Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Kitchen Island Lighting

Getting the lighting right on your kitchen island is essential to making the extra work space work efficiently in your kitchen. There are a huge range of lighting options around for kitchen islands - the style of lighting is usually similar to that of a pool table or bar, with a line of lights hanging above the bench. But you'll also need to consider how your kitchen island lighting will integrate with the rest of your kitchen. In this article we'll look at some ideas and tips for lighting a kitchen island.

Task Lighting and Ambient Lighting

Let's start with the difference between task lighting and ambient lighting. Task lighting is the type used in work spaces - it is direct and bright. Ambient lighting is the more general illumination of your room. It sets the tone and is usually warm and soft.

Obviously you'll need task lighting for your kitchen island workspace. This should be situated both directly above and slightly in front of your kitchen island. That way, you'll create a well-lit workspace that eliminates shadows, making food preparation easier and less dangerous.

Your task lighting will need to gel with your ambient lighting - too little ambient lighting will mean the contrast between the two is too great, putting strain on your eyes. Too much ambient lighting may overpower the room and make it a less pleasant place to stay and entertain. Consider installing dimmer switches for your ambient lighting - that way, you'll have complete control over your environment.

Light Fixture Styles for Kitchen Islands

Rows of pendant lights are a stylish choice for kitchen islands, particularly if you've got a high ceiling. Other suspended lights also work well and there is a huge variety of lighting on the market suited to kitchen islands, from the very basic to elaborate, gothic fixtures bordering on chandeliers.  If you do use suspended lights, they should be between 30 inches and 36 inches above the table height.

Track lighting is another good option for task lighting. The position of your lights can be adjusted as needed and the tracks can look particularly good in a modern, minimal kitchen. If you don't have much head room, you could also consider recessed ceiling-mount light fixtures. These sit inside your ceiling, but still provide the strong, direct light that you need to properly utilise your kitchen island.

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