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Ideas and Inspiration

Dec 22, 2013

Lighting Tips

Your Five-Step Guide to Island Lighting Design


 How-to Choose the Right Kitchen Island Lighting

 50108Access adjustble semi flush island light

The kitchen island is one of the most functional and versatile areas in your home. Centrally located and serving as a morning breakfast stop, dinner prep and work station, as well as a gathering spot for entertaining and showcasing decorative kitchen accessories.

From classic and traditional to rustic and futuristic, an island light is a major design feature vital to the look and usefulness of your kitchen.  Choose wisely and install with precision to create balance and deliver the perfect blend of ambient, task and accent illumination.


5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Island Light(s) for your Kitchen

1.  Provide for plentiful, energy-efficient task light with  LED (light emitting diode) light fixtures.  New LED lamps are dimmable and available with improved color-rendering and color temperature.  Look for bulbs with a CRI (color rendering index) of at least 80 and CCT (correlated color temperature) between 2700K and 3500K.

2. For ambient or general illumination, recessed lighting may be added to blend with a decorative island fixture.  New OLED (organic light emitting diode) island lights are ideal for general illumination.  OLED light fixtures are outstanding and the illumination is glare-free, crisp and clean.  You may choose to use a variety of pendant lamps, track or rail light fixtures, or a single ceiling fixture for general illumination, but be sure that all fixtures are shielded and installed at the right height.

3.  Browse lighting stores and designer lighting websites to get an idea of what type of kitchen island light fixtures would work best in your space.  Keep the lighting traditional, if you have a country kitchen; go with a more high-tech modern design, in a contemporary kitchen.  The trend toward urban, rustic and organic minimalism offers the ideal venue for many of the new kitchen island fixtures for 2014.

4.  If you have a large kitchen island, accessorizing with a mini table lamp provides a subtle elegance. Mini table lamps also serve to bring the scale of a large kitchen in balance.   Chosen wisely, the right mini table lamp makes a true fashion statement and provides a prized finish.  NOTE:   Be sure portable lamps are sturdy and located in a secure spot, safely away from the kitchen sink or stove top.

5.  Top quality lighting controls and switches are crucial to the lighting design and usefulness of your kitchen island fixtures.  Don’t skimp when it comes to finding and installing control panels and switches.  The right system will greatly enhance the enjoyment and energy saving benefits you receive from your kitchen, the true heart of your home.


•Pendant island lights should hang about 66 inches above the floor.  If the shades are not very deep and there is seating at the island, pendants may hang lower at about 60 inches above the floor.  In rooms with 8-foot ceilings, aim for a 30-inch span between the top of the island to the bottom of the island light; In rooms with higher ceilings, raise the light fixture about 3 inches for each additional foot of ceiling height.  NOTE: Make adjustments according to your personal preference, overall lighting effects, and the size and shape of island light fixtures.  Some island lights look and function best when suspended lower and closer to the island; others look best when installed closer to the ceiling.

•Usually, an odd number of mini pendant lights centered over the island creates better balance. Install one pendant lamp per every two feet of island space.  For example, a six-foot island requires three pendants – one in the center and the others 20 inches away on either side. Take into consideration unusual sizes and shapes of chosen island light fixtures to adjust the spacing and amount of light fixtures required. Thin, tapered mini pendant lamps may look better with an additional fixture; oversized pendant lamps may look better installed as a pair centered over the kitchen island.

• Whether attached to a track system or installed singly into the ceiling, the overall ensemble—which may be composed of a few mini-pendant ceiling fixtures, one large island light or two oversized pendant lamps—should measure from one-half to two-thirds the total length of the island and be at least 12 inches narrower than the width of the island to allow for freedom of movement around this versatile space.

Visit an American Lighting Association (ALA)-affiliated showroom for more advice on how to get the best kitchen island illumination.  Certified lighting professionals at Capitol Lighting will help you find the right island lighting, and they will be able to provide the answers to your specific installation questions.

Check out these excellent and affordable island lights from Access Lighting….

“Adele”  23733 ceiling pendants in Brushed Steel with blown glass available in a variety of colorful glass options.

23733_amb Access Adele pendant light

“Iron”  20738 ceiling pendants, contemporary with a fresh new look in brushed steel with opal glass.

20738-bs_opl Access Iron mini pendant

“Tungsten” , LED, energy-efficient, cool, beautifying light.

72924-brz_amz Tungsten pendant

“Kalista” in classic black and white with crystal adds a sophisticated and tailored elegance.

50972-ch_blKalista from

“Phoebe” offers 3 halogen lamps that are adjustable and provide luxurious light over the kitchen island.

50443Access Phoebe 3-pendant on bar island light

Designer kitchen island lighting should not only be beautifying; it should be  durable, energy-efficient and eco-friendly, too.  Check out the latest kitchen island light fixtures at  Enjoy the guaranteed best prices on all new designs, including pendants, mini-pendants and large island light fixtures from Access Lighting.