Pendant lights typically refer to hanging light fixtures that use a single bulb suspended from the ceiling, though some designs have expanded to include more intricate designs. They often include a shade to reduce the glare of the bulb. Often, it's a glass shade, though it can use a different material as well. Although simpler than chandeliers, pendant lights can serve as a stylish focal point in the room.
Because they hang from the ceiling, pendant fixtures require no floor space. Unlike floor lamps or table lamps, they can provide ample light in areas with high ceilings while staying out of the way.
You can also find mini pendant lights which typically feature a width of 12 inches or less.
Pendant fixtures work in a variety of areas, but they commonly see use in entryways, foyers, and over kitchen islands and dining room tables.
Where you hang them can depend on the type of lighting you need for the space. Pendant fixtures can provide general, area, or task lighting:
Both chandeliers and pendant lights function as ceiling lights. Chandeliers feature ornate and elegant designs that create a stylish focal point. They often feature a larger and more intricate design with multiple light bulbs branching from a central body. Because of this, they can often provide ambient light to an entire room.
While these fixtures look elegant, cleaning them offers its own difficulties. Their height and intricate design can make it hard to clean and change bulbs.
Pendant lights typically feature a simpler, smaller design but still add a decorative accent to the room. They typically consist of a single bulb or single light source that hangs from a cord or chain. A single fixture works well to provide direct light over a certain area instead of an entire room. To illuminate an entire room with pendant lighting, you usually need multiple fixtures.
Because of their simpler design, changing bulbs and cleaning is often easier with a pendant light than a chandelier.
How high to hang the fixture depends on where you install it. Generally, the bottom of the light should hang around 30-36 inches above a kitchen island, countertop, or dining table. However, when choosing a pendant light, consider the height of the ceilings as well. Tall ceilings can accommodate grander fixtures than shorter ceilings can.
In foyers, the bottom of the pendant should hang no lower than 7 feet from the floor to allow people to easily walk underneath it.
To work outdoors, pendant lights must be rated for outdoor use. This means they can manage wet weather from rain or storms. Pendant lights rated for outdoor use work well to brighten outdoor furniture or to provide illumination for your porch area. They offer a stylish alternative to outdoor flush mounts or outdoor ceiling fans with lights.