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Pendants are among the most popular and most widely-varied styles of

lighting. Theyre also broadly-defned, so many lights can ft under the

pendant umbrella. The word pendant refers to any hanging lighting fxture
that is mounted on a chain, stem, cable or wire.
Pendants are very useful because they can either aim directed lighting
down onto a surface or provide general ambient lighting. They are often
used for task and decorative lighting needs as well. Another beneft of
pendants is that they can ft in any space since they come in sizes both big
and small. Their versatility also means that there are styles of pendant to ft
any taste.
This pendant light buying guide will help you learn what you need to
know about this popular style of lighting. Youll learn about the types of
pendants, how to use them and how to fnd the right size for your needs.
If you need more help or advice about pendants, contact us or call our
trained lighting specialists at 1-866-688-3562.
Pendant Types and Uses
Ceiling pendants: these large pendants are especially good for
providing overhead ambient light in areas like entryways, foyers with
high ceilings, kitchens, kids rooms and breakfast nooks. Many ceiling
pendants can be adjusted to hang at diferent heights or even installed
as fush or semi-fush to the ceiling.
Drum pendants: these lights feature drum-shaped shades. Three
common materials for the shades are fabric, glass and metal. Fabric
shades soften the lights glow, glass shades give of the most light and
metal shades make a subdued shine. Drum pendants often have more
than one bulb and are as bright as traditional chandeliers.
Bowl pendants: pendants with bowl-shaped difusers that have broad
bases and open tops, allowing light to radiate even more and making
these ideal for lighting large spaces. Bowl pendants are often seen in
entryways or above kitchen tables. Some bowls point up and others
point down to concentrate light in difering ways.
Bell pendants: featuring distinctive bell-shaped glass, bell pendants
are generally seen in foyers, entryways and hanging in rows above
kitchen islands.
Mini pendants: these pendants are small and slender, often used in
multiples and available in a huge range of fnishes, shapes and styles.
No matter what youre looking for, theres bound to be a mini pendant
that will ft the bill. These are used in all sorts of applications: kitchen
islands, bathrooms, tables, bedroomsyou name it!

Anatomy of a Pendant
Cap nut: A dome-like cap that covers exposed bolt ends for safety and a
clean look. Sometimes also called acorn nut.
Socket: Where the light bulb is screwed in and held.
Canopy: The base of the pendant, which attaches to the ceiling.
Coupler: Designed to connect two diferent objects together. Sometimes
also called an extension nut.
Down rod: Allows the light to hang down from the canopy. Often can be
adjusted to suit your spaces needs perfectly.
Globe or shade: Encases the light bulb. May be transparent, translucent,
opaque or not present.
Sizing Pendants
Choosing the right pendant size depends on where you plan to use the
light and what type of pendant you want.
For using ceiling or drum pendants above a table, measure the width or
diameter of the table and subtract 12 inches from that number to fnd the
maximum limit for the width or diameter of a ceiling pendant. Remember
that a fxture with a complex or busy design will look larger than it actually is.
For using ceiling pendants as general ambient lighting, measure the
length and width of the room you want to light. Add them together
and then consider that number the ideal width of your fxture in inches.
(Example: A room that is 8 by 10 feet would get great light from a fxture
that is 18 inches wide.)
Ceiling pendants should hang about 12 to 20 inches below an 8-foot
ceilingadd 3 additional inches for every additional foot of ceiling.
Remember to have at least 1 foot of clearance for people walking below
the pendant.
For hanging other types of pendant above a table, start with 28 to 34
inches above the table as a rough guideline, but consider the diferent
sight lines and heights of your homes occupants so no one gets light glare
in their eyes or bumps their head on the pendant.
If you choose to have a row of pendants over a kitchen island, place a
pendant every 2 feet or so above the island. Rows of pendants are often
mounted at the exact same height to provide uniformity, although
arranging pendants hung at diferent heights is an interesting idea for
eclectic design.
Remember to be proportional! Small pendants in too-large spaces and
large pendants in too-small spaces are not ideal.
Pendant Light Source Information
While incandescent lighting is still the most popular source of pendant
illumination by far and is likely to be in the pendant you want, advances in
energy-efcient light sources mean that pendants using alternate forms
of lighting are becoming more common and afordable too. Fluorescent,
xenon, halogen and LED are among those alternate forms.
Fluorescent lamps, often referred to as compact fuorescent lamps (CFLs),
can ft in an incandescent bulbs space to give of light while using less
energy and lasting longer. Some even encase the curled tube in a globe to
further mimic the incandescent look.
Halogen is actually a type of incandescent lighting. The diference is that
halogen bulbs feature a small amount of a halogen gas like iodine or
bromine, helping to prolong the life of the bulb and allow it to operate at a
higher temperature.
Xenon also uses gas, though in a diferent wayelectricity passes through
pressurized, ionized xenon gas to create bright white light.
LED lighting boasts super-long life expectancy, but a more expensive price
tag up front. LED bulbs are often seen in innovative modern pendants.
However, no matter what kind of light source you choose, there are
some important numbers you need to know so you can get the best
lighting possible.
Color temperature: Measured in degrees Kelvin, color temperature
means how white a light source is. For a yellowish-white light, commonly
associated with incandescent bulbs and sometimes described as warm
white or soft white, look for bulbs with a color temperature between
2700 to 3000 degrees Kelvin (K). Cool, neutral or bright white light can be
found with bulbs at a color temperature between 3500 and 4100 K. For
natural white light that looks close to daylight, look for 5000 to 6500 K.
Your own personal preference and lighting needs should be taken into
account when considering what color temperature to use in pendants.
Color temperature appears on bulb boxes as a sliding scale from warm
to cool, low to high.
Heres a graphic
example of diferent
color temperatures via
Energy Star so you can
see the diferences
Color rendering index: Along with color temperature, bulbs are also
rated on their ability to be as true to daylight as possible. This is the color
rendering index, or CRI. 100 is the highest CRI score, but is just for daylight
since that is considered the highest ideal type of light. Like with color
temperature, your personal needs and wants should be the biggest factor
in deciding what CRI to use in your pendants.
Lumens and watts: When buying bulbs to use in pendants, the most
important measurement is really lumens, not watts. Wattage means how
much power is required to operate the fxture, but not how much light it
produces. (Note that wattage is still important, however, because you do
not want to use more wattage in your bulbs than the fxture is rated for
that is a fre hazard.) Lumens are a measure of how much light a bulb will
give you. With lumens, the more you have, the brighter the light. This is a
table of watt to lumen equivalency rates that use the traditional, not the
recent and more energy-efcient, wattages on light bulbs.
100 watts 1600 lumens (range of 1490 to 2600 lumens)
75 watts 1100 lumens (range of 1050 to 1489 lumens)
60 watts 800 lumens (range of 750 to 1049 lumens)
40 watts 450 lumens (range of 310 to 749 lumens)
Again, that table is based on the traditional bulb wattages, not the
recent government-mandated revisions that improve bulb efciency (all
of which have gone into efect as of January 1, 2014). Here is a table of
those revisions:
100 watts 72 watts
75 watts 53 watts
60 watts 43 watts
40 watts 29 watts
Are you ready to pep up your home with pendants?
Explore our full selection of pendants now.
Put your new knowledge to the test and visit us at...
E-mail: Contact Lights Online Toll Free: 1-866-688-3562
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Mailing and Street Address:
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Main Number: 770-476-8537