Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen Lighting

Remember those old fluorescent kitchen lights? They’re gone, and now you have a large selection of fresh, modern lighting fixtures to brighten up the hub of your home. Though you may already have pot lights or recessed lighting in your kitchen, you may just want that extra sparkle and decoration that a lighting fixture can offer. Each type of fixture gives you a different, yet subtle effect, whether they’re above a kitchen island, over the sink or flanking the entrance to the room. Let us at Williams Sonoma share some important tips on where and when to use various kitchen lighting fixtures, such as pendants, lanterns, flushmounts and sconces.

Where to Use a Pendant

Pendant fixtures aren’t new, but there are new styles of pendant fixtures. It’s a broad term that encompasses hanging fixtures that tend to border on small chandeliers. Whether it’s a lone light fixture suspended from the ceiling by a cord or rod, or one with multiple lamps on it that looks best when spanning a few feet across kitchen islands and carts, these lights will automatically update the space. Here are some tips on types and where to use them:

Single pendant: Use single pendants to accent a sliver of a space, or to fill in the gap where you need some targeted task lighting that ambient lighting can’t provide. For example, put a series of two, three or more single pendants across an island or over a countertop or kitchen table for a shot of light. Pendant lights can illuminate a task for you, such as prepping and chopping ingredients or shining a spot of light on a cookbook. A series of tiny pendant lights can help bring out the glittering flecks and distinct texture of a stone, wood, quartz or glass countertop.

Linear or double pendant: A linear pendant light is one fixture with either two (double) or more pendant lights built in. It becomes more of a focal point in the kitchen because of the fixture’s elongated horizontal suspension.

Drum, bell, dome or globe pendant: Ideal for lighting a tabletop, these single pendants have shades that are larger in diameter than the smaller accent pendants. The shades on these larger pendants offer a soft, diffused light over a table.

The rule of thumb is to hang pendants about 28" to 34" above a countertop or table, depending on its size, and 72" from the floor, which should eliminate glare from the lightbulbs.

Where to Use a Lantern

A lantern has that vintage architectural look, and a single fixture fits well over a kitchen table and offers ample brightness. Lanterns tend to have a metal framework and glass panels with candlestick fixtures to hold bulbs.

When to Use a Flushmount

Flushmount ceiling fixtures hug the ceiling, so these offer ambient or general illumination throughout the space. If your ceiling height is lower than 8' tall, you’ll most likely want a flushmount fixture. A flushmount fixture will become lost on higher ceilings unless it’s used for a singular purpose, such as to brighten up a pantry, part of a hallway or to signal the entrance into the kitchen.

Where to Use a Sconce

Sconces are also little wall-mounted jewels of lamps offering a warm accent glow when strategically placed in a kitchen. If you have a kitchen with high ceilings, add in sconces to fill in the gaps where you need ambient lighting so you can move around the room without encountering dark spots. Wall sconces that are designed with dark or solid shades force the light to shine out from the top and bottom to create a dramatic effect on the wall, whereas crystal sconces add a bright spot of glamour and sparkle into a kitchen with modern espresso or classic painted white cabinetry.

You’ll also be able to coordinate fixtures of various styles. There are pendants with matching flushmount fixtures and sconces, for example. With the large variety of finishes and styles, it’s easy to blend fixtures in the kitchen to create a look you love.

Related Products
This evocative oversized hanging lantern is inspired by ...
Description:
This evocative oversized hanging lantern is inspired by an antique English lighting fixture we discovered in an old London building. Its unique character comes from the graceful curves of swooping candelabra arms inside an airy, architectural lantern framework. 17.5 ...
Solid brass frames individual cylinders of handblown white ...
Description:
Solid brass frames individual cylinders of handblown white glass, giving this lighting architectural presence and modern style. The knuckled stem and stepped-square canopy echo the pendant's clean lines. 26.25"W, 32" or 53.5" high, overall. Crafted of solid brass and ...
Our handmade reproduction of a late 1930s original ...
Description:
Our handmade reproduction of a late 1930s original celebrates the iconic globe lighting that was a staple of mid-century-modern style. The timeless design is equally at home in modern and traditional settings, with eight globes supplying generous ambient light ...
Celine's glittering orb merges modern form with timeless ...
Description:
Celine's glittering orb merges modern form with timeless glamour. Crafted from exceptionally clear glass developed for photographic lenses, dozens of faceted crystals refract light into diamond sparkles. The crystals are strung on a solid brass frame with a burnished ...
Inspired by lifestyle expert Aerin Lauder's philosophy that ...
Description:
Inspired by lifestyle expert Aerin Lauder's philosophy that living beautifully should be effortless, this sphered fixture reinterprets mid-century globe lighting with 10 generously sized glass orbs tiered on a slender brass frame. The exposed bulbs distribute light in every ...