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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Placement of pendants over kitchen island

juliejenFebruary 3, 2013
We have a new kitchen with a split level island. I'm not sure whether to place the pendant lights to center over the count height work area or the bar height dining half or right down the middle.
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A Kitchen That Works LLC
Typically you would center the pendant over the raised bar area. However, are their any can lights above the standard height countertop area of the island? If no, then I would center the lights over this area instead of the bar top.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Scott Design, Inc.
How wide are your tops? How wide are your pendant lights? From here it looks as though the island is 30"-36" wide. The width of each top as well as the overall width is not large enough for the lights to be successfully assigned to a particular top without looking "misplaced and off center". I'd place them in the center.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:09PM
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The work area is 24" and the bar is 18" The pendants we have picked out are Access Lighting's Odyssey Bar Pendant - 52004. Not having any luck attaching the pic. Thanks for your help!
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:47PM
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I went through the same mental delimma in my house with a kitchen bar. I simply installed a track and corded pendants off the twist-in receptacles. I can now change heights or even go to spots! Use the thin type track so it is not so obtrusive. Wifey loves the ability to quickly change out the lighting if she wishes to. :) As for placement of the track, I would put it over the higher part of bar. If you then have stools and they were over the lower bar, you might have to look around them to talk to someone in kitchen.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:06PM
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I literally was about to post this same question. if i go with pendant lighting i was going to position over raised part of the bar. The track option sounds interesting, can you post a pic?

Since we are on the subject, my add on question is if I should do pendant lights when there is a lighted area directly in front of the island. The pic is a model home but we will have the same layout. I'm debating if I should just keep the cans and do a chandelier over the table area or if I could get away with both.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:21PM
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I do not have my flash drive right now to illustrate what I have. Mine are a milk white shade as I did not want to cast a colored glow over the area. Similar to the attached. I chose the deeper type shade so I could use compact fluorescent bulbs (love bright white) and you have to really look up into them to see what they are. I promise to provide pics of mine, tomorrow. My ceiling is white, so I used white track and wire. Not noticeable, but provides light where you need it.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Sounds awesome, can't wait to see the pics! Did this require any special electrical work?
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:39PM
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hi Juliejen,
you can hang the lights on the island so that bar counter will have just the shade of the lights. place barstools for the bar unit.
cheers-Vidya Rao.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:37PM
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I am back with my pictures! These were build pics in 2007. Color is off on first pic, but you get the idea of how I installed the track lighting. I recessed the connection boxes and painted the covers white, behind the track (they virtually disappeared). The spot over the sink was replaced with another pendant. Just twisted out the spot fixture and twist locked in the pendant. I chose the milk globes to get as much light as possible with no glare. I bought them in three pendant sets that were mounted on a stainless ceiling plate and were being liquidated @ $25.00/set at H.D. (x3 sets) I just took them apart and wired each pendant to a little plug that snapped into the track!

I have no dimmers in the house, they waste power. I have only CFL (bright white) and fluorescent lights in the house. You can never get enough light in a kitchen. So, I have lots of lighting on seperate switches so I can easily change the lighting/mood of the room. Look carefully at the second picture. The two center ceiling fixtures are T-5 tube fluorescent from Lowes. The "hockey puck" style fluorecents under the cupboards are from H.D. - $10. for three. There is a string of cool operating LED lighting on top of the upper cabinets for soft night-lighting.

Never use halogen lights under a cupboard. They operate @ 1000F. degrees. A local Lowes store almost burnt down when their in-store display w/halogens under the cupboards caught fire!

CFL's come in many different color spectrums. (Daylight, warm white, soft white, natural light, cool white and bright white.) The third picture is of the large light over the dining table. It is indicative as to why I love the "bright white" color so much. I used that color inside and out. Lots of light and very pleasing to the eye.
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:12PM
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Hey energy saver - those look great! You definitely can't see the track.
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:35PM
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I am installing new countertop that will be "split-level" similar to above. Because my lower level is my main food prep area and dish-washing area, I am planning to center my three new pendants over that lower portion. Do you think that is okay??
    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:04AM
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What we ended up doing is putting the pendants over the higher bar area and then minimal reveal, recessed lighting over the lower "work" area. We like it a lot. I feel the pendants are the focal point over the "guest" space and the work area has the functional, recessed lighting.
I need to add the followup picture in here soon, but everything else isn't done yet.
    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Hmmm. Thanks juliejen. Now I may reconsider.....but it won't make my hubby happy if he has to add more electrical boxes in the ceiling and add another switch (we're remodeling). BUT I don't want to be short on lighting in the kitchen!
    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:40AM
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House of Fine Carpentry
I would put it on the raised portion of the counter
1 Like    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:57AM
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I'd heard from an article on kitchen remodeling (I believe here on houz) to "light up a kitchen like a stadium" and you won't be sorry; or words to that affect.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:18PM
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