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Pendant lights are to kitchens what chandeliers are to foyers, especially kitchens with islands.

That’s not to say the only lights in a kitchen are pendant lights, because often there are other lights such as recessed lights.  After all, a kitchen needs plenty of light.  Nobody like reading recipe books in the dark let alone chop food up with wicked sharp knives.

In fact as you browse our gallery below (you can also check out our full kitchen gallery here), you’ll notice that the pendant / recessed lighting combo is super popular in today’s kitchen designs.  The pendant light offers both form and function while recessed light provide the additional illumination needed.

Photo Gallery

The home's kitchen boasts a large center island featuring a thick marble countertop lighted by pendant lights.
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Another view of the kitchen showcasing the stylish shelves and storage along with top-of-the-line appliances.
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Another look of the kitchen showcasing the beautiful ceiling, lighting and cabinets.
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The kitchen boasts stylish marble countertops perfect for the sink and for the breakfast bar, along with a dining nook and a doorway leading to outdoor space.
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Trulia

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The kitchen features smooth marble countertop for both sink area and center island.
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Another look of the kitchen showcasing the elegant lighting and beautiful breakfast bar.
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Another look of the kitchen showcasing the smooth countertop of the breakfast bar. Photo Credit: Rick Mccullagh
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The kitchen showcases L-shape style and has a breakfast bar along with multiple cabinets. Photo Credit: Rick Mccullagh
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The kitchen features a fine and smooth countertops for sink and center island along with white walls and pendant lighting.
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The chefs kitchen offers top-of-the-line appliances and smooth marble countertops.
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Another look of the kitchen featuring two large center islands and perfectly-placed lighting.
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The kitchen offers a center island featuring a smooth marble countertop and white cabinets.
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Another look of the kitchen showcasing its top-of-the-line appliances and stylish pendant lighting.
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Elegant white kitchen with large curved island
Another look of the kitchen boasting a huge center island and beams ceiling that looks perfect together.
The kitchen offers own dining nook with a marble countertop lighted by pendant lights. The beams ceiling looks perfect with the room's style.
The kitchen features a dine-in spot. The room is surrounded by white walls and lighted by beautiful recessed and track ceiling lights.
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Kitchen featuring breakfast bar with tiles flooring and marble countertops. Photo Credit: Adam Letch
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A view of Surfboard house’s great room in white walls and tile flooring with pendant lighting. Photo credit: Francis Dzikowski/OTTO
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Where to Buy Kitchen Pendant Lights

Here’s a good selection of online retailers.

What are pendant lights?

It’s not rocket science.  I’m sure after checking out our gallery you get a sense of what pendant lights are.  They are lights that hang or are suspended from the ceiling or some other overhead object by a cord, chain, rope or something similar.  Generally, there are 2 or more in the kitchen in a straight line.  These are a popular form of light for illuminating kitchen islands.

Where are pendant lights typically placed in the kitchen?

Typically they’re hung in a line of two or more over a kitchen island or peninsula.  The line of lights follows the length of the island or peninsula.  The lines it creates in the upper sphere of the kitchen is pleasing to the eye.

Check out our list of top 10 kitchen island pendant lights here.

12 types of pendant lights for kitchens?

There are 12 main types of pendant lights for kitchen designs.  Moreover, the example photos before really don’t do each type justice since within each type there sub types, different colors, different types of bulbs and different colors.  It’s astonishing how many different lights there are.

1. Uplight

Uplight pendant lights shine the light upwards creating an ambient light.  This is not a typical kitchen option.

2. Downlight

Downlight types shine light downward.  This is the usual type for a kitchen because it shines light on the counter surfaces where you need to see.

3. Mini-lights

Mini pendant lights are small.

Source: Wayfair

4. Island/Antler

Island pendant lights are a type with 2 or more light scones on a single light.  Island styles with 3 or more scones kind of have a chandelier effect.  Moreover, if you have room for one pendant light, it’s best to get the island type.

Source: Lowe’s

5. Shade

The fifth main type of pendant light are those with a shade.  These provide a more muted light.

Source: Lowe’s

6. Cluster Pendant Lights

You can buy cluster pendant lights which is a bunch of smaller pendant lights from the same fixture attached above.

Source: Lowe’s

7. Inverted Center Bowl

The final type of pendant light is designed so the light shines upward.  It creates a more ambient light which can be good for a dining room or foyer.  These are not good for kitchens.

Source: Lowe’s.

8. Candle

Candle pendant lights have candle-like lights in a fixture hanging from the ceiling.

Source: Wayfair

9. Cage

Another type (popular right now) are cage pendant lights which is a wire structure wrapped around the bulb.  The entire structure hangs from overhead.

Source: Wayfair

10. Schoolhouse Pendant

Source: Wayfair

11. Geometric Pendant

Source: Wayfair

12. Globe Pendant

Source: Wayfair

13. Cascade Pendant?

Source: Wayfair

How to install a pendant light

Here’s a popular video showing you how to install a pendant light.

Vote for your Favorite Style of Pendant Light