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Ideas and Inspiration

Sep 13, 2013

Lighting Tips

Top 5 Capitol “Can-do’s” in the Kitchen

How-to Light Up an Island! 

ac342 Artcraft Concentrix Island Light

If chosen wisely, kitchen island lights take center stage and bring star quality to this multipurpose “heart-of-the-home” station.

From classic and traditional to clean and contemporary, island lighting makes a world of difference, enhancing the appeal and function of your kitchen space.  Over the breakfast bar or full service cooking station, island light fixtures and lighting controls should create balance and deliver a blend of general/ambient, task and accent illumination.


Top 5 Capitol Can-do’s for Outstanding Kitchen Island Lighting Design

1.  Opt for energy-efficient task light with CFL (compact fluorescent) or LED (light emitting diode) pendant lamps centered over the island workstation.  Updated CFL and 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 (100 is perfect color rendition) and CCT (Correlated color temperature) between 2700K and 3500K.

2.  Look for shielded, but focused illumination. Light sources should be non-glaring to provide even, shadow-free illumination.

n6800-613 Metropolitan's Continental Classic Island Light Drum shades are all the rage—they look great and allow plenty of useful light to shine through.

3.  Innovative track and rail lighting systems offer decorative and versatile options for lighting the kitchen island.

4.  Choose island light fixtures to accentuate the decorative features of your decor.  Whether you gravitate toward sparkling crystal opulence or primal rustic minimalism, your lighting should substantiate this personality.

5.  Try a mini table lamp or two on a large kitchen island for an additional twist of panache; Chosen wisely, the right lamp makes a true fashion statement and provides a bit of elegance in a prized finish.  A table lamp atop the kitchen island serves as a charming accessory with a versatile beautifying illumination–It is also a great energy-saver when you do not need to illuminate the entire kitchen. * Be sure portable lamps are sturdy and located in a secure spot. Portable lamps should be clear of debris and placed so they are a safe distance from the kitchen sink or stovetop.

good pic for island lamp


•  In general, island lights should hang about 66 inches above the floor.  If the shades are not very deep and there is seating at the island or peninsula, 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.

n6765-257 vineyard haven light

•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 along the length of the island on either side. Take into consideration unusual sizes and shapes of chosen island light fixtures to adjust the spacing and amount of lights. Thin, tapered mini pendant lamps may look better with an additional fixture; Oversized lamps may look better installed as a pair over the kitchen island.

•Kitchen island lights should be installed so that the bottom edges hang about 28-36 inches above the surface to provide an unobstructed view for people sitting at the island counter, as well as for people who are working or navigating around this vital space.

3174.51 Sonneman Island light

•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.

•Include dimming controls with kitchen lighting fixtures to fine-tune your lighting system and conserve energy.  Pre-programmed control systems let you go from reading the recipe with plentiful task light to enjoying an elegant dinner surrounded by soft ambient mood lighting.

The latest designer kitchen island lighting is not only beautifying; it is also durable, energy-efficient and eco-friendly.  Outstanding, novel designs include LED pendant lamps and island lights from Metropolitan Lighting.

n6995-613-l LED Energy Smart Winter Solstice

LED and Energy Smart Pendant Light

n6626-590 Industrial Island Light

Big and Bold Island Lights

To view new kitchen island light fixtures in styles from Classic Contemporary and Art Deco to Traditional, Rustic and French Country… visit or a Capitol Lighting showroom.  Certified lighting professionals will help you to find lighting and accessories that highlight your style.