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Lighting with Pendants

By March 15, 2019October 2nd, 2019Design, Lighting, Knowledge & Tips

We love a pendant light – they are a wonderful way to light a space while creating an eye-catching feature, even when not in use. As with all lighting, there are some important considerations to think through, so before you fall in love with a glamorous pendant on pinterest, make sure it will work in your home.

Starting at the top…

  • How will your light attach to the ceiling? Check the weight – some pendants are very heavy – you may need to reinforce the ceiling.
  • Does the light come with a rose (the decorative part that attaches to the ceiling)? Consider how this will look – some amazing modern pendant/ chandelier lights require a large metal ‘saucer’ rose which can really overpower a decorative ceiling rose.
  • Check with the supplier – does the light need a driver or transformer to function? These are not always shown on the stylish product photo… and are usually functional rather than stylish so need to be concealed (and can be quite big). Consider where these can be hidden – they may need to be fitted near to the light itself. You’ll probably need an electrician to fit this and advise on location.
  • If you’re fitting the pendant in a bathroom or other spaces near to water, ensure it has the correct IP rating for the space in question – ask your electrician.
Modern bedroom with Tom Dixon Plane Chandelier and Pink Chair

This gorgeous pendant needs to be hung from a structural support – and a high ceiling

Drop & Flex

Not the latest trendy workout – but key considerations when choosing large & glamorous pendants:

  • Do you have space for sufficient clearance under the bottom of the shade + flex + rose for people walking underneath?
  • Even if the light is positioned so people definitely won’t or can’t walk underneath, will the light source be high enough to give the required distribution of light?
  • Does the light need a long drop from the ceiling to look impressive? Or is a length of stylish flex integral to the look of the light? Don’t choose it unless you can also accommodate this with sufficient clearance.
Light bulbs / Disc shaped pendants / Elaborate wooden pendant

From L-R: Ceiling roses and lightbulbs /  This pendant needs a large drop / Consider if the bulb will be exposed from certain angles


Does the light need a particular type of bulb to work well or look good? If so, check:

  • Is it compatible with dimmer switches / does it need a specific dimmer module to work?
  • Will the bulb give off enough light to provide ambient light in the space?
  • Will the bulb be directly visible? Make sure it won’t be uncomfortably bright.

If your pendant is intended to be more of a decorative feature, consider using downlights or recessed LEDs to add to the amount of illumination.

These glass pendants are lovely features. Just make sure they are bright enough for your needs


There is a lot to consider – so if your home is in need of a lighting overhaul then get in touch! Look out for upcoming journal posts for advice on smart-home lighting systems.

For advice lighting your home, read our Lighting series:

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