How To's

How to Shop For Pendant Lighting

Modern chandeliers
Ingo Schaer
Written by Ingo Schaer

Like the delicate pendant that adorns your neck, a pendant light radiates sophistication and style when lighting up a place. Whether it is in the bedroom, over a kitchen countertop, and even in the bathroom, they are a popular choice among homeowners and interior decorators alike. Hanging by means of a metal rod, a cord or a chain, the lone fixture is often available as multiple designs combined in different shapes, sizes and materials. What’s more, the modernization will allow you to choose from bulbs that vary from energy-saving models to fluorescent ones.

If you are keen on interior designing, understanding how this type of chandelier fits in with your architectural setup is an essential requirement. Our experts have attended to some of the basic questions to help you understand how to shop for one.

What are some of the factors to consider when shopping for pendant lighting?

Interior-Deluxe: Pendants are cost-effective and do not weigh as much as chandeliers do. From creating focal points to almost doubling the source of lighting, they also tend to be great alternatives for those seeking to conserve some space. Since the shape and style is dependent on personal preferences, I’ll cover the more general points.

Material and finishes: The materials’ range includes cloth, glass, plastic, and metal. Glass and metal is able to clearly diffuse light in all directions, and pendant lights made of these materials are perfect for kitchen and bathrooms. Pendant lights fashioned out of cloth are more common in spaces such as the living room. The cheapest of all, and the least attractive, plastic pendant light should ideally be placed in nooks and corners or maybe in a kids’ room.

Size: You want big? Choose one for an entryway, or over a round dining table. At the table, the pendant light will be the focal point but there have to be other light sources in the room as well. Go small with mini-globes, which gel in great for task lighting even though they may not be that intensive as a bright light. Plus, they tend to need multiples for being sufficient. They also need to be placed above the eye level to avoid their glare.

Bulbs: Pendant lights that are made for task lighting generally use LED bulbs only, which are expensive but energy efficient and long lasting. I suggest you go for LED bulbs, they are the latest technology and are really in these days.

Ambience: Where an inverted pendant directs the light upward to create a soft, ambient lighting in the place, a downlight will direct it downwards to illuminate the aspect (task lighting) below it. It depends on your relative perspective as well as the function you want them to fulfill and should be selected complementing the type or shape of the shade used.

Height: A light will become a constant irritation instead of a decoration if people have to keep ducking beneath it. The general recommendation for an entryway is 7 feet; for a dining area, 30 inches above the table at the least; and for the kitchen island, 30-40 inches above the counter. You can further reassure it by placing it to a minimum of 20-25 inches above the tallest person’s head.

The cord of the pendant light can be adjusted to the relevant height if you have one that is at least 4-6 inches long; 9 inches if it is meant for plug-ins.

Wiring: I suggest you go for hardwiring. It is a long-term investment, and has a clean and polished finish. Plug-ins, on the other hand, require longer cords and extension wires so they are not a better option in most cases.

What should be the ideal number of pendant lights to be used in one place?Image

ID: This depends on a number of factors including the size of the room, the feature and/or area you want to highlight, and the kind of ambience you want to create. You can group several pendant lights on a track or in a circle without overdoing it.

How does a pendant light work over a table? Wouldn’t it look too stuffed?

ID: If you have the right sort of fixture, set up at the right height, pendant lights work for every location. One above a table is never too stuffed especially if it is at 28-32 inches although your ceiling height and the fixture size would influence your preferences definitely. While you are at it, make sure you decide on its purpose too. If it is a rectangular dining table, you can go for multiple pendants at proper intervals to get that effective lighting – proper and aesthetic.

ImagePlease give me some suggestions for lighting up my hallway and stairs.

ID: Pendant lights will work aptly in your hallway and stairs. Most people miss this opportunity to let loose their dramatic personality reflected in its beauty. The greater the height differences, the bigger should be the fixture chain to keep them prominent. The light in such settings is powerful and effective, while ensuring individuals and doors do have enough clearance. Secondly, the length should help you with the number of identical fixtures you have on location.

In the stairwell, besides the much-needed lighting, pendants are akin to adding a sculptural element. Leave space to moving up and down when hanging fixtures on the stairs. Place them a further 18-24 inches above the height of a taller person, so no one has to worry about bumping in to the light.

ImageI am planning to renovate my kitchen. This time around, I would love to have some fixtures hanging above my kitchen top. Any suggestions and tips from your side will be much appreciated.

ID: Anyone who can afford it should proceed with pendant lighting since it will reinforce your attractive kitchen design along with providing brilliant task lighting. A fixture would work best if it is approximately 72 inches from the floor. Keep that in mind when you go shopping. Where nickel ones can emphasize on the classical touch, Dandelion will make it stylish.

The lighting in my bedroom is way too traditional for me to enjoy it anymore. I want to try pendant lighting. Please suggest a few innovative ways I can use it.

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ID: You have indeed hit the bull’s eye to get the level of comfort and relaxation you wish for in your bedroom. Lighting does matter when it comes creating that environment. These days, placing loose light fixtures on either side of the bed is all the rage. Say good-bye to your table lamps because you won’t be needing them anymore. If you’ve been missing out on effective lighting due to limited space, go for a pendant fixture located above the foot of your bed. If there is an LCD fixed in the opposite wall, make sure its view remains unblocked.

Next, you can try out having one in the middle of your room. Lowered over a piece of furniture, it serves in terms of both form and function.

What sort of pendant lighting is suitable for bathrooms?

ID: At a proper height, they will give your bathrooms the best lighting. They can be hung at the sides of a mirror or in front of them. When shopping, you need to be extra vigilant in terms of them being rated for damp rooms.

Did you find what you were looking for? If you still need any help with details, feel free to contact us with your queries.

About the author

Ingo Schaer

Ingo Schaer

Ingo has been in the lighting business for over 20 years. He regularly blogs about trends and tips in the industry while running one of the most complete contemporary lighting ecommerce sites on the net. Please take a moment to browse his website and feel free to contact Ingo for all your lighting needs.

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