This blog will tell you all you need to know about pendant lighting as we take a look at the different types of ceiling pendants and how they can be used throughout the home.
Pendant light fittings hang down from the ceiling and direct light in a downward direction. They are usually suspended on a chain, rod or cord cable and hang like pendants on a necklace – not surprisingly, this is where they get their name. By bringing the light down from the ceiling they put illumination where it is needed. There are many different types of ceiling pendants to choose from and it is not hard to see why they are so popular. Pendant lighting can be used in all rooms of the home, for hospitality lighting too and even in certain outdoor situations.
The Victorian station lamp pendants, shown above, have chain suspensions and can be adjusted for height when fitting. They are inspired by the lights seen on our railway station platforms and waiting rooms in Victorian and Edwardian times. These iconic pendants, manufactured in the UK, are available in a choice of metal and painted finishes with either opal or clear glass shades. Longer chain and bespoke colours can be made to order. Although these pendants are shown in an outdoor setting they are, unfortunately, only suitable for indoor use.
The Giant ceiling pendants have a relaxed comfortable style and hang on braided cables. They take their inspiration from traditional factory and warehouse light fittings from our industrial past. Updated with a smart clean look they are available in a choice of sizes and in a variety of metals or painted colours. These super quality ceiling pendants are often used for hospitality lighting in cafes and coffee shops.
The Hatteras Bay ceiling pendants are used here for lighting over tables and counter tops in this retro style cafe. These pendants are supported on rod suspensions and are supplied with a series of rods that combine together to give the required hanging height. They make a distinctive style statement with their vintage industrial look.
Ceiling pendants can provide task lighting, statement lighting and ambient lighting, as well as being used for decorative lighting effects. They are perfect for adding personality and style and will help to provide a stylish focal point in the room. Pendant lights can be used individually or hung together in groups for a more dramatic effect and a greater spread of light. They are best suited to spaces with standard to high ceilings that can accommodate the drop.
Here are two very different single ceiling pendants. The pendant on the left is shown providing illumination over a kitchen island. It is from our Urban Renewal collection and showcases industrial style light fittings heavily influenced by what was regarded as functional, utilitarian lighting during the 1900’s. It is shown here in the forged iron finish. By way of a complete contrast the Souk ceiling pendant, shown on the right, is an intricately designed lantern taking its name from the vibrant open air markets that are a feature of Middle Eastern and North African towns. The ornate filigree metalwork is in an antique bronze finish and creates an attractive shadow and light effect when lit.
This image shows 3 single Cosmo ceiling pendants hanging over a long dining table. This will give greater illumination and an even distribution of light over the whole table. These are quality ceiling pendants, made in the UK using natural white bone china which creates a soft translucent effect. They are supported on cream braid cables with the chrome stepped detailing giving a distinctive Deco look.
This arrangement of Urban Renewal ceiling pendants certainly makes a dramatic statement hanging over the rustic wooden table. Some of the pendants have been hooked up so they hang at different heights – this effect can easily be achieved at home using simple hooks. These pendant are reminiscent of industrial inspection lamps and look amazing teamed with vintage filament bulbs.
Single pendants are the simplest of all the ceiling pendant lights – just simply an individual light that hangs down from the ceiling. There are single pendant light fittings to suit every style and budget. From drum shade pendants, globe pendants, mini or oversized pendants and everything in between, school house pendant lights and exposed bulb ceiling pendants. Single pendants can be used individually or arranged together for lighting in larger spaces.
Two very different drum shade ceiling pendants. The simply named Drum Shade pendant on the left is anything but ordinary. It is ethical produced from salvaged cardboard boxes which are laser cut and assembled by hand using non toxic adhesive. Each light is unique as there will be natural variations in the colour and corrugation of the cardboard used. The lighting effect is stunning – old cardboard boxes have never looked so good! We also offer a great range of other ceiling pendants made from scrap corrugated cardboard.
The aptly named Honeycomb drum shade pendant, shown on the right, uses a classic honeycomb shaped outer shade hand finished in a distressed gold leaf. This appears to float effortlessly around the inner ivory linen drum shade. This fitting is double insulated and can safely be used in homes with or without an earth cable.
A collection of classic glass globe ceiling pendants from UK manufacturer David Hunt Lighting. These single pendant lights feature solid brass metalwork in a choice of finishes and sizes, teamed with either opal or clear glass shades. These simple fittings allow their classic elegance to speak for itself. Wonderful for lighting over tables or in entrance hallways of traditional Victorian or Edwardian homes. The link chain suspensions can be shortened by removing links when fitting the pendants and longer drop are available to order if required.
If you are looking for larger, oversized ceiling lights, these Copenhagen pendants may well be worth considering. Modern and sophisticated yet with a simple Scandinavian design that gives a contemporary punch of interest. Made in Ireland from aluminium, powder coated in a great choice of trendy colours, and supported on chain suspensions.
The Horizon and Rowan ceiling pendants are lovely collections of transparent coloured glass hanging lights in a wonderful choice of colours and sizes. Made in Denmark, in the classic Scandinavian style, they use basic materials to produce inspirational lighting that works perfectly in modern and more traditional settings. The shades are made from mouth blown glass – these are not mass produced lights. Most of the pendants shown above are in the amber toast coloured glass. These pendant lights are perfect for mixing and matching the different styles and colours for a truly unique look. Just click here to view all the lights in our Copenhagen Lighting Collection.
A collection of 1920’s school house ceiling pendants in classic Art Deco designs. Art Deco lighting has a timeless elegance and uses bold, often geometric, shapes for dramatic effect. Pendants like these were typically used for lighting in Edwardian schools and today are ideal for lighting in traditional entrance halls and stairwells.
The Lome bare bulb pendant light suspensions are designed to showcase the warmth of vintage Edison filament bulbs. They have a simple rustic charm and come in a choice of metal finishes. Hang individually, or in groups or clusters for a more dramatic effect. These pendants are popular for hospitality lighting in cafes and coffee shops and are supported on braided cables that can easily be shortened when fitting.
BAR PENDANT LIGHTS
Ceiling bar pendant lights feature multiple lights that hang from a single bar fitting. They are commonly seen with 3 pendants but 2, 4 or more are also available. Bar pendant lights are a quick and easy way to make a statement and, as they have more than one light, they will give a brighter and wider spread of light in larger areas. The same effect can be achieved by hanging multiple single pendants in a row – simply choose what works best for your situation.
The Adeline bar pendant has brushed copper metalwork and pressed glass shades and looks like it has come straight out of a quaint French farmhouse kitchen. The 3 lights give a good spread of light over tables, breakfast bars and kitchen islands. It is pictured here with vintage Rustika bulbs and has a telescopic rod suspension.
Add style and flair to kitchen islands and dining tables with this 3 light island pendant. With an elegant nod to the past it provides a retro factory look that works well in traditional interiors. These striking Emery kitchen island pendants are available in a choice of finishes – it is shown here in weathered brass. The height can be fine tuned by removing links from the upper chains.
A slightly more contemporary feel is on offer with this Quentin 6 light ceiling bar pendant. This remarkably chic pendant owes much of its charm to it angular construction and silhouette. The open frame is in a dark bronze finish with 6 candle style lights. As the bulbs are designed to be seen we would recommend teaming with some vintage filament bulbs to complete the look. The fitting has a rod suspension and is supplied with a series of rods which can be combined together to achieve the required height.
Cluster pendants are multiple hanging lights grouped together and suspended from a single ceiling plate in a cluster or cascade formation. The pendants are normally hung on wires or cables. It is usually possible to adjust the height of each hanging pendant when installing the fitting. Cluster pendants are perfect in rooms with high ceilings or in a stairwell where they will add interest and light at different levels.
This unusual cluster of ceiling pendants is sure to make a statement. Although modern in design the fitting has been inspired by the robust industrial light fittings of former times. It features 6 black open box frame lights with copper lamp holders hanging on black cables. Each pendant is height adjustable to allow you to create your own unique shaped pendant.
The charismatic Mikara cluster pendant features 6 hanging pendants inspired by the celestial planets. The different sized art glass globe shades have a blue and orange marble like effect and hang on black braid cables from the circular chrome ceiling rose. Amazing in entrance hallways and stairwells or, indeed, anywhere else that is crying out for an impressive feature light.
The 7 light Teapot cluster is guaranteed to make you smile. A unique, slightly quirky cluster pendant featuring an assorted collection of tea and coffee pots in natural white, ceramic bone china, made in Stoke-on-Trent by UK manufacturer Original BTC. Wonderful for lighting in kitchens and dining rooms and just perfect for adding character in tea shops and cafes. Each pendant comes with 2 metres of cream braided cable which can be shortened to the required length when fitting.
The two cluster pendants above are both from our own in-house lighting brand Lokuko. They offer a contemporary lighting look using high quality crystal and are ideal for hanging in stairwells or for lighting in hospitality venues.
The K9 Crystal Cube is a large 13 light cluster pendant featuring ice cube like crystal shades teamed with polished chrome metalwork. The pendants are all individually height adjustable offering a number of display options – it is shown here in a spiral formation. The spectacular 7 light Stalagmite cluster pendant showcases exquisite organic crystals fashioned into ice like shards that hang down like illuminated stalactites in ancient limestone caves. These fittings incorporate the latest in LED technology and are illuminated with long lasting integral LED bulbs. Both cluster pendants have a good selection of matching lights to allow you to coordinate the look.
RISE AND FALL PENDANT LIGHTS
Rise and fall ceiling pendants take their inspiration from the characterful lights seen in French cafes and bistros in the early 1900’s. They feature a single pendant which hangs down from the ceiling much as a normal pendant, but instead of having a fixed suspension, they have a pulley system to allow you to raise or lower the height of the shade. Place them above a dining table or kitchen island and lower the light at meal times and move it up out of the way when it is not needed. These lights work in rooms with slightly lower ceiling heights where is may not be possible to have a long ceiling pendant – all the benefits of versatile pendant lighting without worrying that the light will hang too low.
Use the link below to check out our blog on rise and fall pendant lights to find out more about these versatile lights.
This image shows two Codie rise and fall ceiling pendants in polished aluminium. Practical lights with an elegant simplicity perfectly suited to modern living. The wide based coolie shades give a good spread of light. These pendants have a maximum drop of 1.65 metres. The cable can be shortened when fitting, although you should bear in mind that if you do so you will reduce the range of movement.
The Christie and Cobb rise and fall ceiling pendants are characterful lights made using fine, ceramic, bone china. Manufactured in the UK by Original BTC who are not only committed to manufacturing in the UK but also to sourcing all their materials from within the UK. Both of these versatile pendants are made at the company’s Stoke-on-Trent factory. Perfect for lighting over dining tables, breakfast bars and kitchen islands.
USING PENDANT LIGHTS IN HALLWAYS AND STAIRWELLS
Hallways and stairwells are often taller than other rooms in the home which makes them the perfect space to create a real statement with pendant light fittings. Single pendants and cluster pendants work well above stairwells and in hallways as they can cope with the extra height in these spaces. A long drop pendant or cluster of pendants in a tall space will bring the light down to a more acceptable level and add interest to what is otherwise a vast empty space.
The staircase of this open plan office has been brilliantly lit using an assortment of different sized Sun and Moon pendants. They have been hung at different heights to add interest at every level and, I think you will agree, the result is stunning. Whilst an arrangement like this is not suitable for the average home, a similar effect can be achieved on a much smaller scale. These Scraplight pendants are designed by a talented group of young American designers and made in Holland. They are hand made from scrap corrugated cardboard and each pendant will have slight variations in colour and corrugation. These amazing pendants can be viewed in our Guest Designer and Limited Edition Collection – use this link to take a look.
This slightly more modest stairwell has been lit using Rowan glass ceiling pendants from our Copenhagen Glass Collection. Interest has been added to an otherwise empty space by mixing pendants in different sizes and colours and hanging them at varying heights. These beautiful translucent glass lights are available in a wide range of styles and colours. This will allow you to mix and match to create your own unique arrangements.
Make sure you hang your pendants high enough to allow clearance when walking underneath or up the stairs. At least 7’ or 21.5cms should be left from the floor to the bottom of the light. Also check that you have clearance for any doors than open into the area and provide at least 4’ or 120cms of space between the light and any surrounding obstacles such as walls etc.
USING PENDANT LIGHTING IN DINING ROOMS
One of the most popular areas to hang a ceiling pendant is above a dining room table. Lighting above dining tables will help create a cosy, intimate dining experience and provide a centerpiece to your table.
The Arabella ceiling pendants are from our New Orleans Lighting Collection. They take their inspiration from the French Quarter of this vibrant city and feature distressed gold metalwork frames surrounding inner cream linen shades. The glass diffusers fitted to the bottom of the shades hide the bulbs from view and eliminate any glare. They have height adjustable rod suspensions and can also be used in semi-flush mode by using the shortest rod – this is ideal for rooms with lower height ceilings where it is not possible to have a longer hanging pendant.
It is generally recommended that pendant lights are hung between 30” and 34” above the table. This will allow room to serve food and drinks and avoid having the light shining in your eyes whilst you are eating. For ceilings over 8’ or 2.43 meters in height add an extra 3” per foot – so if your ceiling is 10’ you will add an extra 6” so you light fitting hangs between 36” to 40” above the table. These are just guidelines and much will depend on the height of the room, the type of pendant you choose and your personal preference.
We make no apology for showcasing our Rowan glass ceiling pendants again. These versatile ceiling pendants are shown here in a row lighting over the long dining tables. They provide a lovely atmospheric lighting effect. Link the pendants to a dimmer switch and you can adjust the light level to suit. With a great choice of colours and matching lights there is something for everyone.
It is equally as important to get the size of your ceiling pendant right. Too big and it will overwhelm and too small it will look rather lost. When hanging a ceiling pendant over your dining table we would recommend that it is between 1/2 and 2/3 the width of the table.
The Laguna drum shade ceiling pendant is shown here over this smaller dining table. It has a warm shimmering coppery feel created by the mosaic tile band that appears to float around the taupe mica shade. Its rich warm and inviting accents are perfect for a relaxed dining experience.
If all these measurements seem rather confusing and you are struggling to visualise how your fitting will look, you could try a more ‘low tech’ approach. Find yourself a suitable size cardboard box and cut to the required height and diameter and ask someone to hold it over your dining table – it may sound daft but it does help! Another fun option is to use balloons of the right size hung on lengths of string.
Use the link below to see out our earlier blog for more ideas for lighting in dining rooms
USING PENDANT LIGHTS OVER KITCHEN ISLAND
Kitchen island pendant lights offer much needed task lighting and in recent times have become must-have additions to kitchens. Apart from offering an excellent level of light there are a whole host of stylish pendant lights on offer that are designed to steal the show.
The Beso ceiling pendants have a distinct 1970’s flavour. The perfect mix of style and function, they are available in a choice of sizes and finishes. Shown here in bronze with a white inner to reflect the light in a downwards direction. Use single pendants over small kitchen islands or hang a row or 2, 3 or more over larger islands.
The Beso pendants are featured here again. This time two pendants in the brushed steel finish are shown hanging over a larger kitchen island. Each pendant is supplied with 4 metres of black braided cable which should cater for most ceiling heights.
Two Lemuria drum pendants are used here to provide light over a kitchen island. They combine distressed gold outer frames in a classic Grecian key motif with inner ivory linen shades to create a soft warm light. Designed by Karyl Pierce Paxton who has her studio in the French quarter of New Orleans. A fresh look that exemplifies the beauty and essence of New Orleans style in the 21st century.
Much of the information above about lighting over dining room tables applies equally to lighting over kitchen islands. The diameter of your pendants should be between1/2 to 2/3 of the kitchen island and you should make sure an equal length is left from the edge of the kitchen island to the side of the pendants. It is important to get the proportions right and if you are using more than one ceiling pendant they should be spaced apart equally. Allow approximately 75cms between each pendant. This will depend of the diameter or width of your chosen pendants, so if you choose small diameter pendants you can leave a smaller gap.
USING PENDANT LIGHTS IN A BATHROOM
Yes, you can use ceiling pendants in a bathroom! They are being used increasingly in both modern and traditional bathrooms and by selecting pendants that match the colours in the room, the tiles or bathroom fittings you can create an amazing looking bathroom. Bathroom pendants are usually placed close to the wall over vanity units, hung beside bathroom mirrors or sink areas. It is important to hang them where there is no possibility of anyone hitting them. Pendant lights are normally combined with other light sources in a bathroom in order to provide an adequate level of light around the room.
Three bathroom ceiling pendants that all have IP44 ratings making them suitable for using in Zones 1 and 2 of the bathroom. They all feature chrome metalwork which is the ideal choice for teaming with chrome taps and fittings in a bathroom.
The Payne pendant on the left has a sleek look with a hint of Art Deco styling. A look that is both contemporary and classically sophisticated. The Paulson pendant in the centre also has a touch of Art Deco design with its smart clean look. The shade is created by using rows of individual glass rods fused together to softly diffuse the light. This pendant has a specially designed ceiling rose with a 90 degree one way swivel making it suitable for hanging on sloping ceilings. Add a touch of luxury to your bathroom with the Crystal Skye pendant shown on the right. It features triangular crystal prisms held together in the chrome frame and just waiting to reflect the light in a myriad of ways that can only be achieved using real crystal. To enhance the sparkle even further the round crystals on the bottom of the shade are positioned to reflect the inner light.
The Agatha collection of IP44 bathroom light fittings includes wall lights along with a collection of ceiling lights. The single ceiling pendant and the 3 light cluster pendant are shown here in the polished nickel finish. They feature delicate, clear, cut glass shades and are supplied with long lasting, low energy LED bulbs. Perfect for adding a fresh clean look to any bathroom.
Any light fittings that are installed in a bathroom must comply with current UK safety regulations which are, quite rightly, very strict. This means that there are many indoor ceiling pendants that are simply not suitable for using in bathrooms. If you are looking for bathroom pendant lights you will need to ensure they are rated for use in a bathroom. Our bathroom ceiling pendants can all be found in our bathroom lighting collection. Our earlier blog about Bathroom Lighting Regulations goes into a bit more detail – just click on the link below to read more.
USING PENDANTS FOR OUTDOOR LIGHTING
Pendant lights are a great way to set the scene and make a statement in outdoor spaces too. Extend your indoor décor outside and shine light on your garden. Create a more inviting entrance or make the most of summer evenings spent outside in covered seating areas or entertainment spaces. Versatile pendant lights can be used by the front door, in porch areas, on terraces, around decking and on balconies.
The Aidan hanging ceiling pendants are from our own in-house Linspiration Lighting Collection. These traditional exterior light fittings feature rustic antique bronze metalwork, clear cylindrical glass and decorative inner metal mesh shades. Characterful lighting with a vintage, industrial twist. The pendant or hanging lanterns are shown here in a covered seating area. They could be used just as effectively as a hanging porch lanterns or front door lights.
This is certainly garden lighting with a difference as high styling heads right outdoors. The Carson ceiling pendants are designed to stand out from the crowd with their open vintage iron frames constructed of overlapping metal ribbons in an abstract design. A well worn look finished with clear glass seeded shades, rather like a rustic outdoor chandelier.
This charming range of outdoor lights has been inspired by the Victorian age. Traditional globe pendants hand crafted in cast aluminium with a matt bronze finish featuring unique banded detailing and clear seeded glass globe shades. Shown here in a covered seating areas but just as wonderful as hanging porch or front door lights.
The Reef range is a popular selection of outdoor light fittings that include wall lights, pedestal lanterns and the hanging pendant lights shown here. They are available in Victorian bronze or silver haematite finishes and have a sleek, almost nautical, appearance. The Victorian bronze pendants have been used here to light this covered walkway.
Outdoor pendant lights are especially designed to be hard wearing and you should only select pendants that are suitable for outside locations. Outdoor ceiling pendants come in a huge variety of styles so you should have no problem finding one to suit your situation.
USING PENDANT LIGHTS FOR TASK LIGHTING
Task lighting is targeted lighting which focuses the light on specific activities. Ceiling pendants are great for providing effective task lighting in a whole range of situations. They can be used above sinks in kitchens and bathrooms to provide light where it is needed. To assist with reading hang a ceiling pendant beside a chair. Free up space on bedside tables by using hanging ceiling pendants as reading lights.
The Titan ceiling pendants are used here as task lights to provide illumination in an office space. These pendants are based on an original retro style 1940’s design and would originally have been seen in offices, factories and industrial units in the 1940’s and 50’s. They are available in a choice of sizes and colours. Perfect for a vintage industrial look at home or for hospitality lighting in cafes and coffee shops.
The Brompton ceiling pendant is shown here being used as a bedside light over a table. This stylish light combines simplicity of design with pure dramatic elegance and just a nod to the funky 1960’s. It has a smooth hand blown anthracite glass shade teamed with a weathered brass ceiling rose and a black cotton cord cable. Perfect for giving a contemporary edge to interiors.
USING PENDANT LIGHTS IN LIVING ROOMS
A good lighting scheme is key to any living room. These are well used spaces best lit using a mixture of ambient, task and accent lighting. Ambient light gives living rooms their main source of light and brightness. Using one or more living room ceiling pendants, depending on the size of the room, is a great way to provide the required ambient light. Task lighting is used in living rooms to provide extra light for reading and using a single pendant light over a chair or sofa will provide a nice little reading area. Living room pendant lights can also be used for accent lighting to highlight specific areas of interest the room. For instance, pendant lights can be hung beside a fireplace or over a bar or entertainment area.
These striking Brooklyn Tiffany pendants are hand crafted using Art Glass to create a warm lighting effect. In a classic Art Deco style with sleek lines and textured glass in neutral brown and silver on a cream background. They look stunning over this chair and table and would be perfect in 1920’s and 30’s period homes.
The !3 light Fulton ceiling cluster pendant looks amazing here, lighting in what would otherwise be quite a dark area. This is lighting stripped back to the bare essentials. A minimalist look with the emphasis on the ‘less is more’ approach. The bronze tapered cage shades have an open airy feel and are constructed without glass. The lamp holders are in a lighter heritage brass giving a pleasing two tone effect. This light looks good from any angle and we would recommend teaming with vintage bulbs to enhance the vintage vibe. .
The captivating Lute ceiling pendants combine mouth blown glass with metallic detailing and take their inspiration from the distinctive shape of the musical instruments of the same name. Used here to one side of the sofa adjacent to the small side table. Available in a choice of colours, these pendants have a beguiling semi-transparent quality that is both functional as well as decorative. They can be used to provide both accent or task lighting. The pendants are shown here in the coral coloured glass with copper detailing.
When hanging pendant lights in the centre of a living room make sure there is enough room underneath for you and your guests to comfortably walk about. Placing a pendant light over a coffee table not only looks good but will avoid anyone hitting it if it is a bit on the low side.
Pendant lights are seen in almost every home and can be used to great effect to enhance your surroundings and add a touch of your own personality. It is easy to underestimate your lighting choices and we know many people struggle to get it right. We are passionate about lighting and are more than happy to help you find the perfect pendant light. Just give us a call or email us if you need any advice.