Pendant Lighting: The Ins and Outs

As electricians, KB Electric LLC installs a lot of lighting fixtures on a weekly basis, including recessed and pendant lighting. Many of our customers call and ask questions about upgrading their lighting throughout the home. Whether it be for renovations, or just to swap out outdated fixtures, we get a lot of inquiries regarding the different types of lighting options, and which is the best option for different areas of the home.

We blogged awhile back about the advantages of recessed lighting, and the types of recessed lighting that you can choose from. This blog will focus on pendant lighting, specifically its function, different types, and which areas of the house its best suited for.


What is Pendant Lighting?

Pendant lighting consists of a single light fixture that is suspended from the ceiling. Pendant light fixtures can be suspended with a chain, cord, metal rod etc. You can use a single pendant light fixture over a particular area, or multiple pendant lights, depending on their function. But if you use only one pendant light, you should have other lighting in the room as well to add dimension, and eliminate shadows/glare. One pendant light will not illuminate an entire room.


Types of Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights come in many different styles and materials, creating many unique designs suitable for any type of room. Pendant light fixtures can be made of many materials like glass, plastic, metal, fabric, paper, wood, and so much more!


The types of pendant lights are described by their shape and include:

  • Drum
  • Lantern
  • Bowl
  • Dome
  • Mini
  • Globe
  • Cone
  • Cage

…. and much more. Manufacturers create designs year after year to maintain modernity.


Functions of Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting can have multiple functions, depending on how you use the fixtures, and where you place the fixtures.

  • Task Lighting

Pendant light fixtures are mainly used for task lighting (in the areas of your home where you do some type of work), like cooking, eating, reading, writing, grooming, etc. Examples of this would be in the kitchen, dining room, office, and bathroom.

  • Decoration and Style

Pendant light fixtures come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and material. Because of this, many people find that pendant lighting can be the visual focal point of any room.

  • Ambiant Lighting

Pendant lighting can be used for ambiance as well. Just add a dimmer onto the light, and voila! Your romantic dinner for two is served by a “candle-lit-like” atmosphere.


Where Can I Use Pendant Lights?

As previously mentioned, pendant lighting is primarily known for task lighting. To get an even spread of lighting over something long like a rectangular table, it’s best to use multiple pendant lights. Pendant lights for task lighting are great when placed in areas:

  1. Above Kitchen Islands

pendant lighting

  1. Above Bathroom Sinks


  1. Over Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room, and Office Tables
pendant lighting - bowl

Bowl Pendant Lighting

  1. By the Side of the Bed



Pendant lighting is also known for style and decoration. You can create an elaborate focal point, or amazing shadowy designs, depending on the style of the pendant light. These areas are great for that:

  1. Over Stairwells


  1. In Hallways


Wrap Up

Pendant lighting is great for task lighting, decoration, and ambiance. It’s useful in areas above kitchen islands/countertops, over tables, bathroom sinks, and even your bedside. Hallways and stairwells pop when pendant lighting is introduced, and can even cast some wicked shadows. There are so many different types of material and shapes to choose from, you are bound to fall in love with at least one!