Innovative Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas

As I’ve mentioned in the general article about kitchen lights, kitchen island lighting is the most important part of kitchen light design (it ties in importance with under-cabinet lights). A kitchen island is often used for preparing food, and many people use it instead of a dining table as well. People even use it for work that isn’t related to the kitchen (such as for kids doing homework, or parents reading the newspaper or doing work in the evening). These are all facts that need to be considered when you are selecting proper kitchen island light fixtures.

In this article I will present to you all the factors you need to consider when selecting the perfect light fixture for lighting your kitchen island. I will talk about some different kitchen island lighting ideas: You will discover whether ceiling lights are appropriate for island lighting, you will learn why most people use pendant lights, and you will also become familiar with light larmes. Let’s get down to business.

1.) Which factors should influence your kitchen island lighting decisions?

First of all, you need to know how you are going to use your kitchen island – will you be doing exclusively kitchen work there, or would you like to use it as a workspace as well? The answer is important because different types of lights are appropriate for different types of use. If you plan to eat at the kitchen island and you like to read while you eat, task lighting is a necessity (if you don’t want to cause problems for your eyes in the future). If you never read while you eat and you don’t plan to use the island for any task that requires task lighting, your lighting decisions will probably be different.

Another important factor is the size of the island – if your island is bigger, you will need to invest in bigger (more powerful) lights (possibly with more light bulbs). If the island is smaller, a light fixture with a single bulb will probably be enough.

Before you buy a kitchen island light fixture, there is another factor that needs to be considered – the distance between the island and the ceiling. This is important when you are selecting the type of kitchen light fixture you want. (I will explain how this can influence your decision in the second part of the article.)

2.) Ceiling or pendant lights?

The fact is that most people choose pendant lights, because in most cases, they look better than ceiling lights. But if you think that a ceiling light will look better, you can certainly select a ceiling light that fits your decor. You need to ask yourself two questions: Is your kitchen island small enough for a light with only one bulb, and will a light installed on the ceiling be close enough to the island for proper illumination? Ceiling lights are more appropriate for kitchens with lower ceilings because pendant lights would be too close to the island.


Picture 1: A regular ceiling light which can be used above an island as well

If your kitchen island is too big for a fixture with only one bulb, you don’t need to give up on the right ceiling fixture just yet. You can buy ceiling lights with several (three or four) bulbs. The benefit of using this type of light is their flexibility. You can change the direction of the lighting at any time, and if the bulbs are powerful enough, these lights can be used as task lights as well.


Picture 2: If the light from one bulb isn’t enough, you can try ceiling lights with several bulbs (source:

However, it’s a fact that most of you will go with pendant lights. Because they hang lower than the ceiling, they are more appropriate for kitchens with higher ceilings. You can buy them in different shapes and sizes, with one or more light bulbs of different types (incandescent, fluorescent, or LED).


Picture 3: A regular three-light pendant (source:

3.) Have you heard about light larmes yet?

As you can see, ceiling and pendant lights aren’t your only kitchen island lighting options. If you want your kitchen to look really special, you need to consider using light larmes. They can be recognized by the hanging bulbs. Light larmes can have a single bulb or many of them. Bulbs can be placed in a line, circle, or square, which means that you can have light above the island in the same shape as the island (for example, if your island is rounded, you can use a round light larm above it). To be honest, though, light larmes have one disadvantage – they are quite expensive, costing twice as much as regular pendant lights. But I believe they are worth the money if they fit the style of your kitchen (which might to be perfect for this type of lights).


Picture 4: The distinctive appearance of light larmes (source:


So, now you know your kitchen island lighting options and you can start thinking about the best one for your kitchen. You know which factors need to be considered, which kitchens look better and are more useable with ceiling and which with pendant lights, and if you haven’t heard about light larmes already, you now know some basics about them. But every kitchen is unique, and it’s hard to say which light will be perfect for yours. I hope that you were able to get some kitchen island lighting ideas while reading this article. If you still need more ideas, look at other articles on and I’m sure you’ll find something there.

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