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Tips for Hanging Pendant Lights

February 21, 2017
Tips for Hanging Pendant Lights

The style and aesthetic of pendant light can greatly influence a space and helps to give a room character and flair.

A pendant is the most prominent light fitting of the home and acts to highlight an interior by illuminating the space and creating a sculptural focal point. We can all agree that pendant lights are innately beautiful, that is of course until they are hung incorrectly, bringing down the overall look of the home.

A pendant light could in fact be considered a piece of art (which sometimes has a price tag to match) so don’t let a little hanging mistake bring down the overall look of your home. Getting it wrong will upset the visual balance of a room can impede sightlines.

So how should a pendant light be hung correctly?

That’s an excellent question that we're here to answer!

Following on from our article Pendant Lighting Ideas, we bring you all the information you need on how to successfully hang a pendant light by covering the ideal spacing and height levels required.

The correct height to hang a pendant greatly depends on the ceiling height and what will sit underneath it. For example, if the fitting is to be suspended above furniture, make sure its high enough that a person can’t knock their head.

Another consideration is the level light projection. The shape of a pendant can impact on the amount of light that will be cast. A pendant with a greater diameter will cast more light than one with a smaller diameter. In addition the lower the lamp is suspended, the shallower the level of light cast will be.

Try experimenting with your light fittings by positioning them at varying heights to see what looks best or ask your electrician to assist you. Be sure to work only with a qualified electrician to execute any electrical around the home. Carrying out electrical work yourself is illegal and dangerous. The following dimensions are a guide only and while they work for most scenarios, could require a little tweaking depending on your exact setting and ceiling height.

Tips for Hanging a Pendant Light Dining Room

How to Hang Pendant Lights over a Dining Table

70–82cm above the tabletop.

To ensure you have the correct amount of light in this space, the best option is to place the pendant on a dimmer function. If you want to avoid overly bright light selecting a pendant such a drum fitting with a diffuser will soften the level of light greatly, another alternative is using an opaque bulb.

If you have a round dining table one pendant or a cluster of pendants work best, however if you have a rectangular shaped table two placed along the same plane can look striking, as can three (as depicted in the image above).

Tips for Hanging a Pendant Light Kitchens

Spacing Pendant Lights over a Kitchen Island

When spacing pendant over a kitchen island always consider the ‘Rule of Three’ in which odd numbers look the most visually balance to the human eye. In some instances your kitchen island may not be wide enough to suspend three across in which case two will work but consider opting for a slightly larger scale pendant.

When spacing your pendants they should be measured from centre to centre starting with the middle pendant being centred at the middle of the bench top. The two outer pendants can be spaced evenly from that centre point. If you have a long island bench just make sure the pendants are spaced too far apart. Every 600mm centre to centre will work well. Alternatively, kitchen pendants can by hung closer to one side of the bench top and can be spaced closer together.

Tips for Hanging a Pendant Light Kitchen

How High to Hang Pendant Lights over a Kitchen Island

55–70cm above the benchtop.

Pendants above an island provide task lighting while make a great statement and are a must for any kitchen. As mentioned above pendants can be hung in a series of three, however groupings of to a varying heights can look just a nice.

Tips for Hanging a Pendant Light Bedroom

Bedroom Pendant Light Height

40–55cm, above the bedside tabletop. 2100mm above floor level when above the bed.

Suspending a pendant above a bedside table is a great alternative to placing a lamp on top. This frees up space and helps to create less clutter. When hanging pendants beside a bed, these should be hung at the same height that a bedside lamp would sit, allowing adequate to put things with height on the bedside table.

The most popular place for a pendant is either the centre of the bedroom or directly above the bed. The optimum height for these locations are to place the pendant at 2100mm above the floor level.

Tips for Haning a Pendant Light Bathroom

Bathroom Pendant Light Height

1600mm above floor level is a good average eye level.

There are minimum required heights for wet areas so check these with an electrician to ensure compliancy and check they are rated for damp rooms. Bathroom pendant should be hung to the sides of a mirror not in front. Hanging a pendant in front can cast unsightly shadows across ones face. Ensure pendants are hung at a height that won’t be affected by splashes from water.

Tips for Haning a Pendant Light Entry

Entry or Hallway Pendant Light Height

2100 – 2400mm above the floor.

A pendant light in a hallway acts as a dramatic but warm and welcoming opening scene and sets the tone for the rest of the home. It’s important to hang a hallway pendant at a level that falls within ones line of sight while standing. That means it shouldn’t be too high or so low that impedes the sightlines of the rest of the interior. Sounds tricky? Depending on the height of your ceiling and the height of the pendant, a height of around 2100 – 2400mm above the floor will work best.

Tips for Haning a Pendant Light Stairwell

Stairwell Pendant Light Height.

A must for every stairwell! Pendants and chandeliers not only illuminate a staircase, they also provide a beautiful sculptural component. This type of pendant will need to be suspended at a height that allows a generous amount of clearance when walking up and down the stairs. Allow for approx. 460 – 600mm of clearance between the bottom of the pendant and the head height of a tall person.

If you would like to discover the best lighting brands on the market be sure to check out our article Top Lighting Brands.


Image Credits: sustainablekitchen.co.uk | freshpalace.com | Insideout.come.au | shepperdbuilding.com.au | decordots.com | pilotproject.org | studio-mcgee.com | holdithome.com | mywoodworkingsite com


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