Simpler than a chandelier with its multiple outstretched arms, a pendant is little more than a bulb hidden under a shade swinging on the end of a cord. Yet there's a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles for you to choose from. Suspended from ceilings by rods or chains, pendants bring light down to the places we need it, and they do so with attention-grabbing grace we can't help admire, even after the electricity is turned off.
Good pendant lighting requires both function and aesthetic. Whether you’re setting up pendant lights in a home, business office, warehouse, or anywhere else, these remain important factors. If your pendant lights are either too bright or too weak, it can damage the aesthetic of the entire room. They’re also one of the best lights for the kitchen. Some pendant lights wash light over a big area, giving your foyer or stair landing a welcoming glow. Others focus bright beams onto one strategic spot: a sink or cutting board on a kitchen island.
Today we’re taking a comprehensive look at pendant lights, and how to best utilize them to decorate your home.
Part 1: Different Styles of Pendant Lighting
The basic principle behind a pendant light is that they involve a single bulb suspended in the air. That being said, the majority of pendant lights have a shade of some sort attached to make them appear more interesting and reduce the glare of the bulb.
That being said, a pendant light’s purpose is often defined by what its shade is made of; including glass, metal, plastic and paper. Each of these materials result in a different style and ambiance. For example, glass shades, like the VICTOR 1-Light Modern Glass Pendant Light throw off ambient light to light up larger spaces, while metal shades, like the GUS 1-Light Modern Pendant Light usually confine light in a downward path and are usually used for functional lighting.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. It is good to remember that certain materials do work better in different settings, for example a glass pendant light like the GABBY 1-Light Modern Glass Pendant Light in a room with a lot of natural light is a great combination. Whether you’re looking for something practical or aesthetic, pendant lights are really a good bet.
Part 2: Benefits of Pendant Lighting
1. Pendant lights work great as spotlights.
Pendant lights have the ability to act as spotlights. If you set one up correctly, the light can be projected to a singular spot. Doing so draws attention to whatever is under the spotlight. You can use these to emphasise an important picture, painting, sculpture or whatever else you wish to bring attention to.
2. Pendant lights can be a primary or secondary light source.
Pendant lights also have the ability to project light from the ceiling to the floor or vice versa, which works great as a primary or secondary light source. This allows you to add a unique effect to the room.
3. Pendant lights are space saving.
Pendant lights don’t consume any floor space as they can be hung from high ceilings in such a way that they provide ample lighting without getting in the way as you walk around, like the SMOOT 1-Light Contemporary Pendant Light. This can be advantageous for smaller homes, especially in workspaces, as a pendant light provides excellent lighting over a desk
4. Pendant lights improve aesthetics.
Placing pendant lights in your home can help to improve on the overall aesthetic and mood of the room it is placed in. The NICO 1-Light Modern Pendant Light is a good example of this. This works especially great in smaller areas of your home in which lighting may not be able to reach, to give off a cosy and ambient feel.
Part 3: Where to Hang Pendant Lights
Pendant lights can be used in many different locations, mostly used for general lighting, area lighting, and task lighting:
General lighting refers to the use of pendant lights to illuminate a room. Placing a pendant light in the center of any main room would count as general lighting. If you mean to illuminate the majority of your lounge, dining or any other room, a pendant light is capable of accomplishing this. The ROSEE 1-Light Simplicity Pendant Light is a fantastic example of achieving general lighting.
You can also use a pendant light to illuminate your porch in a similar way.
Area lighting involves using a pendant light to illuminate part of a room. For example, if you wanted to light up a dining table or a corner of a room, that would count as area lighting. Pendant lights are great for area lighting. Whether you need the light to go over your sofa or next to a bookshelf, pendant lights will work perfectly.
Task lighting using your pendant light as a spot light. If you want your pendant light to focus specifically on a work desk or table, that counts as task lighting. The NICO 1-Light Modern Pendant Light is a perfect example of this. Instead of lighting up an entire room or part of a room, your pendant light will focus on a single location.
Regardless of where you choose to place your pendant lights, they will look amazing hanging from any part of your ceiling.
As you can see, pendant lighting is incredibly useful for so many reasons. Using pendant lights in your home improves your ability to light your home well and boosts the aesthetic of the rooms they’re placed in.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How many pendant light fixtures should I have?
As a rule, an odd number of fixtures, either one, three, or five, generally looks better than an even number. Over a kitchen island, you should space the fixtures evenly, typically 24 to 30 inches between the centers of the shades.
2. How large should my pendant light fixtures be?
Scale the shade to the size of the room or its most prominent piece of furniture. Over a rectangular dining table, for instance, the shade diameter should equal the table width minus 1 foot on either side, to create a visual buffer around it.
3. How bright should my pendant lights be?
For ambient lighting with incandescent bulbs, aim for 2 watts per square foot—that's 200 watts for a 10-by-10-foot room. Up the output by as much as 50 percent in rooms painted in saturated colors or that have dark-stained trim. For task lighting, say over the desk in your kid's room, the rule of thumb is 15 watts per square foot. Don't be afraid of too much light; you can always install a dimmer.