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How to Select Modern Kitchen Island Pendant Lighting

black cage pendant lights

Looking to give your kitchen a refresh but trying to keep the costs low? Rethinking your lighting could be the perfect solution for you. Adding new pendant lights over the kitchen island brings both a new look and useful illumination that will pay off for years to come.

With there being a seemingly endless amount of pendants to select from, not to mention an array of other decisions, it can be hard to know where to begin. Just a little research up front, however, will leave you informed and ready to tackle everything that comes along.

What Style of Modern Kitchen Island Lights Will Look Best?

You might be a little confused by that question. Wait, I already know I have a modern kitchen (or I’m going for a modern look), so that part’s decided, right? Well, not quite. There’s actually many different subsets of the modern style you have to choose from.

For instance, the modern industrial look favors dark neutral colors with lots of metal, wood, and exposed brick. In this case, black cage pendant lights over your kitchen island would be a good choice, and will fit easily with other decor pieces.

If you’re going for a more modern contemporary feel, then you’ll probably want to go with pendants with glass shades. Bringing a splash of color wouldn’t be a bad choice either, though you should decide beforehand on a few dominant colors to decorate around.

How Many Island Pendant Lights Do I Need?

This will mainly depend on the length of your kitchen island. If you have a large island, which means one that is five feet or more in length, then you’ll want at least two pendants and probably three (we’ll cover spacing next).

For small kitchen islands, meaning less than five in length, then you’ll want no more than two pendants and possibly even just one larger pendant. Mini pendants (12 inches in diameter or less) will be your best choice generally if going with two.

How Should I Hang My Modern Kitchen Island Pendants?

To ensure even lighting and a nice, uncrowded look for your kitchen, you should space your pendants about 30 inches apart. Take your measurement from the closest edge of each pendant’s shade, not from their centers.

For height, you’ll want the pendants to hang 30 to 36 inches above your island countertop. This will give you plenty of room to move around while still keeping the lights close enough to provide even, adequate illumination.

Nearly all modern pendant lighting is designed with versatility in mind, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding lights which look good and also meet your hanging requirements. Small ceiling plates and adjustable hanging lengths are the rule, not the exception.

What Shape of Modern Island Pendant is Best?

Black cage pendant lighting has a beautiful modern look and works well with other decor options, but if you need lots of illumination over your island it might not be the right choice. In that case, look for dome or cone pendant lights. These both focus light downwards, ensuring you’ll have plenty of light with which to work.

Is It Hard to Install Modern Kitchen Pendants?

Not at all, but it’s still highly recommended that you have the work done by a professional. If you’re able, have your measurements ready to go so they can make quick work of things. Know where the ceiling plates should be placed, and exactly how far above the island you want them to hang. This will allow the work to be done quickly and keep your labor costs low.

If you’re more of a do it yourselfer or can’t make permanent changes where you live, don’t worry there’s still options for you! Plug in cage pendant lighting will likely be your most lightweight option, allowing for a simple, quick install. There are plug in options available in most any other shape of pendant also, with the weights still being plenty reasonable.

The great thing about plug in pendants is that they’ll come with much longer cords and typically also with guide hooks. This allows you to run the cords down to the outlet while keeping everything out of the way.

Take these things into mind while planning out your pendant lighting purchase and you’ll soon have just what you need for your modern kitchen. It’s an extremely cost effective way of giving your kitchen a new look, so take your time up front and you’ll be happy with your work for quite a long time.


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