The 3 P's - Perfect Pendant Position - Guide to Pendant Lighting

With a wealth of pendants on the market the question has to be how low should I go, or not? It depends on the use of the pendant and which room it’s in and what you need it to do.



So lets look at a kitchen island you need it to be high enough above the work surface that you don’t catch it with your utensils or knock your head on it if you lean over the counter. So I would allow about 3 or 4ft above the surface.

If you have a pendant in a hallway think about doorways and if they will knock into the pendant when the door opens. But do allow 6ft 10 inches from the floor to the bottom of your light, this can be a rough guide for all lighting n an area that you walk through, lounge, bedroom, kitchen.

A dining table is an interesting one the main attraction is the table itself creating a focus and bringing an intimate atmosphere to the area, the light falling on the table creates an area almost like a seclusion zone, those included in the light are in the group, imagine a card night for a group of friends. You can get this effect from a single pendant or a group in one area or even a sequence of pendants in a line for a larger space but the effect is still the same, you can always add in extra light in the background with the use of table lamps and wall lights, or some recessed spotlights are perfect if you highlight extra features in the room like a fireplace or piece of art.

Now thinking about those friends think of the tallest one and imagine you are sitting opposite them at the table, the light needs to be above the eye level, you don’t want to be rubber necking around a pendant! So too low is not how to go but too high and it breaks the atmosphere you need to play a little before its finally fitted, get the electrician to hold it at different heights, also look at the fitting from the doorway to ensure when you walk in the light is at the right position, for this one there is no right or wrong height it’s based on what look you want to achieve.



Also keep in mind the pendant itself if it is glass you will get an outward light all around the room, if it has a metal shade you will only have light coming down on the surface below it, therefore if its too high at the ceiling the light will disburse on the way down and may be a bit too dim if you have a high ceiling. Most pendants only have one bulb and many people have been used to ceiling lights with multiple bulbs so make sure you are getting the equivalent light output from the bulb that you are used to.   



If the pendant is not centrally placed it is possible to use ceiling hooks to alter the position via the cable and chain, there are many pendants with this feature in the design and they come with a matching ceiling hook for this very purpose. There are many industrial looped effect pendants that have 6 or 8 pendant drops coming from one ceiling rose, they can be left with a naked bulb and some have a shade option to add on additionally, ideal in a kitchen area as it protects the bulb.