The key to ambient lighting is to provide a consistent light layer, and recessed lighting accomplishes this efficiently. When laying out recessed lighting in a kitchen, you’ll want to focus on areas that aren’t covered by other fixtures like pendants or undercabinet lighting. In short, think of where your feet will be, and you’ll want to ensure that space is lit.
This is generally where the fun comes in, with decorative fixtures often fulfilling the accent role. While we’re calling them out separately here, accent lighting does often cross categories and helps serve the purpose of ambient light, as well.
Both linear suspension and multi-light pendants can hang beautifully over kitchen islands or over rectangular dining tables. They work best in kitchens that are spacious enough to handle a fixture with more length and presence. For both bright task and decorative kitchen lighting, use a decorative suspension along with recessed lights and undercabinet lighting.
Kitchen lights tend to be more functional than decorative, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the fluorescent panel reminiscent of your college apartment. But picking a light purely because it’s beautiful isn’t the best solution, either. Whether you’re lighting a kitchen island or a small dining table, there are few types of pendant lighting that are just right for the kitchen:
Voltage is a key consideration to finding the right pendants for your home’s lighting system. Interior designer favorite, Tech Lighting is a go-to manufacturer of both line voltage and low voltage pendants, giving you a wealth of options to suit your lighting application. Take time to thorougly understand your home’s electrical system to help you make the best choice. If you don’t have the ceiling height for a pendant or hanging suspension fixture and still want something equally decorative, you’ll want to see the flush mount lighting category. As its name suggests, these fixtures install flush with the ceiling, providing a noticeable element in your rooms without being obtrusive or hanging too low from the base of the ceiling. Layer your levels of light in any given room by combining your ceiling lighting with a pair of wall sconces. You can further layer light in any given room with a mix of floor and table lamps too. Lastly, tune your lighting output to your specific mood or task by using dimmer controls.
Instead of mini pendants, consider placing 2 or 3 drum pendant lamps over a kitchen island. Drum pendants and drum chandeliers are not the first thing that comes to mind for kitchens, but they can offer a beautiful touch of elegance–elevating the charm and warmth of your kitchen when entertaining guests.
Your kitchen countertop is generally your workspace, and this is where it’s most important to consider the work surface, where you’ll be and the light source above. A badly cast shadow where you need to show your knife skills can be inconvenient and downright dangerous.
Ambient lighting is the base layer that makes a room usable. As in other rooms, this is generally lighting that originates from the ceiling. Recessed lighting is the current reigning trend, but you can also look to flushmount fixtures or even track or rail systems.
If you have both an eat-in kitchen and a separate, formal dining room, this takes some pressure off of the kitchen lighting since there will be plenty of light sources in the room. For the eat-in dining area, you can use something slightly more decorative or smaller than you might if this was your main light source.
The kitchen has become the hub of many homes, requiring lighting that can play double duty between illuminating everyday tasks and adding personality to the room’s design. Use these kitchen pendant lighting ideas to help get the job done.
A dimmer is a must for changing the mood of the room between parties, gatherings and quiet dinners. Browse light dimmers for great options from Legrand Adorne and Lutron.
If you have a galley-style kitchen or walkways created by an island, a single row of recessed lights that are spaced appropriately will complete your ambient lighting scheme. If your kitchen hugs the walls with nothing in the middle, you likely want to create a grid with the lighting to ensure even illumination across the space.
Accent lighting is where we get to play a little, with fewer hard measurements and more of a design factor than ambient and task lighting. Popular places for accent lighting include above an exposed countertop like an island or peninsula, over the main kitchen sink or over a table, in the case of an eat-in kitchen.
If your dining room is filled with calm colors and complementary decor, experiment with an unconventional pendant shape, material or color.
A row of mini pendants over a counter provide direct lighting for kitchen prep, plus can add to the rooms overall style. Shown: Zenith Pendant by Tech Lighting.
A decorative fixture can really change the feel of a room. Don’t be afraid to use materials or styles that might pop against the rest of the room to create a playful juxtaposition. Not every fixture has to come from the same family.
For open floor plans where the kitchen opens up to the dining and living rooms, you can get a bit more grand with your decorative lighting, if you like. This will help define the dining space within the larger room and anchor the table and chairs. Go for something bold that scales with the table size but still plays well aesthetically with pendants or chandeliers in the surrounding space.
When using recessed lighting, always check the recommended spacing with your ceiling height and the power of the unit being used.
Ideally, between 28 and 36 inches above the surface of the table. It should be higher than eye level, but low enough to provide ample light on the surface.
The second key to kitchen task lighting is under the cabinets. This is not a fancy add-on that can be ignored, even if you’re looking to go minimal. In fact, installing undercabinet lighting is the best thing you can do to improve the functionality and environment of a kitchen. There is a wide array of various systems and fixtures that can be added on to existing cabinets, as well as fully custom rail kits that integrate your lighting and power outlets into a seamless backsplash.
Standby, retrieving information, this process may take a moment.
If you are rewiring or designing your kitchen from scratch, you’ll also want to plan your controls layout. Most kitchens have more than one entry point, so make sure the most critical ambient fixtures can be controlled from both ends. If you’re not doing a massive overhaul, look to whole-home or WiFi systems that allow you to sync multiple controls without wiring them across.
Pendant lights, hanging lights and ceiling suspensions can help personalize a space and put your sense of style on display. Contemporary pendant lights give a room a unique sense of structure and substance, showing funky and sometimes fascinatingly strange shapes. Pendants set the tone for whatever room or environment they are in and whether contemporary or not, these hanging ceiling fixtures create a sense of collected calm that is appropriate for the room. Hanging lamps also offer an alternative to traditional chandeliers or portable table lamps and floor lamps, contributing illumination from a single light source rather than many.
Description: The watery layers of color in the LBL Lighting Aquarii Pendant point to its oceanic inspiration. The shade is a perfect sphere of blown glass, available in Steel Blue, Ivory or Opal, complemented by a Bronze or Satin Nickel finish …
If recessed lighting is not an option, do not fret. Well-powered flushmounts can be equally effective if you choose locations that provide even lighting throughout the space.
And if you are having trouble moving power around in the ceiling, a track or monorail system will work. The trick here is making sure the lights do not create too much glare. Look to ones with a wide beam spread instead of a narrow spotlight to keep the light from looking like an art gallery.
Depending on where you need a pendant light installed in your home, you will need to choose a size appropriate for the space and the available ceiling real estate. This selection of pendant lighting includes a variety of sizes to help you find the best lighting solution for almost any need with a multitude of shapes, diameters and hanging lengths to choose from. Before you begin your search, properly measure the space where the ceiling light will be installed to have a gauge of how large (or small) your new lighting needs to be. For most kitchens and dining rooms, you’ll want to be cognizant of how far the light fixture will hang over the surface of the table so as to provide plenty of illumination without making the room feel small. Likewise, for kitchen island lighting, jot down the space between the island’s surface and the base of the fixture to ensure ample light is spread. With measurements ready, begin your search by finding the right shape for your application. From round pendants to linear pendants and clustered, multi-light designs, every shape imaginable is available. And most importantly, thoroughly review the sizing dimensions of a pendant you are interested in to determine its height, width, length and weight (especially for oversized pendants). If you have any questions about how to choose the right size pendant light, please call our lighting experts at 877.445.4486.
As with any form of contemporary home decor, you are well-afforded the chance to show off your appreciation of color with pendant lamps. This highly-curated assortment of pendants gives you the opportunity to find a wide variety colors to use in almost any scenario. Mix and match shades of blue in a set of mini pendants for a cool, yet dramatic approach. Use stainless steel pendants in the kitchen to complement the work space environment of the room and any other stainless steel accessories you may have present. Consider layering the levels of color in your entryway to guarantee a great first impression among your guests. Outfit a minimalist home with neutral colors like black, white and gray, or go transparent with clear glass shade designs. And look to rustic brown or wrought-iron finishes for your outdoor living areas to complement the color tones found in these spaces. Try to consider other elements of your rooms to allow a pendant of choice to seamlessly blend in with your existing decor. Or opt for a personality-packed pendant that will bring a splash of radiance into the room. With so many color options to choose from, you’re bound to find the look in a hue you’ll love.
The kitchen is, as they say, the heart of the home. Whether it’s a weeknight in with the fam or a gathering of everyone you know, we inevitably end up huddled in this space no matter what the occasion.
Description: Simple and sweet, the WAC Lighting Jill Mini Pendant features handmade cased glass in a variety of candy colors. Its familiar shape and finish options give this pendant a welcoming appeal in the soft contemporary kitchen.
Choose from Halogen or …
If you have open shelving or no overhead cabinets, do not despair. Smaller, directional sconces or downlit pendants can be used in multiples to create task illumination and a dramatic design statement.
Other popular options are a pendant, or even a sconce, for providing handy accent light over a kitchen sink. This is a perfect spot to pop a practical little piece of jewelry for the room. For either a pendant or a sconce, a directional downlight provides a little extra task lighting as well.
That’s it! Whether you’re planning an update or going for a full kitchen overhaul, the right layers of kitchen lighting will help you maximize the utility and ambiance in your space.
Don’t forget about the great outdoors! Outdoor hanging lights, UL listed for damp and wet location areas, make relaxing outside after dark a welcomed option. Available in ultra-modern designs to those classic lantern shapes, the selection of outdoor pendants has everything you need to up the decorating ante in your exterior living area.
Undercabinet lights also provide a nice ambiance and work as a kitchen night light to save you from stubbed toes on your way to a midnight snack.
Description: Like a gentle drawl, the subtle gradation from white to gray captures the essence of ombre decor. The LBL Lighting Dahling Pendant features a translucent glass cylinder accented with soft frits of color that give the piece its character.
This collection of pendant lamps addresses a variety of interior design styles ranging from contemporary, traditional, nautical and transitional to those inspired by classic Scandinavian designs, mid-century modern pieces, delicate glass works of art and much more. Depending on the location you need to outfit with new lighting, your choices for new pendant lights is expansive. For a contemporary chic light that meets style akin to the 1950s, you will want to see the mid-century pendant lighting available from Jonathan Adler (we especially love Adler’s Sputnik collection for its retro appeal). For a beautiful brass or clean copper fixture, look to the pendants available in the Tom Dixon collection and if your space follows more of a Scandinavian theme, check out Poul Henningsen’s designs for Louis Poulsen, including the iconic Artichoke Light and the PH collection. On the traditional and transitional spectrum of interior design, your living area is sure to benefit from the hanging lights by Feiss Lighting or Visual Comfort. If your preferred aesthetic is more industrial, pendant lighting from Kichler is a safe bet. Finally, to improve the energy efficiency of your space, opt for LED pendant lights. You’ll find most of the designs featured in this collection offer an LED option that you can use for long-term energy savings.
View All Pendant Lighting Lumens Lighting Planner A Guide to Pendant Lighting Shapes Best Bets: 10 Personality Packed Pendants How To Choose Kitchen Pendant Lighting Kitchen Island Pendant Lighting How To Choose Dining Room Pendant Lighting Living Room Lighting Guide
When choosing fixtures, see if the fixture itself is dimmable, and ensure you select a dimmer that will function with it.
In the entryway or foyer, a large pendant or clustered pendant makes a welcoming statement that sometimes cannot be achieved with a traditional chandelier. As soon as guests enter your home, they will be met with the grace and elegance of your choice of lighting. Consider hanging a pendant in the living room as a conversation piece. You may even want to combine several mini pendant lights on a track or monorail system to create focused and character-filled lighting in the living room. And if you have the ceiling height in any of your bedrooms, be it the kids’ playroom or the master bedroom, any of the adjustable pendant lights offer you the option to choose the suspension length to accommodate your specific ceiling height. Mini pendants are also another option in place of a familiar bedside lamp.
PERFECT PENDANTS SAVE UP TO 30% on pendants perfect for every room. Plus, free gifts. Limited time only.SHOP NOW
This space feeds our bodies and souls, and reflects our personal style in its own unique way. It is no wonder that the kitchen ends up at the top of the to-do list when it comes to updating your home or taking on a major remodel.
Hanging lamps offer mainly downward-focused lighting, making them an ideal option for dining room lighting and kitchen lighting when used over the dining table or for decorative island lighting. Long, linear-shaped pendant designs work well over kitchen islands and kitchen tables, or you can choose to string together a cluster of mini pendant lights for an eye-catching way to successfully cover your kitchen counter tops. Suddenly, the common dining room is a posh hangout for family and friends underneath any of the pendant lighting found in this well-curated assortment. And if it’s a touch of luxury you need in your dining space, crystal pendants make a noticeably sophisticated statement.
As important as it is to select the right lighting fixtures, you won’t get very far without the correct lighting controls as well. Switches are great—but dimmers are better, and should be used where possible to best control the lighting to any task happening in the space.
Task lighting is one of the most critical (and most often overlooked) lighting types in the kitchen. In essence, the kitchen is a work space, and you want to make sure you have the right lighting in the right spots to enable you to work safely.
Linear suspension lighting works especially well over a long counter or table to provide bright down light to the surface below. Shown: Zhane Linear Suspension by Tech Lighting
If you have the space, drum pendants can serve the same purpose as mini pendants, providing bright light for the room and great visual impact. Shown: Inari Pendant by Bover
Over most kitchen islands or bars, having a series of standard 8- or 10-inch pendant lights will overwhelm the kitchen’s “skyline.” That’s where mini-pendants can come to the rescue. Mini pendant lights offer enough task lighting for meal prep and other kitchen duties. But they also add to the room’s warmth and style, as the kitchen is becoming the primary place for casual gathering with family and friends.
For islands and peninsulas, you want to select fixtures that scale correctly to the workspace. Look to leave clearance on each exposed side of the work surface to ensure you don’t to knock your head into it. A general rule of clearance is 30 to 36 inches between the surface and fixture, but this can be adjusted based on your height or the diameter of the fixture.
The heart of your home can reflect the soul of your style. Here’s how to show your kitchen it its best light.
As a space that serves as both a technical space for cooking and an atmospheric space for entertaining, lighting and lighting control is critical in the kitchen. As with any space, we can break down kitchen lighting how-to into three main categories: ambient, task and accent. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need and where.