With the multitude of lighting fixtures available, it's easy to get lost in choices. Enter the simple pendant light: hung on a cord from the ceiling, the pendant light can provide lots of light while looking great too. The pendant light can work in just about any space, and they can be hung in groups to provide even more lighting.
There are many different styles of pendant light, from the farmhouse-friendly lantern to the retro-inspired Sputnik chandelier. And of course, there's the classic black metal pendant light too. Keep reading to learn about different pendant lighting ideas for all kinds of spaces and styles.
Looking to add some angles to an otherwise soft space? Add a geometric pendant light. A pendant light that's surrounded by a square or trapezoidal cage provides an easy modern touch to any room.
Try All Natural
A pendant light sheathed in reeds or wicker can bring in a tropical or bohemian touch to the room, especially in an airy, colorful space. For a subtler earthy look, pick a woven wicker rather than a grassy-looking texture.
Try a Minimalist Look
Forgo any lamp shades or covers entirely and pick a pendant light that's just the bulbs. This stark modern look works well in mid-century style homes or ultra-contemporary spaces.
Try Out a Sputnik Look
Another easy modern look is a Sputnik chandelier, which hangs from the ceiling and features a variety of criss-crossed bulbs on naked metal arms. This classically retro light fixture is an eye-catching addition to a living or dining room.
Or Install a Sleeker Sputnik
Looking for a light fixture that's a bit more grown-up? Try out a Sputnik light fixture that has a starburst look to it, with many thin metal arms protruding outward from the center. This unique light provides elegance with a mid-century twist.
Double It Up
Smaller pendant lights look great in pairs. Repeating the light fixture helps it stand out more and prevents it from feeling lost in a larger space. Doubled pendant lights are a great pick to highlight a longer table or countertop.
Go for Tall and Skinny
Not all pendant lights need to be some form of a circle—they can be narrow cylinders too. A narrower pendant light looks best alongside other narrow pendant lights, or as a standalone light fixture in a small hallway or half-bath.
Fall for Frosted Glass
For a subtly historic look that looks great without standing out, try out a frosted glass pendant light. As a bonus, these semi-opaque pendants diffuse light like nothing else.
Let There Be Light
Looking for a light shade that's less about diffusing and more about creating interesting shadows and patterns? Try out a wicker pendant light with an open weave. All of the shade's little holes and gaps will create a unique speckled diffusion of light once it's turned on.
Use a Pendant-Style Floor Lamp
If you'd rather not install a pendant lamp from your ceiling, get a similar look with a pendant-style floor lamp. These long, reaching lamps can still give you that dropped-light look without ever having to connect any ceiling wires.
Make Your Lights Art
Many times our lighting choices are afterthoughts or finishing touches, but they're rarely the star of the show. It's time to change that. An especially bold or sculptural pendant lighting fixture often feels more like art than a utilitarian necessity. Embrace it, and make your lighting fixture the centerpiece of your space.
Break Out the Edison Bulbs
If your pendant light is one where your bulbs are on display, make the most of it. Rather than using your standard opaque LED, try out an Edison bulb or two. And lest you worry that these unique bulbs won't be compatible with your smart home setup, there are smart Edison bulbs available too.
Don't Forget Candles
Not only can pendant lights provide the traditional bulb-and-socket style light, but they can also provide a faux-candle style light. This style of pendant light makes your living room feel 10x cozier, but without having to worry about any kind of live flame.
Drop a Bulb or Two
Who says your pendant light needs a shade or cover? For a stand-out industrial-inspired look, hang a few Edison bulbs (or another uniquely crafted light bulb) from the ceiling.
If you choose to go this route, make sure your space has other lights too, as bare bulbs may not provide a lot of light.
Place Them in Corners
A pendant light, especially if it's not a particularly bright one, can work well when hung in a corner. A corner-hung light provides welcoming and soft background lighting in the evening and pairs well with brighter or more direct light-sources.
Try a Stacked Look
By this point, you know that pendant lights can look like so much more than their classic dome shape. And one of those markedly-not domed looks is a stacked pendant light. Combining fun curves with shapes, this sweet pendant style works well with boho style decor or in a modern space.
Let It Cascade
A pendant light with a cascading look brings in extra vertical interest to a space. This type of pendant light fits well in rooms with extra-tall ceilings or other strong vertical elements.
Make It an Accent Light
Pendant lighting doesn't have to be the main event. A small pendant light can be the ideal lighting solution for a dim corner or out-of-the-way shelving unit. It can provide the stylish light the space needs while still complementing the main lighting fixture.
Though tan wicker may be a pendant light favorite, a darker wicker can be a good choice too. Black or deep brown wicker can make your space feel moody in the best way, and it provides some contrast in a sea of white walls.
Vary the Lengths of Lighting
Another easy way to make your pendant lights stand out is to hang them in various lengths. This is best to do with smaller, narrower lights, especially if they're sitting at lower heights. And make sure you don't hang them too low—foreheads and pendant lights are not a good combo.
Why Not Wide?
Another fun take on the pendant light look is an especially wide one. Wide pendant lights are a great way to provide a size-appropriate lighting fixture to a larger space, like an open-concept living room. Use a white or other lightly-colored shade for the best light distribution.
Go for a Globe
Globe-shaped pendant lights are an easy way to provide contrast to a room that's filled with edges and corners. And for a light fixture that stands out all the more, try an oversized globe pendant light.
Get an Easy Upgrade
Looking for a low-cost upgrade to your kitchen? Head to the hardware store and pick up a small pendant light for less than $50. Install it in place of your outdated over-the-sink fluorescent light, and your kitchen will instantly look better,
Use One Fixture With Two Lights
Want the look of paired pendant lights without double the work? Pick a pendant light that features two distinct lights. You'll get the picture-perfect look with half the installation stress.
Break Out the Brass
Stunning metals like brass are a great material choice for your pendant lighting. Plus, the aged look of brass gives your space a historic, aged feel in all the right ways.
Use a Cage
For a lighting pick that easily meshes farmhouse and industrial style, try out caged pendant lighting. Though it may sound odd, this style-blending light fixture gives your space a down-to-earth modern look—it even feels a little bit nautical.
Frame a Space
Not only can pendant lighting be used as a source of light, it can also be used to frame or highlight parts of your home. Try using a pair of pendant lights to frame your kitchen sink, or use a series of them in front of some bookshelves to give your home library a magical feel.
Bring in Black and White
The popular black and white color combo has a well-deserved place in pendant lighting. Black and white pendant lights provide style without taking over the space, and their classic coloring makes them work with nearly any decor.
Look for Lanterns
Another way to add a historic touch to your lighting is to use lanterns. Lantern-style pendant lighting works well in a modern farmhouse setting, or in a cozy vintage space too. For a one-of-a-kind look, try to source actual vintage lanterns for these pendant lights.
Use a Layered Look
The world of mid-century lighting gifted us with many stunning light fixtures, like the Sputnik chandelier. Another one of those picture-perfect picks is the layered pendant light. The layered pendant light hides the bulb within the light fixture, while looking like a work of art all the while.
Try Two Lights in One
For a pendant light fixture that stands out among the rest, choose one that has double the drama. A tiered pendant light like this one features two eye-catching sections. It's an easy way to provide oomph to any space.
Point Lights in Every Direction
Another way to get a more sculptural pendant lighting effect is by using the lights themselves. Pointing the lights in different direction gives your space a bold lighting look that's a step above the rest. Just don't forget to point some in the direction of the space you actually need lit.
Bring in Color
Pendant lighting is a great way to bring color into a space—after all, lighting fixtures are far more than just harbingers of the status quo. Pick a bright and bold pendant lighting fixture to give your space an avant-garde look.
Looking for a neutral lighting pick that will fit nearly anywhere? Try a gray pendant light. The soft coloring of the light fixture makes it blend in wherever it goes, but the modern shape ensures that it's not a drab pick either.
Another easy way to get an eye-catching light fixture is to look for an oversized one. Here, this oversized pendant lantern provides all the subtle cottage style, but with twice the drama.
If you install an oversized pendant light, make sure your space is big enough for it. A too-big light in a small space will just make the room feel crowded.
Keep It High
A pendant light that's hung high above furniture will provide widespread, dimmer light. This works well for spaces that already receive lots of natural light or for areas where you want a darker, cozier feel, like a dining table. Likewise, a low-hung pendant light provides more direct, brighter light. This height of light is great for more utilitarian spaces, like kitchens.
Use Pendant Lights in the Bedroom
Though the bedroom may not seem like the place for a more styled lighting fixture like the pendant light, it's time for it to be. Pendant lights provided needed light and style to a space that deserves plenty of both.
Have Fun With Shapes
Pendant lights can be neat and tidy, but they can also be a little out-of-sorts and fun too. Try a more uniquely-shaped pendant light in a space that needs to be shaken up, like a prim-and-proper bedroom. Don't be afraid to go out of your lighting comfort zone.
Try a Glass Globe
A glass globe pendant light provides a multitude of surfaces for light to refract and bounce off. Plus, these lights are stunning too. Though these may be a pricier pendant lighting pick, they're well worth it.
Or, Use Paper
A more budget-friendly pendant light option can be found in paper! Paper-based pendant lights provide a soft, subtle light and can be found en masse at your local IKEA. Just hang them carefully, as paper pendant lights can easily rip.