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How to Hang a Pendant Light

Over the table, in a hallway, or in the middle of a room: the rules of hanging pendant lights change drastically depending on where you hang them. Learn the do’s and don’ts.

Choosing the Right Lighting

Considering hanging pendant lights in our home? Great choice! We love the style of pendant lights. They are so useful in so many areas of the home. That said, when it comes to hanging pendant lighting, different rules apply, depending on where you plan to hang them. Read on for the full 101.

Over a Table

Over a Table

The general rule of thumb for hanging pendant lighting above a table is 28” to 32” above the table, but depending on personal preference, fixture size and ceiling height, slightly higher or lower can work, too. A good guidance for the scale of the fixture is 12” (30.5cm) less than the width of the table. Hanging multiple pendants above a rectangular table can also be a very effective choice, not only to properly light the entire table surface, but also for aesthetics.

In a Hallway

In a Hallway

Fixtures hung in an entry or hallway can add drama and beauty, casting shadows while providing light. In spaces that have tall ceilings, be sure not to hang the fixtures so high that they are outside of the line of sight.

To create a classic look, hang a series of identical fixtures down the length of the hall. Allow for around 8 feet of clearance above the floor, and take note of any doors that will extend under the fixture when opened, ensuring there is clearance.

In a Stairwell

In a Stairwell

Fixtures hung in a stairwell provide needed lighting and add a sculptural element to the area. If you’re hanging pendants in a stairwell, allow at least 18” to 24” of clearance between the bottom of the light and the height of a taller person. You don’t want people to feel like they have to duck when walking under the fixture.

Over an Island

Over an Island

If you’re hanging pendant lights over a kitchen island, the general rule of them is to place them 28” to 34” above the countertop or 72” above the floor.

In the Middle of a Room

In the Middle of a Room

If you have a piece of furniture, like a coffee table, below it, you can hang a pendant light lower in the center of a room. This creates a dramatic, ‘70s style vibe that also provides light—and with no fear of walking under the fixture, you don’t have to worry about bumping your head.

Over the Foot of the Bed

Over the Foot of the Bed

Another new trend is to hang a pendant fixture above the foot of a bed. If you choose to do so, consider the ceiling height as well as the size of the bed and fixture. The fixture must be hung high enough so that there is no risk of hitting your head when sitting on or getting in and out of the bed. If you keep a television in your bedroom, be sure it doesn’t block the screen.