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Pendant Lighting FAQs

There are so many places in the home where you can use pendant lighting. This type of lighting can be part of the overall lighting of a room, or it can be used to add more light to a particular area.

The kitchen and dining areas are common places for pendant lighting. Hanging lights above a dining table or kitchen island are a classic combination, but they look good over a sink too. In the living room, a large single pendant light in the center of the room can be striking. Above end tables, side tables or a coffee table are additional spots for pendant lights.

In the bedroom, use pendant lights instead of nightstand lamps or add a statement pendant light in the middle of the room. A pendant light above a desk can be functional and stylish as well. In the bathroom, pendant lighting above a vanity, sink or bathtub will give you that wow factor. Hallways and entryways can also benefit from pendant lighting.

The type of pendant light you get will determine how much light it gives off. However, you’ll also want to keep in mind that pendant lighting is rarely the sole source of light in any room; it is usually incorporated with other types of lights to provide ambient lighting, task lighting or accent lighting.

To illuminate a dark space, choose pendants with clear or light-colored shades that allow the light to easily escape. For task lighting or accent lighting, a dark shade will focus the light right where you want it.

The type of light bulb you use will also determine the brightness of your lights. Just like with the lightshade, a clear bulb will provide unfiltered light that may be useful for cooking or working, while a more opaque bulb will provide softer light. Choose a bright white light bulb for kitchens and bathrooms and a soft white light bulb for cozier spaces like the living room or dining room.

Unlike floor or table lamps that can be plugged into an electrical outlet on the wall, pendant lights are typically installed into your ceiling. The process is relatively easy if you are experienced in minor home repairs or a DIY type but when in doubt, call a professional.

To install pendant light fixtures, you will need to turn off the power to your home and connect wiring. You will also need a ladder and gloves. Protective eyewear and a face mask may also be needed to guard against any falling debris. If this already sounds like too much for you, let an electrician handle the installation.

You’ll also want to consider if your home already has a junction box in place. This is where electrical connections are contained and where a pendant light will be installed. If one of these is not present, or if the existing wires are brittle, you will need to enlist a professional electrician.