Towards the end of January, I wrote about some basic information that was swirling around in my brain when it comes to lighting. I really want to keep revisiting this subject here on the blog because lighting is so important in design. I touched on this in the previous lighting blog post, but in order to get the visual impact that you really want for your space and considering how much time and money that you invested in designing it, you really have to have the best lighting possible. I thought that today I could share with you my thoughts on pendant lighting. This is one of my favorite types of lighting, and it’s really all over the place in design. I think it opens up a way to be really creative with a fixture because there are so many different types and styles of pendant lights out there, and you can really customize your space and add some nice flavor to it with the right fixture. Kind of cool, right?
I’m sure most all of you already know this, but a pendant light is simply a fixture that is hung on a stem. That leaves us with a lot of possibilities — lanterns, industrial-style pendants, you name it — if it’s hung on a stem, it’s classified as a pendant.
I think one of the most important things to remember about pendant lighting is that you really have to treat these fixtures as a form of decorative light. That being said, in my personal opinion (but also what I have been taught), a pendant light shouldn’t be the only source of light that you have in a space. The pendant(s) can be the star, but you need supporting actors in order to create a full, beautiful, lively picture. Your supporting roles would be things like recessed downlighting, undercabinet lighting, etc.
If you flip through magazines and you spend time on Pinterest, you’re going to notice that the rule of thumb that I stated above may not always be the way that a space is designed. And that’s okay — there’s most likely a reason for that. However, you really need to think about how functional you would like a space to be, and a dining table with one pendant shining above it, or a kitchen breakfast bar with three pendants hanging and no other lighting isn’t going to give you adequate light for your tasks. As one of my instructors says — “I hope your guests brought flashlights.” It’s good to think about these things as you’re planning, you know? And it’s fun, too!
By the way! Something important to remember — I love a good metallic pendant. Any day of the week. Copper is gorgeous, brass is beautiful, brushed aluminum — you name it. However. If you don’t have a dimmer switch going to your pendant(s), that baby is going to be a glare bomb. Trust me — it’s not going to be a pretty sight. A dimmer switch is a great idea in general for all types of lighting, but I think that when it comes to decorative lighting, it’s awesome because you can really control the mood of the lighting in your space. And you have the ability to reduce the amount of light coming from your would-be glare bomb and make it a more comfortable light source.
- Dallas Market: New Pendants from Tech Lighting (lumens.com)