How to perfectly space pendant lights over an island

From light spacing to hanging height we’ve curated the must-knows for achieving the perfect pendant light spacing over a kitchen island

How far apart to space pendant lights

Pendant light spacing over island explained

For smaller pendant lights, try to keep 30 inches between each light. Or for larger lights, aim for at least 2 times the pendant width between each light. It can be tempting to ditch this rule, but skipping this key step can lead to a crowded feel in the kitchen

For example, a 15-inch wide pendant light would need 30 inches between each light.

How much space to leave between the pendant and the edge of the island

Keep a minimum of 6” between the pendant and the edge of the island. If you’re considering 3 pendant lights over your island, pay close attention to this one. Following this step will ensure that adequate space is left around the island for functionality, while also keeping the pendant lights more centered.

How high to hang pendant lights above an island

To perfect spacing pendant lights over islands, Leave 30-36” of space between the base of the light and the island. Generally, this rule will allow the kitchen island to keep its open feel without compromising on visibility or functionality. Now for the second critical factor, your ceiling height.

Calculating space for 2 pendant lights

  1. Measure your island length and find the center point.
  2. Measure 1 pendant width on each side of this point and this is where you will place the edge of your two pendants
  3. Measure the distance between the pendants and the island edge to ensure there are 6 inches
  4. If there’s less than 6 inches, then consider opting for smaller pendant lights
  5. If there’s more than 6 inches, then play around moving both pendants between 6–12 inches from the edge to see what looks best
  6. If there’s more than 12 inches from the pendant light to the edge of the island, then opt for larger pendants and repeat the process

Calculating space for 3 pendant lights

  1. Measure your island length and find the center point
  2. Center your middle pendant light over this point
  3. Measure 2 times the pendant width on each side of the center pendant, and this is where you will place the edge of your remaining two pendants
  4. Place the outer side of each pendant at this point
  5. Measure the distance between the pendant and island edge to ensure there are 6 inches
  6. If you’re working with less or more than 6 inches, then follow steps 4–6 shown for 2 pendants.

What height should pendant lights hang?

Pendant light height over island explained

The best height for islands with 8-foot ceilings

Sticking to 36” between the island and the pendant light is a great option. You’ll be maximizing the space and preventing the pendant light from obstructing the line of sight in your kitchen. Although style choice is flexible, shorter pendant lights typically work best with lower ceilings to ensure the space retains its open, spacious feel.

The best height for islands with 9-foot ceilings

Anywhere between 30” to 36” works well. Now we know it’s tempting to go gung ho and jump straight into installing your pendant light at 30” but taking the time to explore multiple designs is the best way to make the most of the large canvas you’re working with.

Top tip: Measure the height between the floor and the pendant height next to the island and ensure that the pendant won’t obstruct the view of the tallest person in your household.

How many pendant lights to use over an island?

Using our simple calculations will help you gauge which pendant light setups are an ideal option for your space. But first, let’s explore our general pendant light-size recommendations.

How many pendant lights for a 7-foot island?

Using 2 smaller pendant lights that are 15 inches in width works best for a 7-foot island

How many pendant lights for an 8-foot island?

Installing 2 medium pendant lights that are between 18–21 inches will work best for an 8-foot island

How many pendant lights for a 10-foot island?

Go for 3 smaller pendant lights for a 10-foot island, opt for pendant lights that are at least 15 inches wide

How many pendant lights for an 11-12-foot island?

3 medium pendant lights between 16–17 inches and upwards work best for 11-foot or 12-foot islands

Choosing the right pendant light size

We’ve shared our best recommendations above based on island size, but as a general rule avoid going for lights smaller than 15 inches. When planning what size pendant lights to use over an island, we found this size works well universally and ensures the light stands out as a feature in the space.

Looking for bigger and better? Larger pendant lights work as a charming centerpiece, however, be sure to stick to the simple calculation we’ve shared to ensure you’re not overdoing it.

For more Kitchen ideas and tips, check out our related posts.

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