Pendants Buying Guide

For the past decade, pendant lights have been widely used in apartments, houses, and commercial spaces. As they are affordable and small in design, most people are opting for pendant lights rather than chandeliers.

Pendants Buying Guide

Due to their diversity in terms of styles, shapes, and sizes, pendant lights are not only used for lighting but as décor pieces as well.

However, that can make it hard to choose the right lights for your home. Take a look at this guide to help you with the decision-making.

Why Get Pendant Lights

You might be looking for convincing reasons why you should get pendant lights when other lighting fixtures seem just as good. Take a look at the following:

They are Multi-Functional

Pendant lights can be used as a décor piece, a space-saving reading lamp when hung lower, and as a task lamp instead of using a wall lamp.

They are Versatile

You can easily find a wide range of pendant lights on the market from contemporary, retro, modern, or any other style you want to go with.

They are adaptable

They are flexible and adaptable in that you can adjust them to your liking, especially when it comes to height.

The Benefits of Pendant Lights

Easy to customize - After buying them, you can customize these lights to your liking by adjusting the suspension to how high or low you want it to be. You can also choose the type of light bulb you want based on the ambiance you want to create.

Provide light where needed - Their design allows you to focus light on areas you need lit the most while still providing enough light in other areas.

Reduces glare which strains the eye - By focusing on specific spots, it reduces the glare caused by other sources of light. This makes it suitable for office work, study area or the kitchen.

Accentuates ambiance - Pendant lights create the perfect ambiance for indoor spaces. They are not extravagant like chandeliers or drab like a usual ceiling lamp. Instead, it manages to highlight certain aspects of your home with style.

Decorative pieces - A pendant light is not only used for lighting but also as a decorative piece. With the various types on the market, you can find something matching the style of your home.

Easy to install - Installing pendants in your home is simple, and you can even DIY. Also, they are the go-to fixture when one is renting a space. It will transform your space, and when you move places, you can take it with you.

Factors to Consider When Buying Pendant Lights

Pendants are available in a variety of styles, giving you options. However, many choices can be confusing as well. To help you narrow down a list, here are a few things to consider when browsing:

The Style

Every room has either a modern, contemporary, traditional or industrial style. Depending on the style of the room, choose pendant lighting that complements that style to bring balance. Fortunately, you can get them for almost any décor style you can imagine.

The Cost

The price of pendant lighting will depend on the style, brand, and type you choose. When planning a budget, factor in the number of fixtures you need plus possible installation costs if you are hiring someone for the job. When you establish a budget, it makes it easier to find the right pendant lights.

The Room and Placement

A pendant light that might be perfect for your kitchen might not be ideal for your home office or library. If you want the pendant lights to be the only source of light in your home, you have to decide whether to pick a bigger pendant or use several small pendants. If you are choosing one to complement already existing lighting, then you might want to pick one tailored for ambient lighting.

The Size of the Fixture

Avoid choosing a pendant light that is either too big or too small or hangs too high or too low. Measure your space before buying it to know how big or small of a pendant to get.

The Material and Finish

The material and finish of pendant lights influence their overall appearance. Pendant lights with shades or bowls made of fabric and plastic are affordable, while those made of metal and glass tend to be in the higher price range.

Consumer Trends with Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights are usually considered task lighting fixtures used to illuminate particular tasks or create focus on surfaces. That is why you mostly find them installed in the kitchen. However, the scope of pendant lighting has been evolving into bigger lighting designs, like globe and birdcage style, large drum shade pendants, and metal orb pendants. Pendant lighting is also found in the chandelier space and becoming popular over dining tables, entryways, and foyers.

Living rooms, family rooms, and minibars are also benefiting from pendant light installations. These lights have made their way to bathrooms, creating a warm and cozy feeling, especially when you just want to soak in the tub. The use of LED lights in pendant lighting is on the rise, especially for people who like colored lights. They provide more vivid colors than incandescent lighting.

Another consumer trend you might want to consider is the minimalist design. Many folks adopt the simple lifestyle through house décor like pendant lights. Pendant lighting with clear lines and simple concepts creates balance in your home, showing it has been picked and placed with purpose.

Types of Pendant Lights

Pendant lights featuring shades pointing up are ideal for ambient lighting, while the ones with shades pointing down are designed to provide task lighting. Once you are aware of the function you want the pendant to serve, choosing a type should not be complicated. Below are your options:

Mini Pendant Lights

You can use mini pendant lights as one single light or several to create a string; either for task lighting or accent lighting. Install one over a desk or sink or a row of mini pendant lights over a kitchen island or breakfast bar. You can combine mini pendants with track lights to get a mixture of accent, task, and ambient lighting.

Island Pendant Lights

As the name suggests, island pendant lights are ideal for kitchen and dining islands. Usually, it has two or three light sources and can also be placed over a bar, pool table, or desk. They can also be used for accent and task lighting.

Multi-Light Pendant Lights

Multi-light pendants provide light using multiple light sources, all coming from the same fixture. Light sources can start from two to even ten. Homeowners with a large floor-to-ceiling space should consider this type of lighting. Also, it provides a great alternative to a chandelier if you are on a budget.

Inverted Pendant Lights

These pendants have lights reflecting upwards. They look like semi-flush mounted lights, only that they hang through a chain instead of being mounted directly on a ceiling. They are also fantastic for ambient lighting. Common areas using inverted pendant lights include the foyer, dining room, breakfast nook, and kitchen.

Bowl Pendant Lights

Bowl pendant lights function as the central lighting of a space. This makes them ideal for large rooms where focused light is required. They are excellent for the kitchen and dining room and provide a lot of light by projecting it on the ceiling and below. They should be installed above and at eye level to prevent one from looking at the light directly. Also, you will have to install other light sources to complement the bowl pendant light, since its shape causes it to provide light to only what is below it.

Drum Pendant Lights

These are shaped cylindrically, like a drum, and reflect light both up and down. Mainly, they are used for accent lighting, but they can serve as ambient lighting in small spaces.

Downlight pendants

As the name suggests, they focus on light downwards, making them ideal for task lighting. As they supply intense and direct lighting, you can install them above desks for fine detailed work or reading. They are also great over preparation counters in the kitchen.

Pendant Light Styles

When shopping for pendant lights, pick a style that complements your décor to bring the room together. The different styles available include:

Traditional Pendant Lights

These pendants feature an ornate and classic look. Varying anywhere from antique, rustic, and farmhouse, this style comes with more details and embellishment.

Contemporary Pendant Lights

These lights are simple and minimalist, with clean and sharp lines.

Transitional Style Pendants

Transitional style pendants combine a modern and traditional style. It features minimalistic elements but with a touch of vintage style.

Unique Pendant Lights

These are fixtures with a less formal look, allowing you to bring some fun to the room.

Pendant Finishes

Pendants are available in several finishes. You can get an idea from the existing décor in your home to guide you on the pendant lights to choose from. For instance, if the handles to the cabinets or doors feature a nickel finish, choose a pendant that will either match it or complement it. Some popular light finishes include:

  • Polished nickel
  • Brushed nickel
  • Polished chrome
  • Black iron
  • Oil brushed bronze
  • Gunmetal

Pendant Shades

Pendant shades come in a variety of glass, fabric, and metal materials. Fabric shades give a diffused light, making them ideal for the bedroom. When going for a stylish and modern look, get pendant lights with glass and metal shades. Some popular shades include:

  • Colored glass
  • Frosted glass
  • Clear glass
  • Smoked white glass
  • Tiffany-style glass
  • Linen
  • Weathered
  • Sandblasted
  • Polished chrome
  • Burlap
  • Oil rubbed bronze

Pendant Lights for Specific Uses

Over a Dining Table

When looking for pendant lights for your dining table, look for single or multi-light pendant lights. Then get them in odd numbers like three and five as they are appealing to the eye. If you have a long dining table, then simply add the numbers.

Over a Kitchen Island

The idea here is similar to dining tables, but you should consider installing pendant lights in clear and colored glass.

Over a cocktail table

A single pendant light over a cocktail table produces a dramatic effect in a room. Try and find a pendant with a minimalistic look for this purpose.

Over a Sofa

A common trick used by interior designers to provide asymmetry to a room is installing a pendant light on one side of the sofa. If it is low enough, it creates adequate ambiance through task lighting.

Final Thoughts

Pendant lightings are becoming more popular because of how great they look and fit in different spaces. If you are looking to install one or a few in your home, take some time and research your options, picking what matches your style. Your home is a personal space, so get a style and color you really like!