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Pendant Lights

Pendant lighting can be very a versatile tool in home design. Light up one specific area with a single pendant light, or use multiple together to illuminate a wider space and make a statement. Unlike flush-mounts, pendant lights typically hang from the ceiling by either chain, wire, or stem to give a more dramatic feel and add interest to a space (while lighting the way, of course!). As you shop for the perfect pendant light fixture for your home, keep the following information in mind to help guide your decision.

Which style of pendant light should I get?

You have an abundance of choice when it comes to pendant lighting styles. Here are some of the more common types you may want to consider, or eliminate, from your selections based on your needs.

Mini lights
- Mini pendant lights are 12 inches wide or less and have a more narrow stream of light that can shine on smaller details that you wish to put the spotlight on. Cluster a group of them over a kitchen island to mimic the lighting of one bigger pendant light fixture. Try a kitchen island light if you want the larger pendant look in lieu of multiple smaller fixtures.

Drum - Their larger size makes drum pendant lighting more qualified to light up a wider area, including smaller rooms or a defined space, like a dining area. The simplicity of their style makes them a winner in many different decor tastes.

Bowl - The uplighting of bowl pendants will reflect off the ceiling to give a softer, ambient glow. This is often better for general, or ambient, lighting where you aren’t needing to focus on specific tasks.

Bulb - When you want the bare minimum, go for a bulb pendant. This style puts the emphasis on the bulb and often the cord that it hang from, so pick a unique light bulb like an edison style.

Dome - The downlighting of a dome pendant will be less focused than mini fixtures but will give more of a task lighting effect than the bowl style might.

Decorative - Need a fun foyer pendant or a statement piece for your dining table? Try something with a more decorative touch, like a lantern pendant light or novelty pendants.

It’s important to consider your current wiring situation before commiting to a new fixture. If you have recessed lights where you want to hang a pendant fixture, you’re in luck! You can convert those to accommodate pendant lighting with a conversion kit. Another option is to opt for
Plug-in pendant lights with a swag that swings over to the spot you want to hang it from.

Where can I use pendant lighting?

All over, just make sure it’s to scale for the space and surface you are trying to light up. Keep in mind that these are just guideline and can be adjusted depending on the height of you and your family and overall preferences.

  • Dining Table: The pendant should be suspended about 30 to 36 inches above the table to leave room for passing dishes and unobstructed views of your fellow diners. This will allow for ample illumination while reducing glare at the same time.

  • Kitchen Island or Counter:: The bottom of your pendant light should float about 30 inches above the counter surface. For desks, bring the light in closer to the work surface by allowing your pendant lamp to float about 16 inches from the surface. If you plan to cluster multiple pendants, keep them about 24 to 30 inches apart, depending on their size.

  • Foyer: Illuminate your space without encroaching on head space by suspending your hanging lamp about seven feet from the floor.

  • Bathroom: Cast a flattering light in your bathroom vanity area by suspending an eye-catching pendant lamp or cluster of pendant lights near eye level and about 18 inches from the center of your sink. This unconventional lighting style will eliminate those pesky shadows under your chin, cheeks and eyes.

  • Ceilings Higher Than Eight Feet: If you have ceilings taller than eight feet, be sure to add on three inches for each additional foot of ceiling height.

More: 3 Types of Lighting and How to Use Them in Your Home
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Featured Reviews of Pendant Lights

Ariella Ovale Glass Pendant Lamp
Pendant Lights
April 9, 2016
Beautiful light: The only reason I gave this 4 stars is because of the directions. The diagram and part numbers were so tiny, I literally had to get a magnifying glass out to read them. The light itself is lovely.
Cruz Glass Pendant
Pendant Lights
May 1, 2017
Classic pendant: I think this is a great pendant - plan to hang in front of bathroom mirror to reflect double the light through clear glass cover. The black and brass look is trendy now, but also a classic - looks great with my black slate floors.
Gaines Pendant
Pendant Lights
January 9, 2017
return: The product is beautiful, but unfortunately too big for my small island in my small kitchen. I will return it - have emailed to see how - and continue to shop on your lovely site Thank you, Elizabeth
Bose Glass Pendant
Pendant Lights
March 24, 2018
Kitchen Pendant Lighting: I have been looking and looking for a inexpensive pendant light to replace what the builder put in. I found these. They arrived quick! Easy to install so my husband and son noted. I am so happy. They give off so many cool colors. The glass is sturdy and heavy. The rope is clear and very unique looking almost like they are suspended in the air. Elegant and puts out awesome light.
Vintage-Style Glass Ball Ceiling Lamp Pendant, Clear, 9.8"
Pendant Lights
June 22, 2017
Good value for the money: The light fixture has an upper detail to engage or lock to the globe but the glass has no lip to allow for the locking screws to engage. Still, the fixture lower locking ring holds the globe in place so is probably ok. One of the seven globes that I purchased has a defect in the glass but I've positioned it so it is not too noticable. Overall they look great and are a terrific value for the money.
Chloe Pendant, Matte Black
Pendant Lights
December 4, 2018
We have yet to install because we are in the middle of the project but have hung it from the ceiling and are very pleased with its shape.: We have yet to install because we are in the middle of the project but have hung it from the ceiling and are very pleased with its shape. We've ordered five more and will hang in a line down a long office.
Forge Industrial Pendant Light, Small
Pendant Lights
August 22, 2018
Highly recommend!: These pendants are great! They provide an industrial component to our ‘modern farmhouse’ kitchen. Houzz delivered them on time, packed appropriately so none of the fragile glass was cracked or metal bent. They were easy to install with the included instructions. We would definitely purchase again!
Tesler Globe Semi-Flush Mount, Milk Glass
Pendant Lights
October 16, 2018
Bigger than it looks!: The light is quite a bit bigger than I expected. IT went together easily. I got the clear shade version, and I think I will spray it with a mercury glass finish to diffuse the light a bit. I'm very happy.
Swell Single Pendant Light Form No.767, Steel Blue, Brushed Nickel Hardware, 8 W
Pendant Lights
August 8, 2018
Swell single pendant light: Purchased these to go in my kitchen next to a grey Wet bar and white glass w/ grey back splash. Could not be happier. So many compliments.. Definite great option accent lighting over bar. Highly recommend!
Quorum Lighting Mini Pendant, Satin Nickel Clear and White, 5"x9.25"
Pendant Lights
August 21, 2016
Classic and contemporary: These pendants are perfect for my new peninsula addition to my kitchen. The lights are just the right size, easy to install, and a good price for the quality. The shipping was free and arrived on time.

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