The Best Kitchen Lighting for our Waco Home

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I had no idea that kitchen lights would make such a dramatic impact on our kitchen. These pendant lights from Hudson Valley Lighting are the best kitchen lighting solution for our Waco home.

hudson Valley lights

Finding the best kitchen lighting can be tricky. I spend a lot of time in our kitchen and prefer a very bright kitchen. I had a pretty good idea I wanted to use recessed LED lights and a few amazing hanging pendants over the island. 

I partnered with Hudson Valley Lighting and found the most incredible pendants for above the island.

hudson valley pendant lights 3

My sister in law, Sandy McDaniel, at Sandy McDaniel Designs, did all of the construction drawings for our home. She helped me so much and gave me lots of advice about layouts.  She even kept me in line when some of my ideas were kind of “out there”. (If you need any drawings done for a construction project, you. should contact her. She is amazing! Just tell her I sent you.)

Sandy and I worked on a lighting plan and she came up with this drawing. (The island eventually ended up moving a bit closer to the sink.) The only challenge was making sure that the lighting would be adequate with 11’4″ ceilings. 

The squares in the drawing are recessed lights and the pendants are the circles above the island. 

How to Make a Kitchen Lighting Plan


My goal for the lighting plan was to have recessed lights that were “invisible” and two amazing pendants that were the highlight of the room. As you can see in the photo below, that is exactly what I did,

Best Kitchen Lighting

I selected the  Hudson Valley Lighting  RANDOLPH (model #2623) pendants in satin nickel. 

These glass light pendants are 13″ wide and 18.5 ” tall. The wattage is 150w each.

Choosing. Pendants Above the Island

Hudson Valley Lighting describes the Randolph pendants as “Rather than a metal shade to meet the down-lighting requirements of a factory floor, we’ve outfitted Randolph with a glossy dome of opal glass to deliver bright task lighting beneath the fixture and warm ambient light throughout the room. Pendants are adjustable and feature cloth cording, cutout vents, and crisply beaded details—premium hallmarks that display our commitment to authentic design.”

In the photo below you can see the recessed lights and the Randolph pendants.

Choosing Pendants For Your Kitchen

I get asked all of the time how high should pendants be hung over an island. I always use the guideline of 36″ between the bottom of the pendant lamp and the top of the island counter.

The standard distance between a kitchen island and a pendant light placed above it is 32 to 36 inches. The exact distance, of course, varies to meet your individual needs but should be high enough that it does not obstruct the view of the tallest person to use the island. I think because our family is so tall I prefer 36″.

Plans for Kitchen Lighting

Installation was very easy. It only took the electrician a few hours to install the lights.

How to Select Pendants for Above the Kitchen Island

I remember the first time I stood in our kitchen and saw these freshly hung pendants hanging above our vintage island. I knew in one second that I had made the right choice.

Now that the kitchen is finished, I smile every time I walk into our kitchen. It’s better than I ever imagined.

For my next project, I need to redo the pendant lights in our kitchen in South Pasadena. Look how tiny these look in the photo below! I think they are also hung a bit too high. Of course, these tiny pendants were hung twenty years ago and back then I might have made a few mistakes.

You can be sure I will be looking at Hudson Valley Lighting for new pendant lights!

My Kitchen Isllnd

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