Pendant Lighting

Contemporary pendant lighting options

Pendant lights add a dramatic look to any room without being overwhelming. They have all the elegance and presence of a traditional chandelier but are often more affordable and more easily integrated into today's designs.

Pendant Lighting Styles

There are pendant lights to suit any decor, but a few common styles include:

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  • Contemporary Pendant Lighting. Modern decor has taken over the pendant light. From minimalist shades in vibrant colors or patterns to elaborate, multi-pendant, slightly off-kilter designs, contemporary pendant lighting can be the focal point or a subtle complement to the rest of your decor.
  • Vintage Pendant Lighting. Vintage and antique pendant lights tend to be more ornate than contemporary models. Often fashioned after old-world lanterns or elaborate chandeliers, they can add a touch of elegance and nostalgia to your space.
  • Rustic Pendant Lighting. Leather, wood and bark are common materials in this style, and don't be surprised if you see materials actually pulled from nature, such as small logs, twigs or pinecones, incorporated into the pendant itself.

Places for Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are great in a number of rooms:

  • Kitchen. A pendant light hung over the sink can provide extra lighting while you're washing dishes or can be used exclusively if it is wired to a separate switch.
  • Dining Room. Swap out a dated chandelier for something more modern and subtle, such as pendant track lighting or just a single pendant light.
  • Living Room. You can divide a larger living room into two distinct spaces: a TV room, and a study or reading area with a comfy chair and focused pendant lighting.
  • Hallways. Softly light a hallway or staircase in the night using mini pendant lighting. You can even run these lights off a dimmer switch to easily control the level of light.

Choosing a Pendant Light

Before you buy your pendant lighting fixture, be sure you know where it's going to hang and take some measurements. Although most designs are adjustable, you'll want to make sure the model you bring home will suit the space even if you have to shorten or lengthen the chain or rod.

Also consider the amount of light you'll want in the area. Some shades, such as glass, allow more light to pass through than others, such as fabric or leather. The shape will also determine how much light passes through — the larger the diameter of the pendant opening, the more light will pass through, while the smaller the diameter, the more focused the light will be.