Buying Pendants

pendant lighting

Pendant Lighting is the New Chandelier

Do you have an old plastic faux Tiffany chandelier and want to update it? Before buying the same thing in more modern materials, consider the alternatives.

Lighting technology, styles and materials have come a long way. There are many variations in shape, appearance, even number of lights for hanging lamps. Pendant lamps are even better because they come in mini versions in case you need to spread the light along a long narrow space or do not want a huge fixture due to a low ceiling or other architectural features.

So many styles, too little house

The roughest part of buying new lighting fixtures can be choosing a style. Some styles mix well, but they need to be complementary and with similar elements. Think about what you want the lighting to do and what image you want it to express.

Soft colors and a soft gold finish make a space warm and inviting, but for an artistic element, art deco is choice. While industrial style fixtures are mostly made of metal, they are a far cry from feeling like living in a warehouse. Both the industrial and retro styles have become more refined and elegant.

Bespoke lighting makes a great statement piece and supports the arts. These pieces are at the best cross roads of form and function. They are usually custom made and are pieces of art that happen to include lighting.

On the other end of the continuum, is minimalism. Far from being austere and plain, it has simple lines and design, usually soft colors exude elegance with little effort.

Remember your lighting needs

Bulbs and the fixtures vary in brightness. Choose the fixture that performs as needed. Use layered lighting for a variety of options depending on the task and time of day. Other functionality considerations are dimming capability and multilevel brightness in the same lamp.

Light brightness varies as:

  • Light
  • Soft White
  • Warm White
  • Bright Light
  • Daylight

The direction of the light is also a variability. Uplights send the light toward the ceiling, making it seem larger and dispersing the light to come back in a more natural way. The drum shape directs light both up and down.

Spacial dimensions and features

Avoid buying a gorgeous piece that overwhelms a small or narrow space. Pendants come in three sizes, mini, medium and large, starting at 10 inches to over 20 inches. Filtering by size can prevent being overwhelmed by the quantity of options.

Height of the room is important, but the benefit to pendants is that they come with minor flexibility in height. The exception to this would be those hanging by rods. Those may not be adjustable, so check carefully.

Shapes to Choose From

Geometric Pendant

Globe Pendant

Bowl Pendant

Crystal Pendant

Drum Pendant

Schoolhouse Pendant

Square Pendant

Teardrop Pendant

Lantern Pendant

Cone Pendant

Cylinder pendant

Dome Pendant

Bulb Pendant

Cylinder Pendant

Besides style and functionality, a final factor would be ease of cleaning. Make a list of needs and desires and use that to narrow down your choices. Just remember to choose a style that works with the existing decor.

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