Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas (Best and Clear Lighting Style)

Kitchen Island Lighting IdeasA kitchen island is likely a hub of activity where the whole family gathers to do things and share their stories of the day. It is an area where many events take place, from meal preparation, cooking, or even dining activity. Therefore, this area needs to be well lit to accommodate those activities on the kitchen island. 

These days, kitchen island lighting not only offers the best illumination to your kitchen but also features in stylish designs. Well-designed lighting brings out a huge difference in kitchen ambients and vibes. Check out our ultimate tips and tricks of kitchen island lighting, so you can find the perfect one to implement in your kitchen island space.

Read also: Kitchen Rugs

Why We Need Lighting on Our Kitchen?

Activities in the kitchen, such as cutting foods, washing dishes, and cooking, require lighting that helps us to see things we do in the kitchen. Believe it or not, cooking can be dangerous if we don’t take it seriously. Therefore, we need to make sure that our kitchen has enough and proper illumination to help us cooking in the kitchen. 

Here are five lighting types that we need to feature in our kitchen.

1. General Lighting

Why we need lighting on our kitchen?
Source: Cody Torgersrud

General lighting, which also well-known as ambient lighting, is the primary lighting that can make a room usable. It provides a consistent illumination all over the kitchen. This kind of lighting is mounted on the ceiling that spread in every corner of the kitchen. Therefore, it is usually installed in a grid that has certain distances, which depend on the light distribution.

2. Task Lighting

Why we need lighting on our kitchen?
Source: Cody Torgersrud

Task lighting is one of the most crucial lighting types in the kitchen. Essentially, the kitchen is a workspace that needs light in the right spots to ensure your safety. The kitchen countertop is the best spot to being illuminated by the task lighting source above. The other area that needs to be well-lit is under the cabinets. The under cabinets lighting can improve the functionality and environment of a kitchen as well as make them look fancier than ever. 

3. Accent Lighting

Why we need lighting on our kitchen?
Source: Cody Torgersrud

Accent lighting is used for decoration purposes. It is not hard to measure and more works as a stylish element than ambient and task lighting in the kitchen. The most favorite spot for accent lighting is an island or peninsula. For islands and peninsulas, select fixtures that have the correct size to the workspace. Make sure it will not knock on your head while you are standing under. The rule of thumb of clearance is on the range of 30 to 36 inches between the surface and fixture.

4. Decorative Lighting

Why we need lighting on our kitchen?
Source: Cody Torgersrud

Basically, decorative lighting works the same way with accent lighting. But it could be installed anywhere you like either make it as a focal point or give a special effect in the kitchen. It also doesn’t necessarily need to lit the kitchen island area because it works just for visual purposes. You can be creative with design and colors, even lighting scenario effects with this decorative lighting.

5. Natural Lighting

Why we need lighting on our kitchen?
Source: Cody Torgersrud

Natural lighting in the kitchen? Why not? You can also bring in this free source of light by installing a kitchen skylight. Basically, the skylight is a window on the ceiling. The natural light that comes through the skylight can illuminate the kitchen quite effectively as well as reducing your electrical bills efficiently. The worst scenario of installing a skylight is leakage, which may be right for older and not well-maintenance skylights. The advancement of technology already makes breakthrough designs and flashing methods that can solve the leaking problems. Many skylights also come with a warranty, so you just need to ensure that you choose the right manufacturer and installer.

How Bright Should Kitchen Lights?

The illumination level for a kitchen should be around 300 lux for the general lighting and 750 lux for the task lighting. These lux levels differ because of various kinds of activity involved in the kitchen. To achieve those levels, you can suspend hanging lights 30 to 36 inches above the island worktop for task illumination and install recessed lights 80 to 100 inches between luminaires for the ambient lighting.

What is the Best Light Color for Kitchen?

What is best light color for kitchen?

Kitchen island lighting is a vital design element in a kitchen. Choosing the right luminaire color will make your kitchen ready for any situation. Every light colors bring in their own vibes. Warmer color temperature makes people feel welcome and cozy in the room; meanwhile, the cooler tones make the room feels more spacious.

What is best light color for kitchen?

The more suitable range of color temperature might be bright white or cool white, which is around 3500K to 4100K because it can provide a good amount of lights in the kitchen. While daylight color, which is around 5000K to 6500K that comes through windows and skylight also needed, especially in daytime usage.

What is the Best Lighting for Kitchen?

The best kitchen lighting is the one that can be used to see clearly and work safely. The kitchen has several different functions, so it will be great to combine various kinds of lighting as well. If possible, the best lighting to use in the kitchen might be natural light. But, natural light may not cover all of the space and leave some parts in darkness. You should also avoid using only a single ceiling-mounted light in the center of the room. Having just a single light source can make shadows around the room. Therefore, the best lighting for the kitchen should include a mixture of natural, ambient, task, and decorative lighting.

Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas for Low Ceilings

A low ceiling might have advantages in achieving the lux level of the kitchen island lighting. Because of the lower the ceiling, the more economical electrical bills every month. Here are several lighting ideas for the low ceiling kitchen island.

1. Boxy Lighting

kitchen island lighting ideas for low ceilings
Source: Kitchen Architecture

This kitchen uses three kinds of lighting, which are general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Right above the kitchen island, there is a boxy lighting fixture that features recessed light and spotlight. The recessed light illuminates the kitchen island countertop effectively. While spotlights can be really helpful to lit the specific parts of the worktop. This boxy lighting is one of the best examples of kitchen island lighting ideas for low ceilings.

2. Fusion Lighting

kitchen island lighting ideas for low ceilings
Source: Rod Foster

This kitchen island lighting idea is exceptional. The fusion between natural lighting and hanging pendant lighting right above the island countertop is the perfect combination to achieve the best lighting in the kitchen island. You should try this one!

3. Clear Pendant Lighting

kitchen island lighting ideas for low ceilings
Source: Lim Project

This kitchen maximizes natural lighting that comes through big windows and a skylight right above the kitchen aisle. Those openings indeed can accommodate the illumination level in the kitchen, especially in the day time. Add on the natural lights on the kitchen island, and there are clear pendant lightings that also illuminate this area at night.

Small Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas

A small kitchen island also needs a good amount of light. Even though it is small, it doesn’t mean the lux level in that area decreases. Because it supposes to illuminate the same task as meal-preparation, cooking, or even eating. Let’s take a look at these design inspirations that you can duplicate in your kitchen.

1. Shelves Lighting

small kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Darren James Interiors

This kitchen island lighting is multifunction. It doesn’t only use to lit up the kitchen island area but also use as one long shelf to store wine and glasses. This idea could be a good idea, especially for you who use the kitchen island area as a bar to entertain your guests.

2. Suspended Lighting

small kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Levy Art + Architecture

This kitchen has a small island that uses as a dining room as well as a meal-preparation area. This kitchen island utilizes suspended lightings to accommodate the illumination level for those tasks. So simple and functional at the same time.

3. Retro Lighting

small kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Studio Miel

Since this kitchen island functions to entertain the whole family, it is the perfect spot to pull up the retrofitting lights, which blended really well with the overall kitchen concept. The kitchen island lighting looks eye-catching as it can be.

Read also: Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Large Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas

Just like the small kitchen island, large kitchen island also needs lighting to illuminate the area. Sometimes, it might need a great amount of lighting because of its size. Here are several ideas to lit up your big kitchen island spot.

1. Recessed Lightings

large kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Kitchen Architecture

This grand kitchen island installs many recessed lightings to lit up the area. This kind of lighting is good enough to make a base layer that can spread the illumination level evenly to all over the kitchen area. You just need to make sure that the distance between lighting fixtures is between 80 to 100 inches in order to fulfill the lux level of the kitchen area.

2. Halo Effect Lightings

large kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Luxe Classic Kitchens & Interiors, Inc.

A kitchen island is an excellent spot to explore lighting effects that suitable to use in that area. One of them is applying a halo effect lightings. This kind of lightings is not only lit up the countertop island but also lit up the ceiling, which makes the overlapping lighting effects on the ceiling. It is interesting enough to apply in the kitchen island as an entertaining area.

3. Downlighting

large kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Dean Schmedig

This super large kitchen island applies many downlights on the ceiling. Basically, the downlight is similar to recessed lights that function as general lighting. This kind of island also needs to use the 80 to 100 inches distance standard to fulfill the right amount of illumination level in the kitchen island.

Kitchen Island Lighting Design

Nowadays, kitchen island lighting offers many design options that can be mixed and matched with our kitchen style. Take a look at these three most popular styles, such as traditional, rustic, and modern, that can be your next kitchen island lighting design ideas in the near future.

Traditional Style

Traditional or classic styles always never die. Many people fond of this style because it works great in kitchen design. Here are several oldies but goodies kitchen island lighting styles that you can duplicate in your kitchen island.

1. Gothic Lightings

traditional kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: GDC Construction

Cage-like lighting armature complemented by candle-like lightings is definitely pulling-off the gothic style lighting fixtures in this traditional kitchen island. No one would have thought that this kind of lighting styles can be the eye-catcher of the room. For you who like the gothic style, it can be your next redesign idea.

2. Oldies Lightings

traditional kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Gridley & Graves

Do you like collecting antiques? Then, you should try this one. This kitchen installs antiquities lighting right above the kitchen island.   It is indeed one of a kind lighting style that you should consider applying in your kitchen.

3. Classic Chandelier

traditional kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Bob Narod

Chandelier has always been the right choice to represent the traditional style in the kitchen. It is not only used as a task lighting of the kitchen countertop island but also can spread the lights all over the room through its crystals refraction. That’s so multifunctional, isn’t it?

Rustic Style

Rustic style is identical to its rough texture and unfinished materials. It focused on the natural impression and honesty of the used-material itself. This style starts to be in the spotlight these days. Here are several rustic lighting styles that you might be inspired.

1. Rustic Blue Lightings

rustic kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Casey Dunn

This large beach style u-shaped kitchen makes the kitchen island as the heart of the kitchen. It complemented by the rustic washed-blue armature which lit up right above the island. That armature also matches with the color tone of the kitchen island’s under-cabinet.

2. Hanging Cage Lightings

rustic kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Anthony-Masterson

There are so many ways to implement rustic style on the kitchen island lightings. One of them is by installing a hanging cage lighting. This lighting fixture looks like a birdcage hanging above the island counters. It is so unique as well as exceeding our expectations.

4. Wire Mesh Lightings

rustic kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Pillar & Peacock

This kitchen looks complete with wire mesh pendant lightings. It blended so well with the rustic concept of the kitchen. You also can try this rustic lighting over kitchen island ideas by installing a handwoven wire mesh lighting fixtures.

Modern Style

Modern kitchen lighting is the most used style, among others. Many manufacturers produce this style because it is the all-time favorite one. Let’s find your match in these modern kitchen lighting ideas.

1. Modern Pendant Lighting

modern kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: Roundhouse

A modern pendant lighting that has bulbs lighting up to all different directions is really hype right now. Many people use it not only for illuminative purposes but also for decorative purposes. You can try this kind of pendant to accentuate your kitchen island.

2. Ball Pendant Lighting

"modern kitchen island lighting ideas "
Source: Neillerner

This kitchen looks so chic with the ball pendant lighting hanging right over the kitchen island. It definitely changes the whole vibe of the room. The soft color temperature in those pendants makes the room looks cozy and warm. Those lights successfully contrasting with the selected materials used in the cabinets and counters. This kitchen island pendant soft lighting ideas are worth to try.

3. Spotlight Track Lighting

modern kitchen island lighting ideas
Source: R.Z.Owens Constructions

Even though it is mostly used in museums or galleries, spotlights with a track system should be considered to use in your kitchen island. Especially for you who want to show off your cooking skills and entertain your guests. Then, don’t let anyone steal your spot and try this kitchen island track lighting idea.

Read also: Contemporary Kitchen Design


Utilize the right lighting design right above your kitchen island can change the mood of your entire kitchen. Use colors, crystals, or even chandeliers for a sophisticated look. You also need to ensure that you use energy-efficient bulbs or LEDs. So that you will not need to pay a lot of money for your electrical bills. Natural lighting in a kitchen is a must. Consider installing a big window or skylight to make your kitchen as eco-friendly as possible.

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