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How to Get the Pendant Light Right

via houzz

Guide: Where and How High Should Your Hanging Lights Be?

Pendant fixtures have become a very popular lighting choice for a wide range of rooms. Being aware of a few basic guidelines can prove to be very helpful; not only when selecting a fixture for a specific location, but how high they should be hung. Here are some great ways to use them, and guidelines to get you started:

Over a table. The recommended height to hang a pendant above a table is 28 to 32 inches, but the fixture can be hung slightly higher or lower depending on personal preference, fixture size and ceiling height.

In the hallway. Fixtures hung in an entry or hallway can add a lot of drama and beauty, casting shadows while providing light. In spaces with tall ceilings it is important that the fixtures not be hung so high that they are outside of the line of sight while standing in the space. 

In a stairwell. Fixtures hung in a stairwell can add a sculptural element to the area, as well as provide needed lighting. The key is to hang the fixture high enough so that there is plenty of clearance while walking up and down the stairs. 

Above an island. When thinking of pendant lighting what probably comes to mind first are fixtures hung in a kitchen. They are a great solution for providing adequate task lighting while also providing an opportunity to enhance or reinforce the kitchen design. Typically pendants should be placed 28 to 34 inches above the countertop, or 72 inches above the floor. 

In the middle of a room. Pendants can be hung lower in the center of a room if there is a piece of furniture placed below it, such as a coffee table. This creates a dramatic look that is also functional, with no fear that someone will walk under the fixture and bump their head!

By the side of the bed. I’ve also begun to notice light fixtures hung on either side of a bed in lieu of table lamps. This can be an effective way to light the area, particularly in spaces where they may be limited room to set a table lamp on a nightstand.

In the bathroom. Pendants hung in front or to the sides of a mirror in a bathroom can be a good alternative to more traditional sconces. The height at which they are hung should provide the best lighting while avoiding being so low that one would bump their head when leaning over the sink. When selecting fixtures for a bathroom make certain they are rated for damp rooms.



 Beals, J. [Web log message]. Retrieved from


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