DIY Kitchen Island Lighting

We HATE the florescent flush lighting in our kitchen. Why builders even cheap on these items is beyond me. If the previous owners of this house avtually asked for that to be installed, they shouls have their heads checked.

Anyway, the wife and I have been on a hunt for “the perfect lighting” to go above our kitchen island. Guess what we found? NOTHING! It doesn’t exist. We’ve come to the conclusion that one must get crafty in order to achieve the design one wants. That’s why we are combining purchased items with a bit of mild fabrication skill.

Our shared Pinterest board, “BraceyHaus the Dream” is a collection of our desires to conveive the perfect Dream Home. Here, we’ve pinned some interesting lighting fixtures, and finally located on that got our attention.

Off to Home Depot we go, with a basic idea in mind. Not only will be be using pendant lighting, but we will combine them into a single fixture. The desired look it slightly retro, with an industrial twist. Below are the parts we acquired today.

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“Those are individual pendant lights, with their own medallions. How do you plan to attach all three to one ceiling box?” That’s where the bar comes to play. I plan to only use one medallion, but splice all three fixtures together, and hide the connections inside the bar. Then, only a single wire will exit the top.

Step one was to decide chain and pendant placement on the bar. We preferred the chain be slightly inset from the ends, where the outter lights would hang. We also needed to determine just how low we wanted to hange the lights. Figuring a pleasant looking chain length, we then moved on to the cords. While I held the bar from the ceiling, Terri adjusted the cord to desired length and marked with tape. So far so good.

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Now, on to drilling and test fitting. After carefully measuring each hole to be centered and equal distance to center, off to the garage I went. Any excuse to use my drill press, I take it!

After rough fitting the bar to the chain, here is the current look. (Note: We plan to replace the nuts with cap nuts. At first, I planned to hide the nut inside the bar, but later decided it would be easier and more industrial looking if it poked through.)

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Why did we make the chain in a two mount-point trapezoidal shape, instead of just a triangular single hook? Well, geometry and stability. You see, having the chain in a triangle helps with stable balance on either side, but doesn’t account for lateral twist. Without the second point, the light would not hold square to the island, and would twist in the breeze of our HVAC.

How does the lighting hang from this thing? I drilled three 13/32″ holes in the bottom of the fixture. These will have rubber grommets to protect the wire that will later be passed through the cavity. Everything will be hidden inside.
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I just finished painting the bar with the same metalic bronze spray I used on our door knobs and other light fixture. Having matching custom hardware is very nice, no? Once it dries, I’ll post pics.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I assemble the painted parts and hang the lighting…

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