A lot of homeowners frequently ask me about selecting lights for their Kitchen peninsula or islands. Should they have one, two, or three lights? What kind of lights should they put there? Pendants, chandeliers, flushmounts, recessed lights, track lights, or multi-light pendants? If pendants, how high should they hang above the peninsula or island? There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to selecting lights for your island or peninsula and what happens is most people select lights that are too small. I recommend getting a larger size (oversize even) to achieve a more high-end and upscale look. Honestly, there really are no rules about how many lights you should have, although the trend in the past has been 3 lights over an island or peninsula. Depending on the size of your island or peninsula, it is really your preference for type of lights and/or number of lights. It’s not common nowadays to see two or even one oversized pendant or chandelier which I prefer over three medium sized lights. An oversized light over a counter creates a focal point that makes a bold statement in your kitchen. It’s a great conversation piece. For islands and peninsulas with deeper counters, you can try linear suspension lights which are energy efficient and offers a more contemporary look if your decor is more on the modern side. With all the thousands of lighting options out there in the market, how do you start? Below are several different kinds of lights to help give you ideas and inspiration so you can make the best decision for yourself.
If you have a small kitchen, then one larger sized pendant or chandelier would be a nice touch to enhance the small counter space. What I like about using one oversized light for smaller islands or peninsulas is that you can select a dramatic and bold piece that will be a focal point in your kitchen. Even if you have a large island or peninsula, one oversized light still adds a nice flair regardless of the width or length like the image below. It’s a great way to add pops of color and dress up your kitchen.
My personal preference is to use 2 larger pendants over an island or peninsula rather than 3 smaller to medium sized pendants if your island or peninsula is of average size (3′ x 6′). I find using 2 larger sized pendants provides balance and harmony within the counter space of your island and peninsula. Unless you have a large kitchen and your island/peninsula is over 8′ long, then 2 lights would be a better choice to use for medium sized counters compared to 3 if you are considering pendants.
The trend in the past has been 3 pendants over an island or peninsula and it’s still quite popular among designers to use 3 lights. If you prefer 3 lights, then I would use three medium sized pendants versus 3 oversized pendants over larger islands and peninsulas and place them equally 1/3 apart from one another. Again, there really are no rules. The 3 pendants can be all the same or they can have different shapes which I find quite interesting. Different pendants can work as long as it’s from the same lighting manufacturer in the same color family as shown in the image below. I’ve also seen pendants hung in clusters in the center of the island /peninsula or hung at different heights, so it depends on preference and style.
Linear suspension lights have become really popular and is usually contemporary in design which fits your decor perfectly if your home is in a modern or contemporary style. They can absolutely dress up your kitchen island or peninsula and elevate it to a high-end luxurious look. Industrial-inspired linear chandeliers are also quite popular. They can provide a softer feel to a space if you want to tone down the sharp boxy rectangular lines and sharpness often associated with modern styles. Plus, a lot of the more modern linear suspension lights are LED, which are energy efficient compared to incandescent pendant lights. With the electrical codes in the city constantly changing, having your kitchen lighting plan in high efficacy lights (such a LED’s) would be a good idea to satisfy any code requirements if you are remodeling your kitchen.
If you want something plain and simple without any decorative elements because you have a bold colored kitchen for example, then stick to recessed lights which provides general overall illumination. Your kitchen lighting plan should include overall illumination anyways (which are normally recessed lights), so you can just use recessed lights over your island or peninsula counter, or use one oversized recessed light like the image below.
Multi-light pendants are very interesting and I find visually appealing compared to individual pendants. The difference between multi-light pendants and single pendants is that multi-light pendants connect from one canopy. So, you can have 2 or more lights that all hang from one canopy and connect to the junction box like these examples below. It comes in all kinds of styles, shapes, and sizes from small to oversize and provides even illumination.
If you like simplicity but prefer something more decorative than recessed lights, then try flushmounts. A lot of flushmount lights are very simple in style with a slight touch of decorative element in a chrome or gold finish that can dress up your kitchen space. If your kitchen has a bold backsplash or you have a bold dramatic focal point, then I would keep everything else including the lights simple so you don’t take away from the focal point. Your entire kitchen lights can all be done in flushmount lights as seen in the image below.