Pendant Lights: How to Choose the Right Type for Your Home
Pendant lights are without a doubt the most overlooked way to completely redo the purpose and feel of an interior space. Most people will first think of putting in new cabinets or switching out their countertops when redoing a room, but those are both going to be much more expensive and time consuming (and that’s before even considering the inevitable delays).
In just an afternoon, however, properly chosen pendant lights can overhaul the usage, feel, and look of any room in your home. You’ll be free to let your imagination go wherever it pleases, with there being a practically unlimited amount of options available on pendant lighting sites like
1. What will your pendant lighting be used for?
Start by figuring out what exactly you’ll be doing with these fixtures. Ask yourself, why do I want these and how will I use them? Maybe you’re just looking for some eye-catching ambient lighting for your dining room? Or perhaps you want something more task-oriented, like bright, directed lighting over the island in your kitchen. It’s important to figure these things out early, no matter what your answers to those questions might be. Once you’ve got those sorted out, you can quickly pare down your options.
2. What type of pendant lights will be right for your needs?
Now that you know what you’ll be using your new lighting for, you can start thinking about which type will work best. There are bowl pendants, drum pendants, mini pendants, large pendants, and practically every other shape you can imagine. Not all will be right for your application, though. For example, directed-light options such as bell or dome pendants will work best for things like kitchen island lighting, but they may not be a great option if you’re looking for something stylish to catch people’s eye when they enter your home.
3. Decide on the size and number of pendants you’ll require.
This will rely heavily on the decisions you’ve already made. If you’re going to light up your kitchen island, then it’s typical to go with pendants that can be hung in multiples. That typically requires going with varieties where each individual fixture is on the smaller side. For making a statement in your foyer, however, you probably want something bigger and bolder, but just a single one. Finally, you of course want to consider your budget. In many cases it’s better to spend a little extra on one large pendant rather than buying multiple small pendants, which ultimately wind up costing more.
4. Make sure to measure the height of your ceiling.
This is probably the most overlooked step in most people’s search process. Even if you’re planning on having a licensed electrician do the installation (which you should), it’s necessary information to have when doing your buying. Find the height of your ceiling exactly at the point you plan on installing, then look for the following things during your shopping. Pay close attention to a pendant’s hanging method (especially it’s length and whether it’s adjustable), and also whether it’s able to be installed on a slanted ceiling. You don’t want to purchase your lights, only to find out that they’re unable to be installed just how you imagined.
5. How hard are they going to be to install?
Pendant lighting in most cases is hardwired which should always be installed by licensed professionals, but there are some options out there if you’re looking for something you can do on your own. Look for plug-in pendants, which are far less common but still offered by most major brands. These will normally come equipped with multiple guide hooks and much longer hanging cords, sometimes up to 15 feet long. This allows for running the wiring across the ceiling and down to the wall socket without being an eyesore.
6. Finally, which pendant is just right for your home’s style?
At this point you should have a clear picture in your head of exactly what you’ll be using the lights for, how big they need to be, and the type you’re after. The only thing left to decide on is what style will fit your room’s decor best. If you’re looking to take things in a new direction, then make your purchase with that in mind instead. There are styling choices running from rustic to contemporary with everything in between, so you’re sure to find something that will suit your needs. Also think about how much you’d like them to stand out. Go with lighter options if you want them to blend into a lightly-colored room, but if you’re feeling more bold than go for something dark to give a contrast and stand out.
Take careful time and consideration over all these points before you make your final decisions. Chosen properly, your pendant lights will be a part of your home for years to come, so you want to make sure you get this done right the first time. Good luck and happy shopping!