You’ve probably heard the term before, but what exactly are pendant lights? Quite simply, they’re any lighting fixture which is hung from the ceiling by a rod, chain, or cord. The total number of fixtures, how many lights there are, and the overall size are also important for classification. Typically, though, a pendant will feature just one lone bulb. You might think that would significantly reduce their number of varieties, but you’ll see how wrong that is as you read further about the different pendant light types.
1. Geometric Pendants
Here’s a great type of pendant to check out if you’re looking for something to really draw the eye and garner compliments from your guests. Designers will typically use metal to craft shapes of every type you can imagine, making this a very wide-ranging category. In most cases the fixture will envelope the bulb then become more narrow towards the bottom. Due to this, most geometric pendants will also be cage lights or feature a shade that allows light to shine through. These design features mean they should usually only be considered for ambient lighting, and not for something task-based. Try them out in your entryway or over your dining room table to add a great touch to your home.
2. Globe Pendants
Globe pendants are easy to identify as they’ll have a round, circular shape. You’ll also see them called orb or sphere pendants. Traditionally, they’ve been most popular in mid-century styling. Recently, though, those crafted in the modern and industrial styles have been gaining traction, so you’re in luck if that’s the decorative style you’re going with. These will be best used for ambient lighting, as most globe pendants do not direct the light downwards. Many designers love to place these in their client’s foyers as a beautiful, stylistic welcome to the home.
3. Dome Pendants
Dome pendant lights are great because they give you both style and directed, usable light. To picture their shape, imagine a globe pendant which has had its bottom half removed, and that would be a dome pendant. They’re one of the most popular pendant light types available with both consumers and designers because they provide a focused light with there still being plenty of material allowing for creativity and beauty. Choose a larger one and it’ll be a perfect addition to your foyer. Go with smaller domes hung in multiples, and they’ll work wonderfully providing consistent, even light over your dining room table or kitchen island.
4. Bell Pendants
A close cousin of dome pendants, bell pendants are very similar in shape but will typically have a smaller bottom diameter with a more vertical slope. They’ll also often have a change in slope, with it becoming more steep as you come closer to the top of the fixture. Due to their beautiful design and the directed light they provide, bell pendant lights are a wonderful option for those looking for a nice blend of both form and function.
5. Cluster Pendants
Also known as multi-fixture pendants, cluster pendants allow you to really let your creativity go wild. You’ll find many available that share a large single base, but you’ll also have the option of mixing things up by purchasing multiple different pendants with smaller bases and placing them closely together.
Typically, these are chosen more for looks rather than function, but it all comes down to the actual fixtures you end up picking. If you really want to draw the eye, ensure that each fixture has an adjustable length cord and hang them at varied lengths for an eclectic, fun styling.
6. Bowl Pendants
Bowl pendants are a wonderful option where style is a priority. They look beautiful and provide a nice, even light, making them a great option for hanging in your living room or entryway. You’ll typically see them styled more subtly, though their popularity ensures there’s plenty of more creative options out there also if that’s more your prerogative.
If you’ll be placing it in a room with a high ceiling, ensure that your bowl pendant light comes equipped with a long, adjustable hanging cord. This will enable you to place the fixture at just the right height for both a soft light and just the right level of noticeability in your room.
7. Cone Pendants
One of the more obscure but fastest growing types, cone pendant lights could also be described as triangle pendants. They’ll be larger in diameter at the bottom then at the top, and are better suited for task lighting since they illuminate downward. You’ll mostly see them designed in modern or Nordic styling, so keep your room’s decor (or intended decor) in mind while doing your searching. Most cone pendants are short in height, though longer more elongated sizes have been gaining popularity recently. They’re typically on the mid to smaller range of pendant sizes, so you’ll often see cone pendant lights placed in multiples.
8. Cylinder Pendants
Frequently also referred to as tubes, cylinder pendant lights have become very popular for rooms with modern styling. They will have a consistent diameter from top to bottom, with the size of this determining its usage. While some will have wide enough diameters to work for task-based lighting, many are very small and will be better used for ambient lighting. They look fantastic placed in multiples in a row arrangement. Many are very long, so be sure to look for cylinder pendants with adjustable hanging devices so you can set the fixture at just the right height.
Now that you have a handle on the different pendant light types available, you can begin your search (this site has all the options we’ve discussed and more). While doing your browsing, think about where you’ll be placing the light, what you need it for, and your budget. These will determine not only the type of pendant you’ll want, but also whether you should be looking for something that would work in multiples. You’ll be hard pressed to find a home makeover project that can change a room this quickly and cheaply, so you’re sure to love the results!