How to Light Your Kitchen Island

RTA Wood Cabinets

Are you interested in upgrading your kitchen this year? One of the most important elements to pay attention to during your kitchen remodel will be your kitchen island. While there are many aspects of your new island to plan (including its size, shape, materials, layout, storage potential, etc.), one important but often overlooked consideration is the lighting for your kitchen island.

If you want to make sure you get the right lighting for your kitchen island, here are 5 tips to help you get started:  


1. Make Sure There’s Plenty of Daylight

Before you start selecting your new light fixtures, first make sure you maximize the amount the natural daylight you get in your kitchen. Ideally, you want to make sure there is plenty of daylight shining upon your island.

You may or may not be able to change the placement and/or availability of windows as part of your kitchen remodel, but you might be able to change your window panes or perhaps even the configuration of your kitchen curtains to make sure there will be plenty of daylight for your island. 

Alternatively, you might want to choose the placement or layout of your island based on the way natural light shines through your kitchen. Ultimately, if it’s too difficult to obtain sufficient natural light, you will probably want to plan your lighting to include daylight bulbs that imitate the sun’s natural light.

RTA Wood Cabinets

2. Choose the Right Layout for Pendant Lights 

Pendant lights are the most common lighting fixtures over kitchen islands. Typically, pendant lights are hung 60 - 64 inches above the floor. However, the appropriate height for your pendants will depend on their shape and design and how much light they will shine onto the surface of your island.

One guideline to conder is making sure there will be at least 30 inches of clearance between the bottom of the lighting fixtures and your kitchen island surface. If you have a smaller island (up to 5 feet in length), you will probably want 2 medium-sized or 1 large pendant. A larger island can accommodate more pendant lights.


3. Consider Your Most Common Kitchen Activities

In order to make sure you have the best lighting, you want to take time to consider all the uses you will have for your new kitchen island.

If you’ll be using you island for meal preparation, you’ll want to be able to add extra lighting for precision tasks. You’ll need enough light to use a knife safely.  If you’ll be using your island to entertain guests, you might want a dimmer switch, colored lights, or other lighting options that can create a sense of ambiance.

RTA Wood Cabinets

4. Strive for Balance 

A useful interior design principle you can use to guide you lighting selection is the goal of balance.

“Balance” refers to the distribution of the visual weight of the elements you introduce resulting in a sense of stability and proportion. The “rule of 3” is often used for hanging pendant lights. However, if you have a smaller kitchen island, you’ll probably achieve balance with only 2 pendants or perhaps just 1 large light that illuminates the entire island.

Be sure to take a look at a variety of professional kitchen design photos to inspire your sense of balance in design. 

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen in 2022, you will not only need good lighting but plenty of storage for your new kitchen.

Here at RTA Wood Cabinets, we not only offer high quality and affordable assembled and ready-to-assemble (RTA) wood cabinets, we’ll also help with your overall kitchen design. We even offer a FREE kitchen layout from our team of designers. Find out more by giving us a call today at: 1-800-788-7575.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Free Kitchen Design