Grouping pendants in gathering spaces like the kitchen island or a bar area makes a powerful design statement while making them super functional. These spaces typically have a lot of activity going on so your lighting needs to do its job really well but not obstruct any views. Pendants are a great choice here because they provide crucial focused light, especially in groups of two or three.
Typically, pendants should be placed 28″ to 34″ above the countertop, or approximately 72″ from the floor. It is always a good idea to remember that if you’re lighting an area that people will stand around, the pendants should be high enough so that people can see each other, but not so high that they are blinded by the glare of the bulbs.
Since the kitchen or the bar is both a social atmosphere and a workspace, you want a mixture of ambient and task lighting. Ambient lights will set the mood with a soft, overhead glow while task lights will focus stronger light over the island. The key is to balance these two sources so the space is as warm and inviting as it is functional.
To achieve a more evenly distributed lighting effect, choose a fabric shade, glass or exposed bulb fixture. Direct task lighting allows for the option of fully opaque materials, like the wood fixture shown on the right