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A Guide to Pendant Lighting

14.10.2014

If you want to create a statement with lighting, a pendant light is a great choice. The array of designs and shapes available means that lighting can become a focal point of your room rather than just a source of illumination.

If you’re thinking about choosing pendant lights for your room, our guide to pendant lighting will tell you everything you need to know.

What is pendant lighting?

A pendant light is a light fitting that hangs from the ceiling, usually suspended from a cord, chain or rod. Pendant lights bring light down from the ceiling nearer to eye level, perfect for creating a bright ambient glow. Pendant lights have become a very popular choice for modern interiors and are often used in multiples or lines to create a strong style statement. . They add personality and style to your home and will help to give a room a stylish focal point.

There are many different styles of pendant lighting to suit every home. Below we take a look at some of the styles available.

Single Pendant Lights

pendant lighting single pendant lights

Click to buy: Spiro chrome pendant light, Philips Friends black pendant light, Philips Nehru glass pendant light, Bilton grey pendant light

Keep things simple with a single pendant light. These classic pendant lights feature a single light or shade suspended from a cord or chain. Single pendant lights are usually sleek and contemporary in design, such as the Philips Ecomoods Friends Pendant Light, featuring a black teardrop pendant, or the Bilton Grey Pendant Light with a simple grey downlighter shade. If you want to add a stylish design element to your home, a single pendant light is a perfect choice.

Single pendant lights are great for hanging in multiples over a dining room table or kitchen island, as the design is simple enough to repeat without overwhelming a room.

Bar Pendant Lights

pendant lighting bar pendants suspension lights

Click to buy: Metal bar pendant, Philips Innery chrome bar pendant, Philips Uturn bar pendant, Los Angeles 5 light bar pendant

Bar pendant light feature multiple lights on a single bar light fitting. Three light pendant bars are the most popular, but two and four light bar pendants are also available. The bar is either attached to the ceiling with multiple drops, such as the Philips Innery Pendant Light or suspended from a cord like the Philips Callas 4 Light Pendant.

Bar pendant lights are a quick and easy way to create a style statement in large rooms. Instead of hanging multiple single pendants over a dining room table or kitchen island, choose a bar pendant light to achieve a similar affect. As bar pendant lights have more than one light, they will cast a brighter, wider illumination making them perfect for large spaces.

Cluster Pendant Lights

pendant lighting cluster pendants and cascade pendants at Litecraft

Click to buy: Nakita cluster pendant light, Teacup cluster pendant light, Philips Wolga cluster pendant light, Gatsby cluster pendant light

Cluster pendant lights consist of multiple lights grouped together in a cluster or cascade formation. Each light is suspended from a single ceiling plate for easy installation and can often be adjusted in height to fit perfectly with your room.

Cluster pendant lights are available in a wide range of styles. The Philips myLiving Wolga Cluster Pendant features three polished chrome bell-shaped pendant lights for a simple and contemporary look. If you like a more vintage-inspired decorative look, the Gatsby Cluster Pendant Light boasts three cut glass decanter shaped lights in smoked and gold tinted glass.

Cluster pendant lights are perfect for hanging in the centre of a room or in a stairwell as they add interest and different layers of height to a room.

Rise and Fall Pendant Lights

pendant lighting rise and fall pendant lights

Click to buy: Fisherman rise and fall cream pendant light, Rise and fall chrome pendant light

Rise and fall pendant lights are inspired by traditional French designs which were used to light kitchens and cafes in the 1900's. They feature a single pendant shade with a pulley system that allows you to raise and lower the height of the pendant when you wish. This is perfect for rooms that lack height, as the light can be lowered for use at meal times and then moved out of the way when it’s not needed. Place them above the dining room or kitchen table and lower the shade at meal times for bright task lighting.

Rise and fall pendant lights are most commonly used in kitchens and dining rooms, and feature a style that reflects that. The Fisherman Rise and Fall Pendant Light is crafted from metal and finished in cream with a large diner-style shade. It is also available in satin chrome for a more contemporary look.

Pendant Chandeliers

pendant lighting ceiling chandelier pendant lights

Click to buy: Marie Therese pendant chandelier, Emily prism bar pendant chandelier, Madonna smoke crystal chandelier, Chicago 5 light chandelier pendant

If you prefer a more traditional and decorative look, a pendant chandelier may be perfect for your home. These light fittings feature an ornate armed design with crystal effect detail suspended from a central cord or chain. Our range of Marie Therese chandeliers are available in a range of colours including chrome and plum and can be hung at various heights to suit your room.

Pendant chandeliers can also add a luxurious touch to contemporary interiors. The Emily Prism Bar Chandelier features sleek glass prisms suspended from a polished chrome frame for a modern and minimalist look.

Things to consider when choosing pendant lights

Height of a room

Pendant lights are ideal for rooms with medium to high ceilings which can accommodate the drop. Hallways and stairwells are often higher than other rooms in a home, making them a perfect place to create a style statement with pendant lighting. If your pendant light will be hung in an area with foot traffic, such as a hallway or the centre of a living room, allow around 20 inches of clearance for the tallest person to walk under.

Whilst pendant lighting can look amazing in most homes, it may not work in rooms with very low ceilings. Instead opt for a flush or semi flush ceiling light such as the Cusco Semi Flush Ceiling Light to add wow factor without the drop.

Placement

Placement is one of the most important factors when choosing pendant lighting. In the wrong place a pendant light can be an inconvenience but in the right place it will bring a room together.

Above a dining room table

One of the most popular places to suspend a pendant light is above a dining room table. This helps to create an intimate and cosy atmosphere and acts as a centrepiece to your table. The recommended height to hang a pendant light above a table is between 28 and 32 inches, depending on room height, light fixture and personal preference. This keep the light out of the eye line and allows enough room to serve food and drinks.

If you have a large rectangular dining table, you can up the wow factor by hanging multiple pendant lights in a row above the table. This will not only add extra illumination but it will create a stylish look that is so on-trend.

Pendant lighting can also be placed above a kitchen island to add functional task lighting.

In stairwells and hallways

Single pendant lights and cluster pendants work well above stairwells and in hallways as the extra height of these spaces can accommodate for the drop. Hanging pendant lighting in a tall space will bring lighting down to a more accessible level and add an interesting feature to a vast, empty area.

In stairwells, make sure to hang the pendant light high enough to allow for clearance when walking up the stairs. In hallways, allow clearance for doors to open into the room.

In the centre of a room

If you want to hang a pendant light in the centre of a room, make sure that there’s a piece of furniture underneath it. This could be a coffee table in a living room, or a bed in a bedroom. As pendant lights hang quite low, this stops people from walking into it and getting an injury!

Style

There are many styles of pendant lighting available, from sleek and contemporary single pendants to decorative cluster lights and ornate pendant chandeliers for more traditional homes. Whatever your personal style and tastes, there is a pendant light you will love. Browse Litecraft’s full range of pendant lights online and find the perfect light fitting for your home.

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