Pendant Lights for the Home: Room by Room
One of the reasons pendant lights are so popular is that they work in every room of the house. They are extremely versatile and give you heaps of options to get the look just right for each individual room while maintaining one cohesive story in the home.
The most popular spots for pendant lights in the home are over the kitchen counter, over the dining table, and next to the bed. These are places you want a decorative feature, but also places that require reliable task lighting. This shows how versatile pendants can be, bringing both style and function to any space within the home.
Wherever you are thinking of installing pendant lights will call for unique considerations. Every room has its own function and its own needs. Let us walk you through, room by room, to help you choose the right pendant lights for each space.
Good lighting and decor can transform a bathroom into a luxurious powder room that calls on you to spend time pampering yourself. Bathroom pendant lights are perfect for creating this feeling. The most popular choice? Glass pendant lights. These add some sparkle and romance to an otherwise very functional space. Many people also choose fittings, glass or otherwise, that leave the bulb exposed. This creates an ambient light that is both beautiful and functional: the last thing you want when trying to shave or apply makeup are harsh shadows and uneven lighting.
In bathrooms you must be mindful of practicalities: keep light fittings a safe distance from running water and avoid fabric that can encourage mold and mildew to grow. Depending where the light is hanging, it is often a good idea to opt for a low voltage pendant for safety reasons. If the light will be hanging in a high steam area (like over a bath), electricians recommend using a weatherproof light fitting with an IP rating. Just be aware that this will limit your options when choosing a pendant, so think carefully about your lighting selection in such a vulnerable location.
- - Be aware of water and steam
- - Think consistent, shadow-free lighting
- - Use low voltage or IP-rated fittings in high steam areas
- - Glass pendants are the most popular option in the bathroom.
The bedroom is another place that should ooze luxury and comfort, making you feel relaxed just by entering the room. At the same time though, bedroom lighting must meet your needs. This typically leads people to choose a combination of pendant lights and downlights, usually with a pendant either side of the bed and downlights in front of the robe. The real question is whether you want ambient light or directional light. If you read in bed a lot you may need more intense, downward facing light. If you’re just using bedroom pendant lights for mood lighting then the ambient light from an exposed bulb or fully enclosed bulb may be a better choice.
Another thing to consider in the bedroom is how you want the light switches to work. You may have your two bedside pendants connected to the light switch at the doorway, or you may have independent switches on each side of the bed. It can also be a good idea to have dimmers on lights in the bedroom.
The most popular types of pendant lights for the bedroom are glass pendants or cage pendants for ambient light, with an exposed bulb, or enclosed metallic pendants that push light downwards for more directed, intense lighting.
- - Think about how and where you use light in your bedroom
- - Consider how switches will be connected
- - Don’t overlight: consider a dimmer switch
- - Glass pendants and cage pendants are the most popular for ambient bedroom light
- - Metal pendants are the most popular for more direct light.
The dining room is one of the most popular spots for pendant lights in the home. People love the idea of a large feature pendant in the dining room that reminds them of a chandelier but with a more modern take. A dining room pendant dropped low over the table serves as a centrepiece and makes the room feel complete. This means that many people don’t mind whether they achieve ambient light or light navigated downwards, as long as there is a beautiful feature that draws attention in the room. This is fine: the dining room is one room of the house where the type of light is less significant. Ambient light that reflects off the ceiling and walls is great, but light directed at the table can also be desirable. Just be careful to hang the light at the correct height to avoid glare. You don’t want guests squinting at one another over the table.
Multi-armed pendant lights are very popular in a dining room, as well as all types of large feature pendants. Some people also choose to hang multiple pendants in a row, or clusters of smaller pendants over their dining table to create a sense of movement.
- - Decide whether you want one feature fitting, a row of pendants, or a cluster
- - Look at multi-arm fittings for the ‘wow’ effect and extra light
- - Be sure to drop the pendant to the correct height to avoid glare.
Kitchen lighting is all about function, but that doesn’t mean that kitchen pendants can’t also be beautiful. You need task lighting in your kitchen. It’s the functional centre of your home: this is where you cook, feed your children and help your kids with their homework. The light needs to work for you!
In the kitchen, pendants are usually dropped quite low over a kitchen island or benchtop as both a feature and a functional way to position light right where you need it. It is a good idea to have a combination of ambient and directional lighting in the kitchen to ensure you can always see clearly. While warm filament bulbs are popular in every other room of the house, it’s not a good idea to install these in your kitchen because they can distort the colour or makes things look yellow.
Black kitchen pendant lights are extremely popular. People love matching their pendants to their black appliances, contrasting them with their white stone benchtops, and keeping the colour palette neutral so they can switch pops of colour in and out later.
- - Kitchens need functional lighting
- - Avoid bulbs that distort the colour of the light
- - Consider using a combination of ambient and directed lighting
- - Black pendants are a popular choice in the kitchen, but don’t be afraid to incorporate some colour.
Hanging pendant lights outdoors can really transform a porch, al fresco dining area, entry, or courtyard into an extra room of the house. Pendants add a whole new dimension to the garden area and make every day feel like a special occasion.
The most important consideration for outdoor pendant lights is that the fitting is weatherproof and dustproof. This means searching for IP rated lights, which measures how well the fitting is protected from the intrusion of water, dust, and insects. It can also be good to look for naturally durable materials for outdoor lighting, like brass and copper. These special needs can limit your options, but it’s worth it to find a fitting that is designed to work outdoors and that will last for years to come.
- - Think safety and durability first
- - Find pendants with an IP rating
- - Copper and brass are on trend but also naturally durable and weatherproof.
Whatever room of the house you’re decorating, pendant lights are a great choice. In every part of your home, pendants add sparkle, luxury and movement. As long as you consider the needs of the space as well as the style of the pendant itself, you can’t go wrong.