Choose a Perfect Kitchen Island Light Fixture

Choose a Perfect Kitchen Island Light Fixture

Updated on 5/20/2017

I believe I won’t be wrong if I say that the kitchen island is a very special place in the home. It is the most frequently used spot in our house. On weekday mornings it is a breakfast nook, during the day it is a place for food prep, at night it is also a place of family gatherings. I always notice that when guests are visiting, before and after dinner, the kitchen island is surrounded by people hanging around talking, having drinks or appetizers. The most interesting and engaging conversations happen at the kitchen island. 

Due to lack of counter-top space in our kitchen, most food preparations happen at the kitchen island. No surprise there. I have always wanted to embellish it with a nice pendant light fixture.
Finally, now that the major projects are complete, I can focus on some smaller details.

affordable industrial pendant light fixtures

What is the perfect light fixture? For me, it is the one that is aesthetically pleasing, is cohesive with our style, and also serves its main purpose. Of course, for different occasions lighting needs will be different. For food prep I need good lighting, for friendly gatherings, breakfast or evening tea/wine time I want to have intimate, dimmed lighting. These demands are easy to accommodate with a dimmer. Thus, in this post we are going to talk about style, shape, and size. Those are essential when choosing the right light fixture for you.

How to choose the perfect pendant light size. 

To kick-start my search, I had to know at least an approximate size of the pendant, so it is not too heavy and overwhelming and not so small it will completely disappear. 

The rule of thumb is to keep your light fixture diameter no bigger than width of your kitchen island minus 12 inches if you have a square or long kitchen island like we do. If you have a standard ceiling, the bottom of the light fixture should be 28-36 inches above the kitchen island top surface. For higher ceilings, this number can be bigger. Of course, the length will depend on the design of the particular light fixture. Hang it too low, and you will not get sufficient lighting, too high - and you will get glare in your eyes.

For the long kitchen island, you might need to have two light fixtures, so the diameter of fixtures should be about ⅓ of the kitchen island length.

Of course, the best way to find the perfect size and length is to ask someone to hold it for you, so you can assess the look. 

I also wanted to make sure the light fixture would not obstruct the person sitting in front of me while I am preparing a meal, otherwise, the coziness and intimacy will be lost due to lack of eye contact.

Shape and Style

Our dining room fixtures are visible from kitchen.

rustic industrial dining room

In order to get a cohesive look, the fixture should be of a similar style, shape and color to the kitchen - at least one of those elements.

Here is a current look with that builders-basic boob light:

open shelves and painted two color kitchen cabinets. Rustic kitchen island with butcher block made of reclaimed wood

The light fixtures that we have in the dining room are industrial style, so I will stick to this look while shopping for the over-the-kitchen-island light. 
As passionate DIYers, we considered DIYing the light fixture, but nothing we came up with was a good fit for what we envisioned.
We have open shelves that are focal point of our kitchen and at the same time kitchen is pretty small, so we didn’t want to obstruct them with a heavy fixture. 

I searched online and was amazed by the variety of super affordable options. My budget for the pendant light was $150, but there are plenty of beautiful styles way under that price mark.

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Target. In my wildest dreams I would not imagine that Target would have something decent in style. I have never shopped in Target for any home decor or furniture. I would stop by there every once in a blue moon to pick up things like storage containers or a pack of paper towels. Maybe it is because lots of items are sold online only, but when I searched for a pendant light to hang over our kitchen island, I stumbled upon Target products and loved them.


Love this one - it seems to be the perfect size (14 inches in diameter). Not too big, not too small, and I love the color as green is a pop color in our kitchen. Wondering how the color looks in reality. It also come in a couple more bright colors, so check it out.



Love the shape and color of this lamp. Our bottom cabinets are a similar color. 











This one would complement the steel fixtures in our kitchen.





I love everything about this lamp but the size! It is on the small-ish size - 9 inches in diameter, but I think it is worth trying. It would look great against our distressed backsplash.




So, those are my findings at Target. Let’s move on.

Etsy. I love Etsy because there are so many artisans and some items are so unique.


What attracted me to this lamp is its color. I’m not a big fan of the overall design, but the color! :) There is also an option to get just a shade or include a light bulb for an additional cost.





Love its slick profile, color and size - it is about 13 inches (32 cm to be exact). This lamp is handcrafted.




Amazon. Of course it is on my list! I shop there a lot; it saves a tremendous amount of time and energy! And as a Prime member, I get most of my orders within two days. Sometimes they even deliver on Sundays.


Similar to the previous lamp shade, I love its slick and thin profile, so it will not be very obstructive.






I love its relaxed shape. 13 inches in diameter





Really cool distressed look. The shade is made of iron and it is the perfect size - 14.5 inches in diameter.





Lighting direct. I think this store has every light under the sun; a great variety of any style light fixture. We have purchased from this website in the past.


Love its cobblestone finish, but it is little bit too big for our kitchen island - 16 inches in diameter. I just decided to throw it in here in case you loved it, too.




This one is cute, but again, 18 inches in diameter won’t work for us. Oh, and it comes in many different colors.





This pendant lamp shade is 14 inches in diameter and will work great for our kitchen island. I love this bronze finish, and it comes in many colors, too!




IKEA. I almost forgot about IKEA until one of my acquaintances and a Facebook friend reminded me to check it out! Of course, they have some simple, stylish and super budget-friendly options, and here are some that I love.

Even though it is slightly over the dimensions that I want, I’m tempted to order it and give it a try.




This one with an aluminum body is simple and industrial-ish. Same as previous, the shade is slightly bigger than what I planned, but it actually might work!




This is what I have found and loved so far. As you can see, the majority of the lighting fixtures are waaay under my initial budget! The next step is to order several that we really love and see how they look in reality! I will be sharing our progress on social media - so please feel free to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.


Many THANKS to our Facebook friends who helped us to choose a perfect pendant light fixture for our kitchen. The fixture has arrived and Dmitri installed it! We enjoy its look and functionality a lot!

Oh, and when we first searched it, it was one of the most expensive light fixtures on our list - $138.99. But now it is on sale!

Stylish industrial style light fixture made of iron
Industrial style kitchen island pendant fixture
industrial pendant light fixture
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