What is a Pendant Light? September 27 2013, 0 Comments

In a follow up on our previous blog post about light bulbs, here's something for the people who wonder: What is a pendant light exactly? Although it may seem obvious, there's a lot more to it than the standard “light that hangs from the ceiling, usually suspended by a cord, chain or metal rod.” There is still an overwhelming choice of pendant lights in Australia alone. You can get single or multiple lights, big or small, colourful or neutral tones, etc, etc. In this post we'll try to give you an idea of what pendant lights are by showing how they're used and what to keep in mind when choosing one.




How to use pendant lights

Firstly, pendant lights are used to balance out other lights in the room. When thinking of a lighting plan, you can create multiple layers with pendants as the ideal mid-layer between floor lamps and ceiling lights. It's also easy to adjust their height, giving you more room to level things out.

Apart from proportions, pendant lights also function well as task lights. This means you can hang them in places that need extra light because of activities such as reading or cooking. And last but not least, pendant lights are simply great as decoration, because you can create any style you want with them. Go for big and bold if you want them to be eye catchers, or go for balanced and neutral if you want them to blend in with the surroundings. Anything is possible!




How to choose pendant lights

There are many types of pendant lights available in Australia, so many that you might not know how to decide on one. So here are some things to consider when choosing one:

  • Size: Depending on the space in your room and the size of other lighting and furniture, choose a size that fits in. Most people will prefer a balance, but you can also make the lights a focal point by going big and/or colourful, putting them in the centre of attention.
  • Light: Depending on where you're placing the pendant light (see next subsection), you will need a lot of light (if it functions as a main light) or light that is focused on one area (if it functions as a task light). You can create more or less light simply by having just one or multiple pendants. But the type of lamp shade also makes a difference. As we mentioned here, transparent or clear shades spread light through the whole room, whereas opaque shades will focus the light beam in one direction.
  • Keep in mind the general style of your room: Although there are certain styles that prevail in popularity, with a little bit of searching you'll find that there's a pendant light to suit each taste out there. For example, while industrial pendant lights are big, there are also some beautiful vintage style schoolhouse pendants for a more classic feel.




Where to hang pendant lights

Perhaps you've warmed up to the idea, but you're not sure where to hang pendant lights. If you want to use them as a main light, a central place in your room is the obvious answer. However, since pendant lights work so well as task lights you'll do well to place them in areas that require extra light. Popular examples are kitchen islands and dinner tables. But if you want to give them a twist, try replacing floor lamps, reading lamps or ceiling lamps in places such as hallways, reading corners and seating areas. Be careful to place then pendant lights at a height where people won't bang their heads. Roughly 50 and 80 cm apart (if you have multiple) and 150 and 180 cm from the ceiling will do. Lastly, you can also splash out and use pendant lights in an uncovential arrangement, like in this picture where a group of lamps is creating an interesting background for the dining table.



If you're looking for some pendant lighting ideas, have a look at these vintage pendant lights. They blend in well with many styles. What kind of pendant light do you like?





(image 1 via tolivebeautifully, image 2 via apartmenttherapy, image 3 via houzz, image 4 via townhallhotel)