How to hang a pendant light

The next important thing, once you have decided you want a pendant light, is to understand how to hang one. Factors like the height of your ceiling or the length of the cord are all vital when aiming to achieve the best lighting in your home.

Size matters!

To create the right look whilst maintaining a good lighting, you need to consider all aspects of size, including the pendant itself and the dimensions of the room.

  • In some cases, a larger light may need to be moved higher to avoid obstructing views and a smaller one lower to ensure the concentrated light is hitting the desired destination, just below eye-level should be perfect as a general rule.
  • If you have a high ceiling, it may be a better option to purchase a larger light that hangs lower to avoid it getting lost in all the extra space.
  • If the pendant is to be hung over a table, counter or kitchen island, then you should look at the surface and shape that needs to be lit. A long surface may work better with a number of pendant lights and it is here where you need to start thinking about the fun stuff – measurements.

Getting technical…

How many do I need?

So, deciding how many pendant lights you want can be a tough one. To help you through the process you might want to let size decide. The rule of 3 can be stuck to for smaller pendants and for bigger ones, two work well together.

Once you have decided, you should measure the area you want to illuminate and divide it by how many lights you plan to use. It is key that the lights remain uniform and so it is wise to use a procedure like this to avoid the lights looking irregular. A general rule suggests that the lights should be placed 30 inches apart but this differs when using pendant lighting for surfaces like kitchen islands. The length of the island must be taken into consideration in order to distribute the lights evenly and this can be done by noting down the center point and the halfway point on each end and working out where each one should sit.

Its essential that you focus on catching the whole of the surface otherwise you could be left with spots of shadows. To avoid this, you should measure the distance between the bulbs rather than the fixtures themselves.

Here are some basic guidelines to give you an idea of where the prime place is to hang a pendant light. Before we get started there are a few tips that you might want to know…

  • Don’t do it on your own! Get someone’s help so that they can adjust the light manually whilst you sit down and mind the view. You need to be sure that it doesn’t interfere with anything.
  • Take into account the height of the tallest person that will be using that space to avoid any sore heads.
  • Think about your surroundings, you don’t want to fit a light to then find out that you can’t open your cupboard door.

Hanging your light…

Over a table or kitchen island

When hanging a light over a kitchen island or table, it is better take the measurements from the counter upward rather than the ceiling down.

This is so you can get a better idea of the space between the light and your surface. There should be roughly around 30-40 inch between the where the surface of your table meets the light, this however is only a guideline. If you happen to have a higher bar or lower table, you should maintain this range. If your ceiling is higher than the average (8 feet), then you should achieve the same result by increasing the height by 3 inches for every extra foot of ceiling you have. This should work out around 60-66 inches above the floor.



Over in the living room

If you are simply hanging a light that is not confined to shine over anything in particular, then the space between the light and the floor should be around 7-8 feet. You should always leave at least one foot of clearance for people below. This works out at 12-20 inches between floor and lamp when using the average 8 foot ceiling as a guideline. Once again, if the ceiling is higher, follow the same rule as above.



Over a seating area

If you have chosen to hang a pendant light over a lounging area, then you have the option to hang it lower than most cases. The seating area means that its unlikely that anyone should bang into it and this allows for it to become a focal point of the room. Ideally, a pendant light should hang around 5-7 feet above the floor.