Island light spacing

Disaster28April 22, 2014

I have the electrician coming back this week to finish the rough in and am stressing over every little detail.

I'm not sure about the spacing for the island light fixtures. I want mini chandeliers/larger round fixture vs the spotlight effect of down facing pendants. Something like the picture I posted.

Right now the sockets/wiring is only 3 ft apart centre to centre and I'm thinking that is waaaay to close considering the light fixtures I've looked at are anywhere from 17-24" wide.

For reference my island is 8ft2" long and 5ft wide (not inc counter) with the sink centered on one side with pots lights above that.
I am thinking of telling the electrician to have the lights roughly 50 inches apart which would make them 2ft in from each edge of the island.

Am I crazy?? Will it look off??

I really like the idea of having the fixtures with multiple light bulbs and pretty much all the lighting in the open concept kitchen/main floor is pots.


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I'm figuring this out too...TODAY! Yikes. My thought was dividing the island into thirds lengthwise, and installing the two pendants a third of the way from each end. I'm curious about other opinions.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:03PM
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If you're looking for full coverage task lighting, it's completely dependent on how high above the counter the lights are hung, and the beam spread of the light - we still haven't gotten ours quite right. If you're just looking for general light (and I think that's all you're going to get from lights like the first picture), then it doesn't really matter much, but there is no way the two lights in the first picture will shed shadow-free light on the entire island.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:39PM
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I think you need more than 30".
My island is roughly the same length as yours and I have 3 pendants spaced with 30" on center. My pendants are only approx. 6" dia. though. Even so, I'd still place yours farther apart than 30". However, 50" might be a little too much.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:21PM
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You need to also look at the recessed lighting plan for the main lighting of the island if you choose decorative fixtures like you show. They won't provide good even shadowless light to work by .Especially for an island that's 60" in depth. The recessed lighting becomes your task lighting instead of the pendants. And they should be on a dimmer so that during parties, you can dim them down and just let the pendants be the feature.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Aside from the lights over the island we have a total of 9 recessed lights along the edges of the perimeter counter and island and above the sink. There will also be under cabinet lighting around the perimeter as well as decorative lighting in 4 glass cabinets. The electrician has factored in task lighting when laying out the pot lights. The two fixtures over the island are more for ambient/additional light .

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 2:30PM
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I'll tag onto the end of this thread. I've just posted the layout of my island elsewhere too. I'm a bit up in the air about the length of my overhang, where to put the island in relation to the elements of the room, and where to put the pendants in relation to the island.

Actually, I'm wondering if I can choose where to put the island based on being able to use an existing ceiling fixture/outlet/hole.

I'm going to proceed using an easy number to deal with...80" island length. That's a 17" seating overhang, which likely won't be exactly what I'll go with, but I need something to start with and it makes for an easy starting point to talk lighting. I haven't considered granite overhang on the bookcase end yet either.

My three pendants are two with 6" diameter (p), and one with 10" diameter (P) which will go in the center (it will also probably be raised a bit).

As a starting point for spacing, I was thinking:
15"- p - 25" - P - 25" - p - 15"

That would be for the centers of the pendants. That would leave gaps of 17" between them (I think).

The existing ceiling fixture I'm hoping to use for the Eastern end of the island. The center of the hole is 76" from the wall. There will be a 13" tall cabinet on the wall. Leaving 63". With that 15" overhang, that leaves 48" walkway there. The main family entrance to the house is on that Eastern wall, next to that 13" cabinet. Meaning, you walk in and face that bookcase at the end of the island.

I actually had the island planned a little closer to the door, leaving about a 45" walkway, but that would put that ceiling fixture 18" from the end of the island. That seemed too far. It also had other ramifications, but I've been wordy enough in this post.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:58AM
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