution like the Upton Ribbed Glass Pendant if you want a fixture that won’t overwhelm the space and obstruct the view, regardless of its size.

Courtesy of @laurabutlermadden

For a more exciting look, opt for pendants featuring an accent, such as the Wellington Clear Glass Pendant light, whose elegant shape makes the simple glass shade sophisticated and edgy. For a truly modern statement which is sure to make an impression, try using cluster pendant lights together over the counter – the Herefordshire Staged Pendant Chandelier, for instance, features a cluster of glass shades hung at different heights.

Modern Muscle

Industrial pendant lights are ideal for adding some muscle to both traditional and modern kitchens. Choose a rough-hewn pendant with a metal finish, such as the Twist Flex Pendant Light Set, for a truly modern industrial feeling, and match it with other materials in the room such as cabinet knobs or a fancy faucet to make the overall design of the space look seamless and integrated.

Alternatively, opt for the clean, classic look of our Industrial Steel Pendant Lights, which will make your kitchen feel sleek and professional. Metallic pendants look particularly well combined with a similar material kitchen island, like granite for instance.

Choice of Colours

Add pizzazz to your kitchen with a coloured pendant, like the quirky Converted Gramophone Trumpet Pendant, which you can even match with your backsplash for a truly uniform décor.

White pendant lights, on the other hand, are simplistic and minimal – a fixture such as the Upton Ceramic Pendant Light will add a touch of elegance to your modern kitchen, and look graceful over the kitchen island.

Browse our full range of kitchen lights.