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Designer FAQs: Pendant Lighting for Dining Room & More
What are the rules for pendant lighting? How do I choose a pendant lighting style?
Because you can use multiple pendant lights in the same area, they can make a truly arresting visual impact. Try to match your pendant lights to the size and scale of the rest of your room; for example, teeny pendants would look strange hanging from a 10-foot ceiling in an enormous loft living room, so you’d want to scale up the size of your pendants to suit the room.
Here are some choices we love for different types of décor:
- Formal spaces: Nothing beats our Clara crystal bud pendant lights finished in antique brass.
- Modern pendant lights: Our Zurie geometric pendant lighting has the look of mercury glass. For an industrial twist, check out our Killian lantern.
- Farmhouse pendants: We love the matte black finish of our Harper pendant lights over a modern farmhouse dining table.
- Island light: Try hanging a group of our Adhira glass pendants or our Aneeka modern pendants over a kitchen island.
- Midcentury modern: Check out the Sputnik styling of our Starburst semi-flush pendant light or the art deco inspiration behind our Skyla brass pendant lights.
- Global: Hang one or more of our Kash woven pendants. They’re woven from rattan-wrapped seagrass.
Want to preview one of our pendant lights in your space? Download our EA inHome® app.
How do you hang pendant lights?
If there’s nothing beneath, the base of your pendant light should be about 5 to 5-1/2 feet above the floor. If you’re hanging multiple pendants, choose an odd number of fixtures—trust us, it just works best that way—staggering each one’s height with a minimum 2 inches variation.
Here are some additional suggestions from our designers for hanging pendant lighting over a surface:
Over any dining table or kitchen island:
- The bottom of the dining room or island light should be 30 to 36 inches above the tabletop or countertop.
- Your ceiling light should be about 2/3 to ¾ as wide as the surface beneath; you may need multiple pendant lighting elements to achieve that width.
- If you’re hanging pendant lights in a row, place them 24 to 30 inches apart, measured from the center of each fixture.
Before investing in pendants, make sure that when you hang them, you won’t block the line of sight as you look across the room. For more tips on lighting design and choosing lights, read our lighting buying guide.
Do pendant lights give off much light?
Overall, it’s not “how much light” there is, but more how their light is distributed in the space. In lighting design, pendants can serve a dual purpose. When they have a glass or other type of transparent shade, they provide ambient light that illuminates a whole room. With a more opaque shade, they provide downward-focused light that’s great for taskwork.
What kind of light bulb does a pendant light use?
On the product page for each of our pendants, we list the type of bulb you’ll need to use for each. Here are some tips on color temperature, brightness, and more:
- Pendants often look best with lights that have a warmer color temperature—more on the red side than the fluorescent blue side. Stick with something between 2,700 K and 3,000 K.
- For brightness, we recommend going higher on lumens and installing a dimmer so you can adjust the brightness. If that’s not an option, choose a brighter bulb with more lumens for a kitchen island or other task-oriented setting, and fewer lumens for a dining room or bedroom.
- If your pendant has a clear shade, then the bulb can become part of the design. Consider a bulb with a visible filament to add a fun design detail.
- If you’re using a pendant with an opaque shade, choose a frosted bulb to avoid creating circles of bright light on a surface.
Where is the fixture on a pendant light?
The junction box on a pendant light attaches to the ceiling, just as a chandelier or any other overhead fixture does. Wires strung through the chain carry current down to the bulb.
Do you have more questions? Click the Designer Chat icon, or contact your local Design Center—we’re happy to help!