Pendant lights hang on a cord or chain, and differ from chandeliers because they’re a single light or a small group of lights at the end, while chandeliers have arms with multiple lights at the end. The terms are often used interchangeably, but pendant lighting offers a distinctive and simple look that’s hard to achieve any other way.
If you have recessed lighting now, you can see how pendant lighting will look in the room without installing new fittings or even using tools. Look for instant pendant lighting designed to screw into the socket where the recessed bulb was. You can instantly transform a room to see how it looks before having the lights installed, or you can leave the instant lights in place permanently.
If you’re picturing pendant lights and you think they look dated, then you haven’t seen some of the new designs. They don’t all look like they’re out of the 1970s. Ceiling lighting has come a long way since then, so hit a showroom or look through a large lighting site online. You can find these lights at a discount store, but if you invest in a quality product you’ll have a much better selection and the light will remain looking new for much longer.
These fixtures are excellent for minimalistic rooms. Rather than having many end tables with lamps, the room can be streamlined with pendants hanging above the seating area. The lighting is often enough to read or do up-close tasks. Pendant lights have the added benefit of being focused, so that the light doesn’t go out into other areas of the room unless you choose one with an adjustable shade.
You can get the same effect with adjustable pendant lights as the once popular can-style spotlights gave. A line of them with each one shining at a slightly different angle helps light up the area, and if you choose shades that are striking enough, they’ll give definite style to the décor.
Pendant or Swag?
A swag lamp, a true throwback to the 1970s, hangs just like a pendant light. But a chain or other type of cord “swags” over from the side and typically plugs into a regular wall socket. This is what gives the swag lamp its distinctive appearance, but it can seem exactly like a pendant light in every other way. If you want the look of a pendant but don’t want to install a light fixture in the ceiling, a swag lamp is an option.