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20 Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas to Illuminate Your Space

kitchen island lighting ideas for a double pendant
(Image credit: Rational)

The right kitchen island lighting ideas can cement the island as the focal point of your kitchen design. Some people choose to use a kitchen island as a gathering spot, incorporating seating and perhaps using varying levels to separate eating and food prep areas. For others, the kitchen island becomes a high performance cooking station and features the hob, extractor, a sink and a range of built in appliances. 

However you choose to use yours, you will need to consider lighting ideas to ensure that not only does it work well on a practical level, but that it highlights it as a prominent feature in your kitchen. 

You need to consider your lighting design scheme as a whole when thinking about how best to illuminate this spot — it needs to work in conjunction with your fittings elsewhere in the space and take into account any natural light sources too. 

Our selection of some of the best lighting ideas for your kitchen island should offer you all the inspiration you need to get started on coming up with a perfectly customised design for your kitchen. 

1. Varying Pendant Height is a Great Kitchen Island Lighting Idea

contemporary kitchen island lighting ideas

(Image credit: Myface)

Dropped pendants are undoubtedly one of the best kitchen island lighting ideas, but there is nothing to say that rows of pendant lights have to be hung at the same height. In fact, varying their heights creates visual interest. 

In this kitchen, four glass pendants hung over the island have have a fun, floating, bubble-like appearance that sets off the four bar stools from Myface perfectly. 

2. Combine a Central Pendant With Downlights

large kitchen island with pendant light

(Image credit: Higham Furniture)

You should think about your kitchen island lights as part of your kitchen lighting ideas as a whole. In this kitchen from Higham Furniture a large central pendant has been hung directly over the island, with a range of recessed downlights providing general light elsewhere in the room. 

3. Embrace The Mesh Kitchen Trend

modern kitchen with mesh kitchen island lighting ideas

(Image credit: Wren Kitchens)

Mesh fronted units are set to feature highly in top kitchen trends 2022 will have to offer — this glossy white kitchen island from Wren Kitchens has been set off brilliantly by the mesh cage-like design of light fitting above.

4. Lighting Ideas For Small Kitchen Islands

breakfast bar lighting

(Image credit: Brabbu Design Forces)

Ensure even small kitchen islands or breakfast bars get the attention they deserve by using a pair of pendant lights above. The lights and stools shown here are from Brabbu Design Forces

5. Add Colour With Kitchen Lighting

bright kitchen breakfast bar lighting

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

Light fittings are a great way to add a pop of colour or to pull together a colour scheme. The Primrose Kitchen Stools in this kitchen, from Cult Furniture, tie in perfectly with the bold yellow pendant lights above the bright blue island.

6. Black and Copper Kitchen Island Lighting

modern kitchen lighting idea

(Image credit: DelightFULL)

Both black and gold are set to be big kitchen trends next year so the Ike Pendant Lamps seen here, from DelightFULL are perfect for anyone wanting to ensure their new kitchen is up-to-date in the fashion stakes. 

Handmade in brass and aluminium, the glossy black finish and the copper accents deliver plenty of character.

7. Use Natural Light Sources Too

large kitchen island with roof lantern above

(Image credit: Higham Furniture)

Don't forget to look at where natural light enters your kitchen — this is just as important as artificial light. A roof lantern positioned above a kitchen island not only makes a stunning feature but it also works on a practical level, ensuring the space is pleasure to spend time at and making everyday tasks easier. This huge island is from Higham Furniture

8. Use Colour Coordinated Pendant Lights

cream kitchen island with lights

(Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens)

The fresh, airy feel of this Elswick Shaker kitchen from LochAnna Kitchens has been achieved through the simple lines of the island design as well as the soft, neutral colours which have been mirrored in the woven geometrical pendants above. 

9. Add a Chandelier For Kitchen Glamour

chandelier kitchen island lighting idea

(Image credit: Used Kitchen Exchange)

A striking chandelier hung above a kitchen island will ensure all eyes are on this central feature. This preloved walnut kitchen, from Used Kitchen Exchange, is lit from above during the day by an enormous roof lantern — and when the sun sets, the intricate chandelier takes over. 

10. Use Hidden Kitchen Island Lights

hidden kitchen lighting ideas

(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

This stunning contemporary kitchen has a warm, characterful glow thanks to the combination of light fittings from John Cullen Lighting — including Contour LED strips under the kitchen island and low glare Polespring downlights for focused lighting.

11. Seeing Double

blue kitchen island with stools

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

A pleasing symmetrical look has been achieved at this neat little kitchen island thanks to the way the pair of faux leather tan stools from Cult Furniture has been reflected in the duo-style pendant directly above. 

12. Mirror Your Light Fitting Over a Dining Table

open plan kitchen diner with island

(Image credit: Mereway Kitchens)

The design of this large kitchen diner from Mereway Kitchens has clearly been given careful consideration to ensure that the look is cohesive. By using matching glass light fittings above the kitchen island and the dining table the space feels pleasingly 'pulled together'. 

13. Three is The Magic Number

trio of pendant lights as a kitchen island lighting idea

(Image credit: Used Kitchen Exchange)

Pendant lights over kitchen islands look particularly good when placed in rows of three — or another odd number. This pretty pastel scheme features a preloved kitchen from Used Kitchen Exchange and simple cream light fittings that match the seating used around the island. 

14. Go Glam With Gold Kitchen Lighting

gold kitchen light fittings

(Image credit: PullCast)

This is one seriously opulent kitchen scheme. The gold of the Cosmopolitan Skyline Cabinet Handles from PullCast has been picked up on in the eye-catching light fitting that hangs above the island unit. 

15. Multi Tasking Kitchen Island Lighting

rectangular kitchen island light

(Image credit: Olive Barr)

Not only does the glass and metal rectangular light fitting, hanging above the blue Shaker island unit from Olive & Barr, suit the contemporary classic lines of this space perfectly, it is also being used for another ingenious purpose — as a spot for some potted greenery. 

16. Let Your Lighting Take Centre Stage

kitchen feature lighting

(Image credit: LUXXU)

This super contemporary kitchen, by LUXXU, features a range of on-trend design touches, including plenty of marble in tones of black and white along with warm brass and gold fittings. The Shard suspension light sets the whole look off brilliantly.  

17. Task Lighting Can Be Stylish Too

galley style kitchen lighting

(Image credit: Higham Furniture)

There is absolutely no reason why task lighting can't be visually appealing as well as practical. The enormous glass shades of the pendants hung above the striking marble top of the Shaker style island unit from Higham Furniture here, make a real design statement without overwhelming the space. 

18. Embrace Oversized Light Fittings 

oversized kitchen pendants

(Image credit: Rational)

Oversized light fittings are big news right now in the world of kitchen design trends. These fabulous brass pendants, situated to one end of the horizontally-grained walnut effect island from Rational, with black strip recessed handles, pick up on the open metal shelving behind. 

19. Turn Your Island into a Talking Point

contemporary kitchen lighting scheme

(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

The lighting scheme in this contemporary kitchen ensures all eyes are on the island. Using a range of fittings from John Cullen Lighting, the island appears to float, while the lowered section of ceiling above has been given a similar treatment with concealed strip lighting. 

20. Give Your Island an Intimate Feel

low hung pendant lights

(Image credit: Schmidt)

This contemporary yet warm and characterful kitchen, from Schmidthas a beautifully industrial feel thanks to the inclusion of mix-and-match seating and the matt grey units. The trio of pendants over the dining island have been hung at a low level to ensure a cosy, intimate dining experience. 

Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. She has renovated a terrace and is at the end of the DIY renovation and extension of her Edwardian cottage. She is now looking for her next project.