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How to Choose the Right Pendants for your Kitchen Island

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Considerations for Kitchen Island Pendants

How do you light a kitchen island? By definition, it floats in the center of the room and each workstation deserves a clear pool of light, and many homeowners find that pendant lights are the most eye-catching and helpfully illuminating of all island lighting options. Pendant lights allow for distributed illumination and, of course, an elegant statement piece that drops from the ceiling to make your entertainer island the center of attention.

The question is: how do you arrange them? One pendant, two, or a dozen? Centered, scattered, or evenly spaced? Here at Urban Ambiance, we've seen many beautiful pendant light designs and installations, especially paired with centerpiece kitchen islands and open-plan homes. We have all the answers you need on how to place and space pendant lights above the kitchen island.

Realistically, you have about six design options to choose from when it comes to kitchen island pendants.

A Central Cluster of Pendant Lights

An artful cluster of pendant lights is a very popular choice for bringing attention to your kitchen island, plus plenty of illumination for all your food prep tasks or evening homework after dinner. Pendant lights hung in a cluster are often arranged in a sculptural and appealing way. They typically are not all the same length and may not have the same light covers or pendant ends. However, together, they please the eye and turn your island into an artistic statement piece.

"...Pendant lights allow for distributed illumination and, of course, an elegant statement piece that drops from the ceiling to make your entertainer island the center of attention."

Two Pendants at the Island's Thirds

Many, many kitchen islands are accented by a pair of pendant lights. Two pendant lights with their bulbs pointing downward provide enough light for any island, even a long island, by sharing two pools of radiance. These two lights are typically identical for the sake of symmetry, but how do you space them?

The ideal placement and spacing for two pendant lights above your kitchen island is to use the rule of thirds. This ensures they are spaced evenly, with a symmetrical distance between the center and the ends of the island below both lights. Divide your countertop into thirds and place a piece of masking tape at the two lines that separate the thirds. Then hang your pendant lights above the center of these third-dividing lines so they are evenly spaced from the center and edges for simple symmetry.

Three Pendants Lights Over Island Thirds

Three pendants have recently outpaced two pendants for kitchen design trends. Three pendants allow for an even longer island and often look good in a long, "shotgun" kitchen common to many regional home designs. With three pendant lights, you have three options when it comes to matching. First, all three can be identical, which is the most popular option. Or you might have the outer two hang slightly shorter or slightly longer than the central pendant to create a little dynamism. The outer two may also be identical, but differ from the central pendant for artistic purposes.

When spacing three pendant lights above a kitchen island, use your thirds again. Only this time, place each pendant directly above one third of the countertop surface using the central light at the direct center of your island.

Pendants Down the Center of the Island

Building on the three-pendant style is a line of pendant lights down the center of your island - as many as you please. This can be a variation of the cluster pendant design as well. A cluster pendant is designed to artfully spread little pendants in a small area. A long cluster pendant is often based in a bock mount overhead that then drops many small pendant lights along the length of your island. As long as the light fixture is centered on both the width and length of the island countertop, this can be a delightful source of illumination and modern sculpture in the kitchen.

There are many ways to bring in more than three pendants. You might choose a close-set six-pendant line, a line of lanterns in alternating pendant lengths, or a burst of baubles worth of any holiday decor.

A Single Spectacular Pendant Light

For smaller kitchens and shorter islands, you might choose one spectacular pendant light. An artful pendant can provide soft illumination or a pool of light on the island large enough for prep work but without taking up as much of your ceiling.

A spectacular pendant light is worthy of being a centerpiece on its own. Cage lights and basket lights are very popular for one-pendant pieces, as they tend to take up a little more visual space without adding weight to the fixture. However, one beautifully prepared glass shade can make a perfect pendant light for a small kitchen island. In some cases, a single pendant borders on the qualities of a"small chandelier.

Abstract Pendant Light Sculpture

Lastly is the most creative pendant light design of all. You can crown your beautiful kitchen island with an abstract pendant light that is more light sculpture than pendant. Abstract fixtures are special art pieces often made of a dozen or more pendants. These pendants might be made of something special or form a unique design that appears differently beautiful depending on where you stand in the room.

Abstract sculptures in lighting often favor pendant lights because they look a lot like the pieces of a mobile and provide an elegant teardrop style to the artwork. Not only will your kitchen island become an eye-catching centerpiece, but the sculptural pendants also provide ample light for food prep and family activities.

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Find the Perfect Kitchen Island Pendants with Urban Ambiance

Lighting your kitchen can shape your entire cooking experience. The right pendant lights above your kitchen island provide both an uplifting aesthetic and great illumination for your kitchen routines. If you are on the hunt for the perfect illuminating yet artistic pendant lights to hang above your kitchen island, Urban Ambiance has everything you need. Explore our online shop or reach out to discuss your vision of the perfect kitchen island lighting design.

Let us help make your dream kitchen complete. Contact us today.