Ideas & Advice > Kitchen Island Pendant Lighting Size Guide

Kitchen Island Pendant Lighting Size Guide

If you are wondering how to size pendant lights over your kitchen island, this guide will explain everything you need to know in order to select the right fixtures, and how many pendant lights you will need for a 7-foot, 8-foot, 9-foot or 10-foot island, or any other size. Read on to learn how to choose the right size pendant light for your kitchen design, how high to hang them and how far apart from each other they should be placed depending on the size of your island.

Pendant Lighting Sizes Over a Kitchen Island

When many of us think of pendant lights above an island, we picture those small blown-glass versions, or mini pendants. These standard builder grade fixtures have become outdated, and there are many more interesting options available today. Pendants come in a wide range of materials from glass to metal and even rattan.

In terms of size, you’ll likely want to think bigger: Choose fixtures that feel proportional to the space of your kitchen. If you have high or vaulted ceilings, you’ll definitely need larger fixtures to feel proportional. The size of the fixture will also affect the spacing between them. A good rule of thumb is to measure the diameter of the pendant, and then double it—that’s approximately how much space you should leave between the next fixture. Scale the fixture to the overall room, and then determine the spacing and ultimately how many fixtures you’ll need after that.

How to Measure Pendant Lights Over a Kitchen Island

If you will be using two pendant lights, first locate the center of your island, and then measure approximately 15 inches to each side. These should be the center points from which you hang your two pendants. Check that you have at least 6 inches clear from the outside edge of each pendant and the edge of the island, and adjust as needed.

If you are using three pendants above your island, you will want to locate the center for the first pendant, and then space the others approximately 30 inches to each side. Again check that you have the 6 inches clearance between the outer edge of each pendant and the ends of the island.

Recommended Distance Between Each Pendant Lights

Pendant spacing should be between 24 inches and 36 inches on center, with around 30 inches as an ideal. Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, but a helpful one to achieve even lighting and a balanced look for your kitchen island lighting configuration. Be sure you space your fixtures evenly if you are using three or more.

Take your time to properly measure it out to ensure your measurements are accurate. One helpful trick is to use helium-filled balloons as placeholders to determine the best scale and spacing for your pendants above your kitchen island. Remember, these lights will likely become the focal point of your kitchen, so spend the time to do it right and establish proper distances.

Recommended Pendant Height Over a Kitchen Island

We’ve spent a lot of time considering the number of pendants you need and the distances they should be spaced apart; however, don’t neglect the right height at which to hang the fixtures! Pendants installed above islands should hang approximately 30 to 32 inches above the surface of the island from the bottom of the fixture.

If you have high or vaulted ceilings, make sure the fixtures you select have long enough cords to accommodate this height. Measuring from the floor, you should allow for approximately 70 to 72 inches to the bottom of the pendant. The height is crucial because you don’t want the fixtures to interfere with tasks performed at the island or create glare. Make sure you are measuring from the surface of the island and not the distance from your ceiling.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Pendant Lights Over a 7 Foot Island?

For a 7 foot island, you will typically only need two pendants. Position them so that each fixture is hanging approximately 6 to 12 inches from each end of the island, and then allow around 24 to 36” between each pendant. You could potentially use one large chandelier, especially a linear shape. If your island is much shorter than 7 feet, you may only need one pendant, depending on the scale of the fixture.

How Many Pendant Lights Over an 8 Foot Island?

Just as with the 7 foot island, two pendants is likely all you will need over an 8 foot island. You might want to scale up on the pendant sizes slightly as compared to a 7 foot island, but you can still follow the same rules of spacing from the edge of the island and between each fixture.

How Many Pendant Lights for a 9 Foot Island?

When it comes to 9 foot islands, you could go with either two or three pendants, depending on the scale of the space and the size of the fixtures that you choose. At this point, it is more of a personal preference as long as you have adequate lighting for the surface of your kitchen island.

How Many Pendant Lights for a 10 Foot Island?

If you have an island that measures 10 feet long, you will need three pendants unless you go with very large-scale pendants (think more than 2 feet diameter). Center one pendant, then allow 24 to 36 inches to place the others on each side. Leave 6 to 12 inches from the edge of the counter to each outside pendant.

How Big Should My Pendant Lights be Over My Island?

Don’t be afraid to go large. Look for pendants that measure at least 1 foot in diameter for most spaces. Mini pendants tend to look, well, too small. You’ll want a fixture that puts out enough light to be functional and doesn’t get lost in the space. When it comes to pendants above an island, typically bigger is better.

How Wide Should Pendant Lights be Over an Island?

The best width for your pendants will depend on the scale of the room. Common pendant sizes are around 12 inches wide, but you’ll likely want to go a bit wider for the best effect. Again, this depends on the size of your kitchen as well as the length of the island and how many pendants you decide to use together.

After reading this pendant light size guide, the process of choosing the right pendants for your kitchen island should feel a bit less daunting than before. Now that you know how to choose the right pendant light size and how to space them, the only challenge left is determining the right aesthetic for your kitchen, but that’s the fun part!


Your discount code is on its way.