7 kitchen island pendant lighting ideas to glow up your cooking space with

We love these expert-approved kitchen island pendant lighting ideas

An example of pretty kitchen island pendant lighting ideas. This image shows three gray cone lights with bright golden interior installed above kitchen island with mint green and white leafy wallpaper, green cabinets, white marble surfaces and green base cabinets
(Image credit: Divine Savages)

Kitchen island pendant lighting ideas are the perfect way to make this area of you cooking space truly shine.

We've asked designers what they go for when adding hanging lights above this space. Mixing and matching, luxe chandeliers, and even DIYs are some of their go-to pendant picks for this area of the home.

If you're looking for kitchen island ideas, adding pendant lights above them is the best way to turn your work surface into a stunning focal point.

Pretty kitchen island pendant lighting ideas

Both small kitchen islands and larger ones will benefit from having kitchen island lighting above them.

Our experts have recommended specific styles throughout and our in-house shoppers have curated matching picks from trusted retailers.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Mix and match pendant lights

A mid-century modern kitchen with two hanging globe lights - one yellow one glass - a black wall, a bright yellow kitchen island with plants on, and two light wooden rattan bar chairs in front of it

(Image credit: Searle & Taylor Kitchens)

This is a great design tip if you’re looking for colorful kitchen island ideas, as you can really use kitchen island hanging lights to showcase different styles.

“Don't be afraid to mix and match your pendant materials for an eclectic, curated look, as mixing different textures adds so much depth and visual intrigue,” says Jim Gray, home improvement expert and realtor at Agent Advice.

He likes to pair up metal shades with clear glass globes (this Mercury Row Single Pendant from Wayfair is budget-friendly) for modern kitchen ideas.

2. Hang chandeliers

A white kitchen area with a white glass ceiling with a chandelier hanging from it and a kitchen island with gray granite surfaces, a basin and faucet, and warm wooden cabinets

(Image credit: Rehome)

Turn your kitchen island into a five-star location with a chandelier-style kitchen island pendant lighting ideas.

“If you have a large kitchen with a large island, then a chandelier is the best choice,” explains Tommy Mello, design expert and founder of A1 Garage Door Service. “This can be anything from a chic crystal one or a metal one with metallic accents.”

We also like the idea of going for a rustic style, such as the Lauren Foundry Modern Farmhouse Chandelier from Wayfair  — perfect for those looking for French kitchen ideas.

3. Cluster them together

A kitchen with green and white leafy wallpaper, green cabinets, a kitchen island with white marble surfaces and a green base, three light wooden chairs and three gray pendant lights above it

(Image credit: Divine Savages)

Why go for one kitchen island hanging light when you can go for a few? This will make your workspace look so much more polished.

“Create visual interest and depth by clustering multiple pendant lights together above your kitchen island,” says Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

“Clustered arrangements add dimension to your space while providing ample task lighting for cooking and meal prep,” she adds.

She also suggests experimenting with different heights, shapes, and sizes to create a dynamic finish. Or, you could even go for a pendant light with multiple bulbs, such as this gorgeous Wade Logan Wason Light from Wayfair.

4. Go for minimalist colors

A kitchen island with two white coned pendant lights above it, a marble surface with bread, jams, plates, and a basket on it, with a dark brown base and a green cabinet and window behind it

(Image credit: Original BTC)

We love minimalist kitchens, which can be accentuated even further with subtle kitchen island pendant lighting ideas.

Tommy explains, “For a more polished look, you may want to choose white or light lampshades for your pendant lights to avoid any visual distractions.”

He continues, “In the evening, they will provide a gentle and enchanting illumination in your kitchen.”

For those who aren’t in their forever homes, they’re also a versatile choice that can be moved seamlessly between different designs (we like this Better Homes and Gardens Architectural Light from Walmart).

5. Choose customized creations

A kitchen island with three dark green pendant lights above it, a wooden breakfast bar with mugs, fruit, and herbs on it, and white cabinets behind it with a countertop and silver fridge underneath

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unleash your creativity and personalize your kitchen island pendant lighting by going for custom-made fixtures, which is one of our favorite DIY kitchen island ideas.

Nina says, “Explore artisanal lighting shops, secondhand furniture stores, or even get crafting yourself to bring in unique and one-of-a-kind pendant designs that reflect your individuality.”

You can also repurpose everyday objects or materials to create bespoke pendant lights that add charm and character to your kitchen. 

For example, you could superglue fabric (this Horbanual Hunter Green Satin Fabric from Amazon is similar to the pendant light above) onto a plain lampshade, then hang it up.

6. Try linear

A kitchen with a steel black pendant light with two lampshades, a gray kitchen island with a silver faucet and gray bar stool chairs in front of it, and a dark gray splashback and oven behind it

(Image credit: Arteriors)

For long and spacious kitchen islands, consider using linear pendant lights to provide even illumination across the length of the counter. 

“Linear fixtures with multiple light sources offer practical lighting while also serving as a striking design element,” Nina says.

She suggests, “Choose sleek and streamlined designs to complement modern and contemporary kitchens, or opt for rustic wood and metal finishes for a more industrial or farmhouse-inspired look.”

We love the glam Callie Gold Lantern Pendant from Wayfair, which is part of the beautiful Kelly Clarkson Home collection.

7. Look for dimmable lights

A light wooden kitchen island with white surfaces, three gold globe pendant lights hanging in front, and a black window and two wall sconces on a white wall behind it

(Image credit: Wood Works Brighton)

We’re a huge fan of sustainable design that brings together both style and functionality. This kitchen island pendant lighting idea does just that.

Jim adds, “Make sure you're choosing fixtures with adjustable brightness and look into options for energy-efficient LED bulbs (these Linkind Light Bulbs are Amazon's Choice if you need them).”

Many different styles come with adjustable lighting (how striking is this Joss and Main Woven Rope Pendant from Wayfair?), so be sure to factor this in mind when browsing sites or looking in-store.

As you explore these kitchen island pendant lighting ideas, just remember to keep size, height, and your overall kitchen aesthetic in mind.

“With careful consideration, you can illuminate your kitchen island in style and create a welcoming and inviting space for cooking, dining, and entertaining,” Nina finishes by saying.

Once you’ve sorted your lighting, you can move onto kitchen island seating ideas, so your guests have somewhere to sit while you sizzle away.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.