Kristen Hicks on March 11, 2016 0 Comments Table of Contents Types of Pendant Lights Factors to Consider While Shopping Most Popular Pendant Lighting Brands Pendant lighting has grown in popularity in recent years, as homeowners appreciate the unique style and clean look pendant lights provide. They’re often put to use in homes with open floor plans, in spaces like the kitchen, dining room, and game room. If you have a billiards table or bar, pendant lighting is the most obvious choice to illuminate them. Pendant light fixtures are available in a wide range of designs, styles, finishes and types. Some work well on their own, while others work best if you buy a few to hang side-by-side to help illuminate the space. If you’re interested in buying pendant lighting for a space within your home, here are some of the main things you should know to help you choose the best one. Types of Pendant Lights The one thing pendant lights have in common is that they hang from the ceiling, usually from a cord or chain. Other than that, you’ll find a wide variety in shapes, styles, and types in your search. Here are a few of the main stylistic types and choices you’ll come across. Click Here to View All Pendant Lighting Directional Options Before you choose which pendant light to buy, you have a choice to make: do you want the light bulb to point up or down? Down Lighting Pendants — Down lighting is the most common choice for pendant light fixtures, which makes intuitive sense. The light hangs down from the ceiling, so it’s natural for the light to point down. Down lighting is also a smart choice for many of the types of spaces that pendant lights are regularly hung in. Over a sink or kitchen table, down lighting provides more focused light for you to see the cleaning or food prep work you’re doing. Over a billiards table, it provides better light to see the game. Down lighting allows for what’s called “task lighting” – light that helps illuminate whatever task you’re working on. Up Lighting Pendants — Up lighting is less common in pendant light fixtures, but still an option you’ll come across. Up lighting provides less direct lighting and are more useful for adding some ambiance to a space. There are a number of types of styles that make use of up lighting. For example, any pendant light you see that uses candle-style lights will have up lighting. Depending on your stylistic preferences and the space you have in mind, you may find up lighting to be the better choice. Mini Pendants Mini pendant lights are just what they sound like: small pendant lights that don’t take up much space and only let off a little light on their own. Customers commonly buy several mini pendants to hang alongside each other, or put one up in a spot where just a little extra task lighting is needed, like over a desk, sink or kitchen island. Multi-Light Pendants Multi-light pendants have several lights included. If you need the pendant light you buy to do more work when it comes to lighting a larger space, then having multiple lights in one unit will help you pull that off. It’s very common to see multi-light pendants with two or three lights, but you’ll also find fixtures that get much higher in number, potentially up to ten. Drum Pendants Drum pendant lights have a shade around the light bulb in the shape of a drum. They’re a popular type of pendant lighting that’s good for adding ambient lighting to a space. The drum shade can come in a number of different materials, including fabric, metal, and glass — even crystal for some nicer drum pendants. The drum shade sometimes includes an extra design element to further add to the style of the pendant light. Globe Pendants Globe pendant lights have a shade that fully encompasses the bulb. One of the most popular types of pendant lighting, the globe design is great at sending light out in all directions adding plenty of ambient light to your living space. These pendant lights are great choices for spaces like a foyer or a living room. Bowl and Inverted Pendants Bowl pendant lights have a design with a bowl shape around the light, either pointing up or down. When it’s pointing up, the bowl pendant becomes an inverted pendant. When pointing down, bowl pendants can be used as focused task lighting, while inverted pendants often serve more as ambient or accent lighting. Factors to Consider When Buying Pendant Lights Pendant lights come in so many different types and can be put to so many different uses, that you want to be sure that you end up with a light fixture that’s right for what you need. Sometimes just picking one you like won’t suffice. Here are some of the main factors to keep in mind as you search for the best pendant light for your needs. Style If your pendant light will be hung in a room that’s decorated in a particular style, then you may want to focus your search on light fixtures designed in that style. You can easily find pendant lights in the most common styles, including modern, industrial, and retro. In addition, you’ll find pendant lights in a wide variety of colors and finishes, and often with shades or fixture designs that add to the overall style of the light. When it comes to style, you want to balance what you respond to with what will fit in the room you plan to put the pendant in. Try to picture it in the space you have in mind before buying so you can gauge how much the style is something you just like on your own versus something that fits well in the allotted space. Cost The prices of pendant lighting vary about as much as the styles and types available. Mini pendant lights with simpler designs can cost as little as $30 (but in many cases you’ll want to buy more than one mini-pendant), while especially nice, larger pendants can cost more than $400. In general, most of the pendant lights you encounter in your search will fall somewhere in the $60-$250 range. Decide in advance how much you’re comfortable spending and keep that number in mind as you search, so you don’t find yourself falling for a $400 pendant light, when you know you need to stick with a $100 one. Room and Placement A pendant light that’s perfect for one space could look like a total disaster in another. The place where you’ll be putting your pendant light should have a big, important bearing on which one you choose to buy. If the pendant light needs to provide a lot of light on its own, you need to decide whether you want a bigger pendant, one with several lights, or several mini-pendants. If the light will be used more as an accent or supplementary light to a space that’s already well lit, then you should pick something more designed for ambient lighting. In some spaces in the home, you can focus predominantly on style in your search. In others, you’ll need to give as much (or more) thought to functionality. Many pendant lights will pull off both just fine, you just need to make sure you go with one that provides the amount of light you need, while also offering the look you want. Size and Number This obviously relates to room and placement. You don’t want to end up with a pendant light that’s too big or small for the space, or one that hangs too low or not low enough. Make sure to measure the space before you make a purchase, so you know how big of a pendant makes sense there and how long the cord should be. Depending on the space and the type of pendant lighting you go with, you’ll also want to consider if you should stick with one or buy several to hang alongside each other. When making this consideration, you should think about how much light you want them to offer, how much light each of the pendants you’re considering will put out, and whether or not one or multiple will look better in the space. Materials and Finish The materials your pendant lights are made of will both influence how they look and how high quality they are. Some of the more affordable options will have shades or bowls made of plastic or fabric, while higher end options will tend more toward metals and glass. Many pendant lights offer different options for finish so you can choose the color of your choice. Options like bronze, chrome, nickel, brass and black are all common. In general, once your pendant light is hung, your main concern related to materials will be how hard it is to clean. Most lights don’t get a lot of wear and tear once they’re in place – although if you hang your pendant too low or in an impractical place, people may end up hitting their heads on it (so don’t do that). Light Bulb Type If you buy a pendant light that makes use of a standard sized light bulb, you’ll have an easier time finding the right one whenever the time comes to replace it. If your pendant needs a smaller bulb or a distinctive type of bulb that’s less common, check with your local hardware store to get a feel for how hard a replacement bulb may be to find so you know what to expect. Some types of light bulbs will save you trouble and money because they last longer. Some will save you money over time in energy savings. Both CFL and LED bulbs are good on these counts. CFL bulbs are more affordable upfront, but don’t last quite as long. LED bulbs cost you more to begin with, but last longer and save you more on energy use. Both are more efficient than standard light bulbs, which are in the process of being phased out of the market anyway. Ease of Installation If you’re savvy enough at DIY projects, you may be able to install a pendant light fixture yourself. If not, you’ll need to hire a professional. Either way, you’ll benefit from choosing a pendant light that isn’t too hard to install. An easy installation will save you either time or money (or potentially both), so check the reviews of the pendant before you buy it to see if past customers mention any problems with their installation experience. Popular Pendant Lighting Brands For almost all customers shopping for a pendant light, it’s a fairly safe assumption that how much you like the look of it will be the biggest factor in the one you pick. Nonetheless, some brands that make pendant lighting do have a stronger reputation than others. To give you a sense of which brands are a safe bet to consider, we’ve looked over the reviews for pendant lights sold by some of the top players in the lighting game. Here’s a summary of what customers are saying about their products. Claxy Claxy sells a few affordable pendant lights in an industrial style. Customers give Claxy’s pendant lights mixed reviews. The ones that like them say they’re easy to install and look great, but a significant number of reviewers consider them poor quality. With such mixed responses, the net result is a reputation that’s unimpressive. ET2 Most of ET2’s pendant lights get stellar reviews. Customers love how they look and say they give off lots of light. Some mention that they’re a little hard to install, but they like the results so much they provided four or five star reviews anyway. We did come across one product that got much more mixed reviews, with customers complaining that it was cheaply made. Overall, ET2 appears to make products that people are happy with, but since the rare exception does exist, check the reviews before you order a pendant light from them. Kichler Kichler offers an array of pendant lights that are largely well reviewed by customers. Several customers mention receiving compliments on their lights, and reviews use terms like “classy” and “stunning” to describe the look of them. The reviews of some pendant lights are a bit more mixed than others. Most complaints are about things like getting a cord that’s the wrong length or the light being bigger than expected. The complaints are relatively rare and usually about minor issues, while the positive comments are common and often raving. Minka Lavery Minka Lavery makes pendant lights in a wide range of styles that customers love the look of. Customers say their pendant light fixtures provide plenty of light, aren’t too difficult to install, and are well made. Most of their pendant lights receive four and five-star ratings across the board, so you can trust that they’re a reliable brand to go with. Murray Feiss Murray Feiss sells pendant lights that get strong reviews from customers. The word “beautiful” is thrown around frequently in their reviews and customers consider their light fixtures to be of a high quality for the price. The reviews show that Murray Feiss has a solid reputation for making pendant lighting customers are happy with. Progress Lighting Progress Lighting offers pendant lights in a range of styles and price points. They get praise from customers for being well designed and beautiful. Reviewers also say they’re easy to install and a great value for the price. Across the board, reviews of Progress Lighting’s pendants were positive, suggesting that you can count on a good product from them. Quoziel Quoziel sells pendant light fixtures that come in a number of different styles and types. Their reviews are almost uniformly positive. Reviewers repeatedly describe their pendants as beautiful and praise how easy they are to install. On the whole, customers are reliably happy with their Quoziel pendant lights. Sea Gull Lighting Sea Gull Lighting sells pendant lights that tend to be a little more high end and expensive than some of the other brands on the list. They get consistently good reviews from customers who say the pendants look classy, are well made, and cost less than similar lights from other brands. A few reviewers mentioned being repeat customers of the brand, which speaks to their strong reputation in the space. If the cost is in your budget, pendant lights from Sea Gull Lighting should be a smart buy. Westinghouse Westinghouse offers an array of affordable pendant lights. Their reviews are mixed. Some of their pendant light fixtures get raves for being beautiful and a great value for the price. Others get much more mixed reviews, including some complaints about being difficult to install or not having all the right parts. If you’re on a tight budget, Westinghouse may be worth looking into, but check the reviews of the specific product you have in mind before buying. Conclusion Pendant lights are popular for a reason – they often look great and are frequently the perfect fit for certain types of spaces. If you like the idea of getting a pendant light (or a few) for a particular space in your home, take some time to review your options and hone in on the one that feels just right. Your home is your space to make into the image of your liking, so don’t feel like you have to settle. There are many different home lighting options available for you to choose from. So, take your time to find the best light fixture for you. Good luck in your search.