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Modern Glow-Up: 25 Modern Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas for Your Home

Kitchen islands are becoming a staple of modern kitchens thanks to their practicality, beauty, and style potential. A large portion of designing a kitchen island is considering what lighting fixtures will balance the surface, accent your style, and add practical lighting to the room. To guide you through choosing the best kitchen island lights, look at our 25 modern kitchen island lighting ideas, tips, tricks, and inspiration photos.

Mid Century Modern

Mid century modern style takes the best of two styles and creates a timely, artistic balance. The Arca Linear Pendant light uses classic warm wood tones and sculptural elements to show off a mid century style, but the streamlined design and modern illumination draws it into the modern day. Mid century modern pendant lights like this one are ideal for adding an unexpected style to any kitchen or supporting other mid century furniture/accents.

Finding Balance

Each kitchen is unique in its layout. Because of that, it may not make sense to center a chandelier or pendant light over the middle of the island. Find inspiration with this modern kitchen; instead of basing the light's position on the center of the island, this linear light aligns with the back cabinetry and seating area. That custom visual balance does wonders in creating a visually appealing contemporary kitchen.

Classic Design

Candles are simply timeless when it comes to interior design. Pendant lights and chandeliers that use candles often convey an air of class and tradition through their simplicity and recognizable design. While these kitchen island and dining room lights lean fully into that traditional aesthetic, there are many versions of lantern lights that suit more rustic, vintage, or even contemporary styles.

Modern Traditions

Modern and traditional styles are often paired in kitchens in order to create a sleek yet classy space. Your kitchen island's lighting fixture can show the balance between two styles by featuring classic colors in modern, artistic ways. Hammerton Studio's Aalto Starburst Chandelier is just one example of how modern and traditional styles can be blended to create a new aesthetic.

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Cohesive Spaces

Today's modern kitchens often open up to dining spaces or living rooms. In these cases, each room's lighting fixtures often use similar design elements or structures to create a grand, cohesive space. Like this room, you may choose to match your kitchen island lights to the dining room by using lights from the same collection. However, mixing and matching lights from different designers can also help you create visual balance and highlight your unique aesthetic.

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If the kitchen already features distinctive design with boldly colored cabinets, intricately detailed backsplash, and unique artwork, consider accepting these details with a simple lighting fixture. That simplicity will help you create visual balance throughout the room and clearly highlight your key focal points.

Undeniable Style

The Brummel Grande Pendant Lights shown here are very clearly chosen thanks to their structure mimicking that of the vaulted window. Aside from reflecting the building's architecture, these lights also add diversity to the room's style by contrasting the linear, straight lines of the tile, island, and cabinets. Finding a balance between connection and contrast is essential for creating a dynamic, stylish kitchen island.

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Source of Inspiration

Your kitchen's cabinets, architecture, and furniture can all serve as inspiration for your lighting fixture. For example, this modern kitchen uses clean, rigid lines throughout all the room's key furniture, cabinets, and wall art. Therefore, it makes sense that the lighting fixture fits in that same scheme.


Depending on your kitchen's overarching lighting scheme, you may simply desire ambient lights over your island. Small fixtures like these are aptly suited to provide that lighting and create your desired mood. When adding ambient lights to your island, look at the rest of the room's task lighting to ensure that your ambient lighting does not negatively impact the kitchen's functionality.

Luxurious Lanterns

Lantern lights are often considered to be timeless. With their classic structures and motifs, they are well suited to decorate traditional kitchens like this one. However, they can also blend well with modern kitchens by adding in a classic motif and homey imagery.


The detailing of this room's marble waterfall island, black backsplash, and countertops is absolutely stunning. The Axis Moda Doublet Linear Light shown here actually further develops that definition through the textured artisan cast glass. Subtle textural components in your kitchen island light can help emphasize your room's dramatic style and marble.


This modern kitchen places globe pendant lights over one half of the kitchen island. This unique placement allows the already artistic pendant light to stand out as a functional work of art and create visual interest for the contemporary kitchen.

Grand Islands and Grand Lights

Large islands like this can accommodate large chandeliers. Whether you choose a linear chandelier like this or select a light that drapes closer to the island, an extra large island can accommodate a wide array of lighting fixtures. Like this room, you may elect to use a singular linear pendant light. Conversely, multiple pendant lights can be used to spread light over the furthest edges of the island and convey their own artistic style.


Kitchen islands are necessary, functional workspaces in many kitchens. To maximize your island's practicality, carefully consider what lights you will place over the island. Choose lights that provide adequate downward lighting if they are the primary task lighting, and be sure to space them so that you illuminate key spaces like sinks, stoves, and general prep stations.

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Contemporary Industrial

Disc shaped pendant lights are often reminiscent of a vintage, industrial style. However, these shapes can be transformed to suit modern styles as well. These two lights expand on the industrial light's original design by creating a slimmer profile, adding more flair, and using modern finishes. This combination of styles helps define the kitchen island as being uniquely and personally styled.

A Clear Vision

Lights that feature clear glass cages allow for more light to spread on your island and across the kitchen. By using lights like these, you can create a more airy kitchen, add necessary contrast to dark and moody spaces, or simply show off your style.

Black and Gold

Since black is such a stark, cold color, it makes sense that gold accents would provide necessary balance to that color. Even in this kitchen, you can see how the small amount of gold accents in the hardware, sink, and lights add warmth to what could otherwise be a dreary kitchen.

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Subtle Contrast

The cold wood tones of the cabinets are a far cry from the warmer woods of the Claudo Accent Pendant Lights. However, since these lights feature a common material with wood, sharp rectangular structures, and matching textures, the lights do not work against the cabinets. Instead, the subtle contrast of the lights allows them to stand out as necessary accents in a simple kitchen. Taking a similar approach in your kitchen will help you show off a unique accent without disturbing the kitchen's overarching style.

Perfect Symmetry

Symmetry is a powerful tool in interior design. When multiple elements perfectly align with one another, you create a very neat and orderly space. This modern kitchen leans heavily into a symmetrical scheme with its three lights, three windows, and three bench seats. While you may have fewer symmetrical elements, you can see how lining up different elements creates a very streamlined, clean design.

Great Potential

The size of your kitchen island will dictate the size of your ideal lighting fixture, but it is also vital to consider the room's size and height. Rooms with tall ceilings can naturally accommodate larger chandeliers, since the light can be hung to balance the room's elevated ceiling and the ground-level focal point.

Two Is Better Than One

While it's easy to use one central light over your kitchen island, choosing two lights instead of one has its own set of benefits. By using two lights, you can provide more balanced lighting over the entire island, illuminate key workspaces, and show off more of your style.

Finding Inspiration

White is a popular color for kitchens, since it makes the space feel larger, more airy, and more pleasant to be in. When it comes to adding lights to a white kitchen, you may choose to stick purely to that white color scheme, break away from it entirely, or find a happy medium. This room takes the third approach by using gold as an accent color. The minimal presence of this bright accent color has a big impact on the kitchen's final tone and style here, and it will similarly impact your pure white kitchen.


When choosing your modern kitchen island lights, consider how the lights will appear at various perspectives. In kitchens like this that have a more detailed tile backsplash or accent wall, it is wise to use subdued and simple lighting fixtures. In these settings, the lights are still a point of visual interest, but they do not detract from the focal wall.

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Highlighting Differences

It may be common practice to match lights with kitchens and dining rooms that are open to one another, but this is hardly a rule. Like this kitchen, you may choose to use very distinctive lights in each space to define the kitchen and dining room as being separate, one of a kind spaces.

Matching Metals

Kitchen island lighting fixtures come in various finishes and colors. In order to choose a good finish for your lights, look at your kitchen's hardware, appliances, and other metallic accents. While you do not need to perfectly match metals like this kitchen does, it is helpful to choose metals that convey the same warm or cool tones.

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When choosing lights for your kitchen island, it is essential to consider the entire room's lighting scheme, tone, and overall functionality. Your room's architecture, furniture, and built-ins can also inspire your lights' placement and functionality. With the modern kitchen island lighting ideas detailed above, you now have the knowledge and inspiration to choose your best kitchen island lights.


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