40 Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas That Will Make a Luminous Statement

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The kitchen island acts as a focal point in any culinary space, so lighting is especially important. And since you undoubtedly spend a lot of time at the central hub chopping, prepping, eating, and chatting with family and friends, a little extra illumination might come in handy.


But selecting the right lighting comes down to your interior design style and the number of fixtures you'll want to hang. "Consider the view," says interior designer Samantha Struck of StruckSured Interiors. "If you want your eye to travel through your dining area to a window or something off in the distance, choose lighting that is minimal and disappears. If you want something that stands out, be sure to check the scale and proportion of the light fixture relative to the island."

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After narrowing down the visuals you're drawn to, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty. A great place to start is the number of lights you'd like to hang. Plus, even though pendants tend to be the lighting of choice over kitchen islands, know that your options can also extend to chandeliers, flush mounts, semi-flush mounts, track lighting, and recessed lighting.

"Lighting can be such a feature and it should either be something you love, or minimal to highlight something in your space that you love more," Struck says. "There are no rules, think of lighting as the jewelry of your space."


From minimalist to farmhouse, these lighting ideas will help you narrow down your choices.

40 Luminous Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas

1. Provide an even layer of light with three pendants.

Since lighting can be easily switched out, the space above a kitchen island is the perfect place to follow your whims or try out a trend that may not stand the test of time, without breaking the bank. LT Homes selected a trio of streamlined pendants to illuminate the stunning waterfall countertop of this island. The simple design offers a visually pleasing detail that isn't distracting.


2. Use old-school milk glass.

Milk glass has been popular for decades, and you can bring the retro look into your kitchen design with a hanging pendant or two. Here, in this vintage-inspired cook space by Garrett and Cathy of The Grit and Polish, a pair of milk glass pendant lights, sporting aged brass, look picture-perfect.



3. Welcome candelabra-style lanterns.

Although lanterns were used to light homes before electricity, the look is still popular today, albeit with a modern twist. Instead of candles, the fixtures feature lightbulbs with a candle-like shape and the frames flaunt on-trend finishes. For this classic all-white kitchen, Kristen of Kristen Myers & Co. selected a pair of brass pendants to match the cabinet hardware and fixtures. The timeless addition adds the perfect dose of sparkle.


4. Get rustic with barn lights.

Farmhouse kitchens really don't look the part until they are topped off with proper lighting — we recommend tried-and-true barn lights. In this culinary space designed by Christina and Renee of Park & Oak Interior Design, the pendants look right at home.


5. Bring some old-world flair into your kitchen design.

If you're drawn to home decor that looks like it could be from a bygone era, you can't go wrong with these pendants. The bronze and antique brass finishes plus the simple silhouette, complete with chain, will undoubtedly add a hint of old-world flair to your kitchen. Mollie of Design Loves Detail nailed the look in this white setup.



6. Add a luxurious note with crystal chandeliers.

It doesn't get any more glamorous than a crystal chandelier. While you may picture these fancy light fixtures in formal dining rooms or grand foyers, they can also look right at home in the kitchen. Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble went with a matching pair above this kitchen island, and the result is elegant and luxurious.


7. Match the finish of your appliances.

Factory-style pendants have a utilitarian quality that transcends passing trends and blends in seamlessly with a wide assortment of decor styles — especially industrial or farmhouse. In this kitchen, by Townsend Interiors, the metallic fixtures look positively radiant hanging above the blueish-gray island. Not to mention, the fixtures also match the stainless steel appliances, tying the whole design together.


8. Embrace unexpected details.

If you're going for visual impact, look for fixtures that bring something a little different or unexpected to the table. For example, we love the pendants that Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble selected for this kitchen island. The undulating design is subtle but unique and very on-trend at the moment.


9. Amp up the drama with a pair of dome pendants.

For a truly modern look, follow the lead of Bria Hammel Interiors and consider hefty dome-shaped pendant lights. You certainly can't miss them and the matte black finish fits right in alongside the other black elements that are used throughout.

10. Display linear details.

In this bright and airy kitchen, Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble selected white fixtures that wouldn't interrupt the light and airy color scheme. However, that doesn't mean the pendants offer little in the way of visual interest. Quite the opposite. Subtle linear detailing is featured on the outside of the shade, while the inside boasts a reflective metallic finish.

11. Maximize boho with woven light fixtures.

A bohemian kitchen just wouldn't be complete without the right lighting. Follow the lead of this calming space spotted on McGee & Co. and opt for a pair of woven pendant lights to illuminate the island and offer an organic note. The oversize fixtures provide ample lighting and bring additional warmth to the mostly white space.


12. Flirt with skinny track lighting.

Track lighting has reemerged from the '80s and become hip again. In fact, we think this form of task lighting looks sleek and streamlined in modern kitchens, especially when hung above the island. In this culinary space by Studio Black, the retro fixture complements the black cabinets and provides tons of contrast against the white backsplash and ceiling. Consider investing in a dimmer switch so you can control the brightness level.

13. Contemplate a sputnik chandelier.

By definition, a sputnik chandelier has more light bulbs than an average fixture, which makes it a nice choice in places where you need to provide a consistent layer of light, such as a kitchen island. The midcentury modern design is functional, yet impeccably cool, and it's a surefire way to add a little extra flair to your space.

14. Combine clear glass with brass.

If you're after tons of bright light, skip the fabric shades on your kitchen lighting and go for glass instead. That's exactly what Clark + Aldine did in this culinary space, opting to hang three glass pendants above the island, all but ensuring there won't be a shadow anywhere near the food prep area. The brass finish provides a little extra warmth and sparkle.

15. Use multi-light fixtures to really brighten up your space.

Do you have a larger-than-normal island? Then we highly recommend hanging light fixtures with more than one bulb. For instance, the team over at Pure Salt Interiors went with these Cedar & Moss chandeliers, which will provide more than enough light.

16. Bring in a square, modular chandelier.

When it comes to ceiling lights, a chandelier will offer the most light, especially compared to, say, a flush mount. We love the modern design that Kyla of House of Hipsters selected for this kitchen. The boxy silhouette is streamlined and elegant, much like the stunning marble island below. Plus, it features multiple bulbs which will provide plenty of light.

17. Inject contrast with black.

In a light-filled kitchen like this one, black pendants help break up the all-white space while adding a hint of contrast. Matching barstools complete the lofty scene.

18. Integrate a handcrafted note with ceramic pendant lights.

For a clear bohemian vibe in any cook space, consider introducing a handcrafted element such as ceramic light fixtures. The artistic pendant lights used in this swanky kitchen feature eye-catching motifs in earthy palettes, something that juxtaposes flawlessly with the marble countertops and backsplash.

19. Mix it up with black rattan.

When we think of rattan, the first thing that comes to mind is probably its signature tan-colored finish. However, the natural material looks pretty cool in black, too. Brooke of Nesting with Grace welcomed the edgy look into her kitchen, and it contrasts beautifully with the warm shades of white and wood finishes used throughout.

20. Consider concrete pendant lights.

While concrete is certainly an industrial material, at its core, it's a raw element that doesn't look like it's trying too hard. You may think it's only reserved for industrial kitchens, but actually, it can work with a variety of styles. For example, in this white cookspace, the concrete pendant lights from Serena & Lily look spot-on.

21. Go farmhouse with a carved wood chandelier.

If you're hoping for kitchen island lighting that's reminiscent of your favorite mountain chalet, you can't go wrong with a carved wood chandelier. Nodding to the outdoors and showcasing craftsmanship of yore, the idea works particularly well in farmhouse-inspired setups, as demonstrated in this kitchen by Anastasia of The Identité Collective. The exposed Edison lightbulbs are an especially nice touch.

22. Add intrigue with different sizes and shapes.

What looks better than a single woven wicker or rattan light fixture hanging above a kitchen island? Multiple fixtures, of course! And they look especially cool in varied shapes and hanging at different heights, as demonstrated by Anne Sage in this cook space.

23. Have some fun with suspension lighting.

If you really want to have some fun, may we suggest suspension lighting? To capture this nouveau idea, opt for a minimal, yet exceedingly cool, suspended fixture, like the one in this sophisticated space designed by Madeleine Blanchfield. The Flos chandelier used here is customizable and can be hung in a variety of different ways, resulting in quite the conversation piece.

24. Consider a contemporary chandelier.

If you want a chandelier, but traditional isn't your thing, consider a design that's more contemporary. For example, in this culinary space crafted by Arent & Pyke, an oh-so-modern 10-light chandelier from Apparatus Studio — that will undoubtedly stay afloat while lighting trends continue to ebb and flow — makes a lasting impression. Not to mention, everyone who looks at it will be mesmerized by its beauty.

25. Opt for a terrazzo finish.

From countertops to flooring, terrazzo — a composite material featuring chips of glass, quartz, or granite — has become quite the hot commodity in the world of interior design. The trendy material has even made its way over to lighting, and we couldn't be happier about it. As witnessed in this kitchen by Katrina Chambers, terrazzo pendants look right at home hanging above the island.

26. Showcase curvy silhouettes.

One surefire way to bring artistic value to your culinary space is by hanging pendant lights with a geometric silhouette above the island. Kate Pearce Vintage did just that in this kitchen remodel, and the light fixtures — complete with Edison lightbulbs — fit right into the eclectic design.

27. Keep sightlines clear with a minimal chandelier.

For something artistic that won't overwhelm your culinary space, look no further than a minimal chandelier. Emily Henderson used this approach in her mountain house kitchen, opting for a fixture by Katy Skelton that really feels more like a work of art than lighting.

28. Celebrate modern traditional decor.

The team over at Christine Zeiler Interiors went all-in on traditional style, opting to go with this two-light linear chandelier from Visual Comfort above the island. The antique-burnished brass finish adds a glamorous touch to the timeless kitchen without looking too showy, and pairs beautifully with the teal island below. The warm metallic finish also complements the wood features used throughout as well as the copper range hood directly across from it.

29. Invite cone-shaped pendants.

This kitchen lighting idea from Studio McGee is a testament to the impact that scale can have on a space. Here, the long island (with room for seven barstools!) is obviously the star of the show. However, it was important to anchor the space from above with lighting that would be equally impactful, without impeding the view or taking anything away from the overall design. Enter a pair of large cone-shaped pendant lights that manage to accomplish that in spades, thanks to white shades with gold interior lining.

30. Mix metal finishes.

While some individuals may prefer to use one metal finish throughout their kitchen, we say mix it up a little to add variety and contrast to your space. For instance, the black and gold chandelier hanging above the green island in this kitchen by Studio McGee provides all the illumination you could possibly need, but it also ties in the black cabinet hardware and range hood. The brass accents offer a bit of warmth and sparkle to complete the scene.

31. Stay understated in a compact space.

Have a small kitchen? No worries. This cozy setup by Elizabeth Lawson Design is a study in how to light a petite island. Here, a pair of bell-shaped glass pendants with brass fittings add a subtle, sophisticated statement without overwhelming the compact space.

32. Hang globe-style pendants.

Globe-style fixtures have become an increasingly popular choice to hang above a kitchen island, and for good reason. They're vintage-inspired (with a nod to midcentury design) but also look decidedly fresh. They catch the eye without overtaking the space and have the ability to look flawlessly symmetrical above an island, as demonstrated by Cassandra Lavalle in this classic kitchen remodel.

33. Match the surrounding finishes.

Besides the white walls, everything else in this kitchen by Amber Interiors is dark and moody — just the way we like it. From the black countertops, cabinets, and window trim to the espresso finish of the wood ceiling beams and the island, the entire design looks and feels cohesive. So take notes of this setup and don't let the lighting take anything away from the dramatic vibe you've created. Opt for a simple design flaunting a dark finish — like the barn light above the sink and the pendants above the island — that will blend in seamlessly.

34. Try a subtle approach with mini pendants.

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This small kitchen still manages to bring in some special lighting over the island without overwhelming the space. This mini pendant offers a hint of visual interest and complements the matte black-and-white scheme. It's proof that you can find inspiration in the tiniest of spaces.

35. Get funky with a geometric design.

Follow the lead of this white kitchen and jazz up your island with geometric light fixtures. Even when they are turned off during the day, the intricate pendant design still dazzles. And bonus: The white hue fits into this neutral setup flawlessly.

36. Stick to recessed lighting.

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If you have a low ceiling or you don't want hanging light fixtures to take anything away from a stunning feature, then opt for recessed lighting above your island. In this kitchen, the simple design choice allows the navy blue cabinetry and eye-catching marble backsplash and countertops to be the star of the show sans any distractions from above.

37. Double down on contemporary style.

Allow the style of your kitchen to inform your lighting choice. For instance, this contemporary kitchen boasts clean lines plus an absence of fussy details, and so does the sleek chandelier hanging above the island. The minimal design, while eye-catching, makes a subtle impact, and the brass finish brings a welcome hint of warmth to the stark scheme without changing the overall mood or look of the space.

38. Lean into industrial style.

And speaking of following the lead of your kitchen design — the pendant light in this industrial cook space matches the aesthetic perfectly. Not to mention, the fixture works with the all-white color scheme and boasts the same metallic finish as the rest of the fixtures and appliances. We'd say that's a win-win-win.

39. Incorporate a little wood.

Metallic finishes such as brass, bronze, and chrome tend to get all of the attention when it comes to lighting ideas, but what about wood? The linear fixture hanging in this cook space flaunts a combination of light wood (which matches the cabinetry beautifully) and polished chrome, resulting in a cohesive finish that's warm and full of natural beauty.

40. Amp up the drama with a glamorous chandelier.

Think of your kitchen island lighting as the perfect opportunity to jazz up your space. But that doesn't mean you need to select overly flashy or colorful ceiling lights. Quite the opposite, as proven by the striking chandelier in this culinary space. The luminous fixture introduces a luxurious note without going overboard, thanks to the simple clear glass and brass design.

Kitchen Island Lighting FAQs

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How high should I hang lighting above the kitchen island?

Lighting should complement your kitchen island, and not get in the way of food prep or dining. To ensure that no one bumps their head, Struck recommends hanging light fixtures between 30 and 40 inches above the countertop, depending on the goal. "If you want it to disappear and you have tall ceilings, you can certainly go higher," she says.

What type of lighting is best over the kitchen island?

Everything from recessed lighting to dangling pendants to extravagant chandeliers can be placed over the kitchen island. Because the island isn't necessarily a prep station, you have a little more leniency on the type of lighting. "We recommend ambient lighting," Struck says. "The main function isn't to help you see when you are chopping vegetables, it is to bring that soft warm glow to your space."

How many lights should go over the island?

The ideal number of lights depends on both the size of the light fixture and the size of the island. Generally speaking, two to four lights should be sufficient, according to Struck. However, if you are doing a linear light, one fixture is good so long as there are multiple bulbs.

Where can I find stylish kitchen island lighting?

Now that you've familiarized yourself with a variety of kitchen island lighting ideas, it's time to do some shopping. Below, you'll find some of our favorite places to discover stylish and unique ceiling lights.