Pendant lighting is not seen as a genuine lighting alternative for many of us because we have been brainwashed into thinking there are the three basics: the lamp, the flush-mounted ceiling fixture, and when you want to get fancy – the chandelier. Most of us even think of wall sconces before the word pendant will ever come to mind.
The pendant is actually one of the most versatile of the light fixtures and can be used to provide the three main types of lighting: ambient, task, and even accent lighting. Unlike table, desk, or even floor lamps, the pendant light fixture is not limited in placement options. A table or desk lamp always needs some sort of furniture or desk to place them upon. Without you want to place furniture in the middle of your room in order to set the lamp upon, table and desk lamps are not good sources of ambient lighting. Although great for task lighting such as reading, lamps – including floor models – are limited by their placement restrictions and in the types of lighting they are able to provide (great task lighting, poor ambient, no accent).
Because pendants are mounted to the ceiling, they can be placed anywhere in the room so long as you run power to them during installation. In most cases, your home already has wiring in place for ceiling fixtures. Without wiring restrictions, you can let your imagination run wild when choosing pendant fixtures for each room.
In the kitchen, an elegant pendant with ornate glass shades will create plenty of ambient lighting while adding some flare and subtle elegance to the room. If you have a center island or breakfast nook, try placing a 3-bulb pendant overhead. This will provide these work / eating areas with additional task lighting and can be coordinated with the primary pendant fixture for a more compelling decorative effect. Even the sink area would benefit from a small overhead pendant to provide additional task lighting for dishes while also serving as accent lighting when the other lights are turned off.
The living room is another area when pendant lighting should be considered as a serious option as the primary source of ambient lighting. While a chandelier may be overbearing in the space, the right pendant will brighten the room and give the décor the added class and sophistication it had been lacking when a simple ceiling fixture was in place. Pendants come in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes, there is literally no limit to the number of options that they bring to your lighting blueprint.
Pendant lighting fixtures work especially well as sources of illumination for hallways and stairways. A simple ceiling fixture at the top of the stairs can be too far away to provide enough illumination for everyone in your family to navigate safely. However, a hanging pendant can bring the source of illumination closer to the stairs and thus eliminate dark spots created by flush-mounted ceiling fixtures. Foyers and entranceways are other great places for pendants and they should be used to set the tone of your décor as people first enter your home.