How to Shop for Island Lights
The kitchen island is a central feature of many kitchens. These areas are typically used for cooking or as a central location at social gatherings. Islands can have ranges and sinks or just be a dining surface.
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The first step in buying island lighting is to determine what type of lighting you need. If the island is primarily used for cooking and preparation, directional task lighting may be your best choice. If it is primarily used for social fathering, softer light may be sufficient.
Making the Right Choice
Once you’ve determined if you need task or general ambient lighting, you can begin to think about lighting styles. Do you have an electrical box already installed? Do you have more than one? These are important features to take into consideration.
- • Multi-light island lights are available in a variety of styles and sizes and attach to one electrical box. For more direct task lighting, select a fixture with individual downlights. To create a more general lighting ambience, select a single lamp with multiple light bulbs.
- • Mini Pendant lights work best if you have multiple electrical boxes or want to install your own, mini pendant lights may be the right choice for you. They provide direct task lighting, but do not provide enough ambient light to illuminate an entire kitchen, so make sure to use them in conjunction with another light source.
- • Track lighting is a popular lighting option that can be used in almost any situation. There are tracks available that fit into one electrical box but allow you to hang multiple pendant lights. For the most design options, select a flexible track so you can emphasize the shape of your kitchen island. Track lighting also comes with spotlight options, so you can customize your lighting system for your needs.
- • Pot racks may include built-in lighting options. These products provide less style options, but free up storage space and allow you to display cookware.
- • Recessed lighting is a safe option for kitchens with low ceilings. There is not much design flexibility with recessed lighting, but it provides ample task lighting and will not get in the way.
The best way to find the appropriate size island lighting is to compare it to the island it will be hanging over. The hanging light should be a comparable size to the island and should not be larger than the counter space. This refers mainly to large pendants with multiple heads whose width should not stretch longer than that of the island.
No matter which style of island lighting you choose, proper installation is important to maximize the effectiveness of your lighting. Island lights and mini pendant lights should hang between 30 inches and 40 inches above the surface of the island. However, these heights should be adjusted depending on the height of the members of your household. They should hang low enough to be a focal point put high enough to not interfere with conversations.
When hanging a pot rack, make sure you have ample support in your ceiling. Also make sure it hangs high enough to accommodate the pots that you will eventually hang.