How to add pendant lighting for your kitchen

Lighting ideas

Pendant lighting makes an impactful design statement in a very simple way. This contemporary lighting choice, which hangs from the ceiling to provide spot lighting, can transform your kitchen into a masterpiece of style. But it's possible to get it wrong and make the room look cluttered and impractical.

It's important to choose your size, placement and style so your pendant lights work perfectly in your kitchen.

Location, location, location

Location, location, location

The first consideration for pendant lighting is where to put it. The fixtures should provide a spotlight effect that not only draws the eye to that area, but brightens a space that requires that level of light.

You can of course simply hang a pendant light in the centre of the room, or place a row above a work surface to act as task lighting.

If you have one, above a kitchen island (or peninsula) is a popular choice. Often found covering the centre of the room, hanging the fixtures here creates a real focal point. Not to mention the spotlight being useful for food prep.

In the same way, those who have a dining area in their kitchen can consider hanging pendant lighting above the dining table. Using bulbs with soft lighting will set the mood for dinner parties.

Size matters

Size matters

Pendant lighting doesn't have to be limited to large kitchens, but the overall size of the room does need to be considered. The height of the ceiling and the overall size of the room should dictate the size of the pendant shades you choose.

Small, delicate pendants can become lost in a large, open space, but will suit a smaller kitchen perfectly. They also look great above smaller kitchen units, so if you have a narrow kitchen island, it's best to choose a light that looks to be in proportion.

Larger pendants can make a dramatic style statement, but in a small kitchen can dominate the room. Open, spacious kitchens will give these highly-stylised pendants the space needed for them to look great, without overwhelming the rest of the kitchen.

Installation guidelines

Installation guidelines

Before installing pendant lighting, be precise about measuring the area where you'll place the lights. The size of your kitchen, the location of the lighting and the design of the shades all need to be taken into account. Best practice suggests:

  • The bottom of a shade should, ideally, hang no closer than 30 inches above the kitchen surfaces, and no higher than 36 inches. This will create the low-hanging effect the lights are best-loved for, but should give you enough space to use the surface functionally.
  • A singular pendant should be hung over the centre of the surface, to make sure it doesn't look misplaced.
  • If you are hanging more than one pendant light, ensure there are between 12 and 18 inches between each light, and between the end lights and the edge of the surface.
Choosing the perfect pendant

Choosing the perfect pendant

Once you've assessed your space, it's finally time for the fun to start – choosing your pendant lights! This style of lighting is very popular, meaning there are plenty of different styles and options for you to choose from.

For a modern twist on a vintage style, copper pendant lights and glass pendant lights are a fantastic choice. Glass is a great option for anyone who wants the lighting to blend with the rest of the room while copper shades will catch the light and add warmth to your design.

Large, domed light shades are a popular choice for pendant lights, as they add a touch of modern artistry to the room. Available in all manner of materials and colours, you can use them to reference a statement colour elsewhere in the kitchen, or choose something bold to add depth to an otherwise pale kitchen.

For a real design statement, choose a bundle of pendant lights that hang together as a singular centrepiece. Usually made of several very small pendants, these groupings will include lights at various heights and in several shapes, that create an almost magical finish.

Pendant lighting is the perfect choice for adding contemporary style to your kitchen. The expert designers at Wren Kitchens can create a kitchen for you with pendant lighting in mind.  Get in touch to talk about your options, or learn about more kinds of kitchen lighting with our handy design guides.