Our Favorite Source of Light: Pendant Lights
Designers and homeowners alike understand that the key to beautiful home design is good lighting. Even if your home’s design stems from the 1990s, good lighting design can take things up a few notches. The moral of the story? If you strike a balance between your lighting and your home’s design, your home will look like it belongs in Architectural Digest. One of our favorite lights to add to any design is the pendant light.
The pendant light is a light fixture which hangs down from the ceiling on a cord or chain. The pendant has been a common choice among homeowners for years, and we don’t see that changing any time soon. Whether you hang your lights in the entryway, kitchen, bar, bedroom, or somewhere else, it is an excellent light to place throughout the home. But what makes these light fixtures a great source is more than attractiveness. Here are all the reasons why we love them:
- Pendant lights are a beautiful focal point that doubles as a light source.
- Pendant lights are also a space-saving alternative that provides ambient lighting over a more surface area.
- Pendant lights add dimension to your space by adding additional design elements and lighting sources.
As you look for a pendant light fixture that fits your space, there are a few things you should consider.
Material and Finishes
Pendant lights come in a variety of materials and finishes, including glass, metal, cloth, natural elements, and plastic. When deciding which pendant lights you want for your home, consider where you are placing the fixtures. For example, transparent glass helps diffuse natural light. This makes them an excellent choice for rooms flooded with sunlight like a grand kitchen.
Another key element you should look at when picking a pendant light is its size. Big pendant lights work well in dining spaces over large dining room tables. Many homeowners will use small to medium-sized pendant lights over kitchen countertops to add extra brightness and dimension to the area. These smaller pendants, such as mini globes, are great alternatives to the typical track lighting. They provide bright but less intense light, which is why they are such a popular choice in the kitchen area.
You also have choices when it comes to lighting intensity. Simply, change the brightness by choosing pendant shades, bulbs, and light direction that fit your design. Inverted pendants placed upwards streams light to the ceiling rather than towards the area below. These lights provide more ambient or mood, while open lighting is more common for task lighting.
Plug-In vs. Hardwiring
There are two types of pendant wiring on the market today—plug-in and hardwiring. Hardwiring offers a cleaner, more polished look since you won’t see any extra cords or plugs. However, these lights require permanent wiring typically installed by an electrician. If you want a choice that is less labor intensive and more cost-effective, plug-ins are also available.
Height and Cord Length
Deciding the height and a cord length of your pendant light mainly depends on the look and feel of the space. Determine what works well for the area, and how you expect to use the light fixture. If you plan on using the light for task lighting, you probably need it lower than if it were for ambiance. If you’re using a pendant in a dining area, it’s generally best to suspend the light at least 30″ above the table. Similarly, pendants used for a kitchen island area should be 30″-40″ above the counter.
Another general design rule to use is that the height should depend on the tallest person in your family. There should be at least 20-25″ between the top of the person’s head and the bottom of the fixture.
From there, decide the cord length. Most hardwires are between 4′-6′ long, while plug-ins are at least 9′. Make sure you have enough leeway for adjustments when purchasing yours.
Our Favorite Pendant Light Sources
Now that we’ve discussed how you pick your new pendant lights, let’s look at three of our favorite light fixture designers.
One of our favorite designers, Hudson Valley, carries an array of pendant lighting. These fixtures are visually-captivating and super original. No matter where you choose to put them in your home, Hudson Valley lights are sure to wow all of your guests.
Visual Comfort is a wonderful source for high-end lighting fixtures that polishes off the look of beautiful designs perfectly. If you are looking for something original and inspiring, look no further than Visual Comfort.
Take a modern approach to your pendant lighting with Tech Lighting. Tech Lighting shines in contemporary-inspired designs that are also cool and innovative. Try adding their styles to your dining room, kitchen, living room, or anywhere else in your home.
For additional help designing your space, contact our Utah interior design firm. We would love to help you update your look to fit the latest designs.