Ideas & Advice > How High to Hang Pendant Lights above Islands & Counters

How High to Hang Pendant Lights above Islands & Counters?

Pendant lights are growing in popularity as a unique way to show your personal style. When they are used in kitchens, they show off your aesthetic and create essential lighting at the same time. However, to make the most of pendant lights in the kitchen, it’s best to know the best hanging heights over various countertops and how to space multiple pendant lights in a series.

Pendant Hanging Height Over a Kitchen Island

We recommend hanging any pendant lights about 30 to 36 inches above the top of the island. This measurement applies to standard, 8 foot tall ceilings. If your kitchen is taller, add 3 inches for every foot of additional height. For example, if your kitchen has a 10 foot ceiling, then your pendant light should hang between 36 and 42 inches above the island.

There is some room for flexibility, especially depending on the size of the fixture itself and if it is providing essential task lighting. The bottom of the pendant light should never be closer than 30 inches away from the surface though so that there’s no danger of bumping the lights. This height is not only practical, but it’s aesthetically pleasing as it rests just above eye level of anyone standing nearby and is out of the immediate line of sight for those sitting at the island.

Pendant Light Height for Countertops

The same recommendation of hanging a pendant light 30-36 inches above the surface applies to countertops as well. If the room has taller ceilings, then you can raise your pendant light according to the formula described above. The exact height will depend on what lights you choose and if you are seeking to create task lighting or ambient lighting.

Since countertops are used for cooking and prep work, it is vital to consider some sort of task lighting for that area. That essential can come through pendant lights with narrowed down lighting or it can come from nearby under cabinet lights. Neither approach is wrong for brightening a kitchen, so as long as you choose your task lighting intentionally, you can create a workspace that is fully functional and aesthetically pleasing with pendants as the primary task lighting or general ambient lighting.

How Many Pendants Should I Place Above My Kitchen Island?

Whether you are using your pendant lights for ambiance or task lighting, it is important to have them evenly distributed and the proper distance from one another. As a general rule, pendant lights should be about 30 to 32 inches away from one another.

To get the best consistency, measure from bulb to bulb instead of edge to edge. Also, be sure that the sides of the pendant lights are all at least 6 inches away from the edges of the island. For more guidance, look out our guide for how many pendant lights over a 7 foot island.

When used properly, pendant lights can add essential lighting to your kitchen and showcase your personal style. While they are infinite possibilities for different pendants, different layouts, and lighting solutions, the guidelines detailed above can help you illuminate your kitchen and create the best space possible.


Your discount code is on its way.