How to Choose the Right Pendants for Your Kitchen

When it comes to kitchen lighting, we think any space can benefit from a pendant (or two or three). Along a counter or island, above a sink, or over a breakfast nook, the ideal pendant delivers a mix of style and practicality. Pendants are more than just a trendy accessory to your kitchen’s design – they provide excellent lighting for kitchen tasks and overall ambience.


With such a wide range of styles and shapes, it can be hard to know where to begin when picking out pendants. Here are our tips for choosing the best pendant to bring personality and functionality to your kitchen:

1. Determine Your Lighting Needs


Do you want your pendants to provide ambient lighting that fills your entire space or direct task lighting for kitchen chores by the sink or counter?  Many pendants can be used for either task or ambient lighting, as long as they are installed at the correct height (more about that in step #4). However, certain pendants – such as those with metal shades – are best suited for task lighting, while pendants with glass or open cage shades will cast an ambient glow over your entire kitchen.

2. Choose Your Style


It’s important to consider the overall décor of your kitchen when selecting pendants. Of course, you’ll want to pick ones that complement your design scheme. If you’re looking for lighting that will blend seamlessly, choose a fixture with a style that precisely matches your space. Another popular trend is to create delicate juxtaposition with lighting, meaning you would select a pendant that slightly contrasts with your room style. For example, if you have a traditional kitchen, a clean-lined metallic pendant is an unexpected twist.

3. Find the Right Size


Whether you are hanging one pendant over a sink or multiple pendants over an island, make sure to position your fixture properly. To minimize head bumps, a pendant should be at least 12 inches smaller in diameter than the sink, counter, island, or table.

4. Find the Right Height


There is no strict measurement for the best pendant height. It depends on your specific fixtures, ceiling height, and personal preference. However, as a general rule, aim to hang them 28 to 36 inches above your surface. And it’s best to position your pendants a minimum of 12 inches from your ceiling. Also, make sure to measure your desired height before purchasing fixtures. Many pendants are adjustable, but some do have a fixed length.

Now that you know the basics, check out some of our favorite styles:

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