There are many different, and different looking, lighting fixtures called pendant lights. The most basic have a single light bulb mounted base up, in a globe or under an open hood or open reflector. But lanterns, fixtures that have bottom-mounted bulbs — like chandeliers — and many of the different heads available for track lights are also part of the family.


How do we use pendant lights?

There are a lot of different ways we use pendant lights. Suspended luminaires are used for general lighting, room lighting and task lighting. We use them in our entrance halls, stairwells, dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and family rooms – even on our verandas. We use pendant lights to illuminate narrow hallways, accentuate our photographs, paintings and sculpture, and make a fountain sparkle. Pendant lights, in one form or another, often provide the lighting we need almost everywhere in our homes.


Pendant lights for general lighting

A pendant lamp can be mounted as the central fixture in almost any room. Or one or more can be used to illuminate a hallway or hallway. When a pendant lamp is used as a porch light, it is providing the general lighting for that porch.

An attractive feature of a pendant light, when used for general lighting, is that many of these fixtures are designed to cast at least some of the light upwards, towards the ceiling. Since that light spreads across the ceiling and is reflected downwards, it helps us see more of the room, or hallway, naturally. But it also helps us to see the room or hall itself. It shows us the edges and corners of space, giving us a better idea of where we are, and the ways in which we can best fit into that space and move through it.


Illuminate an area

The main difference between area lighting and general lighting is that area lighting only illuminates part of a room. It can complement or be part of the general lighting, but it doesn't do the whole job on its own. An example is a lamp above a table that is on the side of a room. Another example is the "corner lights" that homeowners sometimes installed in Victorian rooms, especially if those rooms were large or intended to receive people. These can be a pair of wall fixtures, but they can also be pendant fixtures, for example mounted three or four meters from each wall.

What if you wanted good light above a sofa in a room? A bright lamp at either end would be nice to read by, and less bright lights above the sofa itself could make it more comfortable, especially if it's a long piece.


Pendant luminaires to illuminate your workplaces

One of the valuable things about a pendant fixture is that it brings the light down from the ceiling and brings it closer to your counter or table or favorite chair, or wherever you need it. As this implies, pendant lights can be very useful for task lighting.

We are used to using pendant luminaires above counters and tables. But what if you have limited space on your bedside table, or just prefer not to have a table next to your bed? You can still have a lot of light for reading, or any other task, by installing a pendant lamp.

In your kitchen, if you have an island or peninsula base with no overhead cabinets as part of your counter space, one or more pendant lights can provide as much light as you need without disturbing your work area. At the same time, these lamps can contribute to the general lighting in the room.

Fluorescent fixtures suspended over the workbench in your garage are another example of pendant lights used as work lighting. The same fluorescent fixtures that hang above the planting beds in your conservatory, attic, or basement, and feature ultraviolet lamps (tubes), are also pendant lights that illuminate work, or help you with a task.

But they are also used for general lighting, usually in the center of the room.

Or they can just lower the light to a more effective height for the room – especially if you have a high ceiling.