Looking to uplift your home’s interior style? Good quality lighting can go a long way towards getting the job done and pendant lighting just might be the right choice to meet (and exceed) your needs. A pendant light is a type of fixture that’s suspended from the ceiling, typically by a metal rod, cord or chain. It can be used as a single light fixture or hung in a series. Pendant lighting is not only one of the most versatile types of lighting fixtures available, but with so many unique options within the category, it’s also a great way to add your own design sensibilities to a space. Additionally, pendant lighting can be hung at any height you want or need, it doesn’t take up valuable table space, and provides a broad spectrum of light for a variety of uses. Ultimately, it’s one of the best ways to bring light into your home environment.

Things to Consider While You Shop For a Pendant Light

Before you select a pendant light for your home, here are a few things that will be helpful to keep in mind:

  • Types of pendants and the light they produce
  • Installation considerations
  • Functionality and use
  • Current lighting trends

The Most Common Types of Pendants

There are several different types of pendant lights available from which you can choose. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Dome and Drum Pendants

Characterized by and named after the shapes of their respective shades, dome and drum pendants can add a striking visual element to an interior space while providing outstanding illumination.

Drum pendants, shaped much like drums, have stretched cloth or other material over their circular metal frame for a decidedly handsome look. They come in a wide range of colors and styles, and depending on whether or not their bottom is open or closed, they can provide either ambient or task lighting. Do keep in mind that the darker the shade on a drum pendant, the less light that will come through.

 

access lighting with dome pendant

Dome pendants offer an eye-catching, rounded, industrial form that directs light in a downward direction. They provide an ideal combination of function and form and will work great for your task and ambient light needs. The Astro Dome Pendant by Access Lighting exemplifies the beauty and simplicity of dome pendant lighting.

Linear Pendants

Linear pendants are often used over kitchen islands. This type of lighting got its name from its long, linear row of lights – very often two or three – all originating from one single fixture. Their ability to provide excellent task lighting makes them invaluable while prepping food.

black linear pendant lightIn addition to kitchen islands, linear pendants, like the intriguing Octavio Island Light by Hudson Valley Lighting, can be used above a work desk, bar or in a game room over a ping pong or pool table.

Mini Pendants

Mini pendants are much like other pendant lights, but as their name suggests, are much slimmer in profile, making them ideal for smaller rooms and spaces. In addition to their flexibility size-wise, they come in many shapes and incorporate numerous elements from other pendant lighting types. While mini pendants can work great on their own for task lighting, it’s often a good idea to incorporate several into one space to offer ample ambient lighting, while also establishing a unique design theme.

Bowl Pendants

Bowl pendants are in the shape of a bowl that is pointed upright. They offer a unique beauty, as the light cascades off of the bowl and then down into the environment below. Bowl pendants are great for reflecting ambient light and creating atmosphere within a space. If you’re looking to create an area for relaxation, these types of lights make a great choice.

 


What to Know Before Installing and Mounting a Pendant Light

Depending on the level of your home-improvement savviness, you can install pendants yourself or choose to have it done by a professional. Keep in mind that some pendants are easier to install than others. Be sure to carefully check the specifications of any model you’re interested in before purchasing. As a general rule, the bottom of any fixture you’ll be walking under should be at least seven feet above the floor. If you’re installing a pendant above a dining table or countertop, the hanging height should be between 24-30 inches. Most pendant lights come with extension rods or an adjustable chain for ease of configuration.


Pendants by Room

A pendant light that’s ideal for one space may not work well in another. The location in which you plan to install a pendant should play an important role in your purchase decision.

Pendant Lights for the Kitchen

linear lightingTask lighting is imperative in the kitchen for food prep and cleaning. Choose a downlight pendant such as a linear or mini pendant.

Pendant Lights for Foyers

The foyer is an area where task lighting is important, but you may also choose to illuminate the area with ambient light. A dome pendant can work wonders here.

Pendant Lights for Living Room

Living rooms are versatile spaces with the need for task and ambient lighting, so most types of pendant lighting can fit in here. Bowl pendants work particularly well in areas that require ambient light.

Dining Room Pendant Lights

Dining rooms are ideal places for linear pendants because they work so well lined up over long dining tables. Also, a drum pendant with fabric can add a very classy look in place of a chandelier.

Pro Tip: If you want to install a pendant light with a downrod on a sloped ceiling, you can do so by using a sloped ceiling adapter. These adapters work in conjunction with the light’s original hanging hardware and are typically installed between the canopy and the downrod.


Pendant Light Trends

When you’re shopping for pendant lighting, it’s always worthwhile to see what’s trending and evaluate how particular trends could enhance your interior space. These are a few “of the moment” trends to consider:

Materials

  • Clear and colored hand-blown glass – no two pieces are ever alike
  • Seeded, crackled, antique and frosted glass
  • Vintage Edison-style bulbs

Finishes

  • Distressed finishes on galvanized metal
  • Weathered paint on wood
  • Warm tones on metals, juxtaposed with dark wood elements

Styles

  • Combining gold, silver, copper and even wood
  • Lantern-inspired, like the Bastille Pendant by Troy Lighting
  • Open frames with geometric patterns and clean lines

Creative Uses

  • In the bathroom over a sink or tub
  • As a bedside reading light
  • In the laundry room

Pendant lighting is a stylish, versatile and affordable way to add light and beauty to your home’s interior. Plus, finding just the right pendant for your favorite space is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Be sure to refer to this guide often to remind you of all of the exciting pendant lighting options available to you.