5 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN HANGING PENDANT LIGHTS
GOAL The first question to ask yourself is “what is the purpose of this pendant?”. Do you want it to provide task lighting for a specific activity or do you need it to give the room a general level of ambient light? If you’re hanging a pendant over a kitchen island to see better during food prep or next to the bed to serve as a reading light then look for a design that offers a controlled beam of light in a downward direction. If the goal of your pendant light is to provide ambient lighting then you want to make sure that the light output is sufficient to illuminate the entire room comfortably. You also want the light to be diffused.
PROPORTIONS The proportions of the space you’re illuminating are going to dictate what size pendant you need and how many. A small room with a low ceiling requires a pendant with a minimum drop to ensure no one’s head touches it when they walk across the room. A minimum drop will also prevent the room from looking cluttered by the addition of a pendant light suspended from the ceiling. If the room is compact then a pendant with a fairly small diameter is going to work best. A large fixture will overwhelm the space. On the other end of the spectrum, a big room or space with high ceilings needs a large pendant or multiple pendants. Pendants suspended in double volume spaces must have a considerable drop in order to not look out of place or lost.
ENVIRONMENT The bathroom is not the only room in the home that calls for careful consideration of lighting choice. Depending on the size and layout of your kitchen, you may need to check if the IP (Ingress Protection) rating of the pendant you like is appropriate. Like the bathroom, the kitchen is a partial wet zone in the home. The kitchen environment produces steam, water vapour, heat and grease. If your pendant is in a zone where it may come into contact with steam or liquid then a pendant with a higher IP rating is preferable. Also, consider exposure to grease. A pendant design made from easy-to-clean material and simple in shape is going to be easier to wipe grease from and keep clean.
LOCATION Before suspending a pendant anywhere make sure that you’re happy with the location of your furniture, especially when moving into a new home. For example, if you hang a pendant above a table and then decide that you actually don’t like the location of the table, it’s a hassle to move the pendant and leaving it in place means it's likely to have no relationship with the new furniture or lack of furniture below it.
NUMBER It’s not a rule and it certainly isn’t always possible, but try hanging an odd number of pendant lights in a group as opposed to an even number. It’s an old styling trick that works for all decorative objects in the home, not just lighting. They generally look better when arranged in groups of three or five. This amount gives the eye a central object to rest on. If you’re installing a cluster of pendants you may also want to see how they look suspended at different heights. This allows the eye to travel and provides an element of interest.