How to choose the decorative pendant lights?

by Penglight | Date: 16th-July, 2023

How to choose the best decorative pendant lights

Adding the perfect lighting to your space can truly transform its ambiance and aesthetics. When it comes to creating a captivating and stylish atmosphere, decorative pendant lights are an excellent choice. Because of the soft lighting feature and strong decorative nature, they become a common choice for large, upscale indoor spaces such as hotels, banquet halls, and homes.

These suspended luminaires are installed on the ceiling in indoor spaces, they not only provide functional lighting but also serve as eye-catching decorative elements. If you’re looking to elevate your interior design with pendant lights, let’s explore the key factors to consider when choosing the perfect ones for your space.

How should designers recommend suitable decorative pendant lights to homeowners?

First, choose the appropriate lighting distribution method based on the actual needs, as different light distributions can achieve different lighting effects. Especially in commercial spaces, pendant lights should not only focus on decorative purposes but also need to fully consider functional requirements.

In addition, consider the installation method in conjunction with the space structure and personal preferences. For example, some gypsum board ceilings may not be suitable for pendant lights due to material reasons, as they may easily crack or deform.

Lastly, the design style of the pendant lights should also be considered, they need to ideally reflect the home’s style while showcasing the homeowner’s aesthetics.

In fact, lighting fixtures and design styles are like women and clothes – they need to be carefully and appropriately matched, avoiding casual combinations. Now, let’s delve into a detailed introduction.

3 Types of Decorative Pendant Lights

  • Diffused Lighting

Diffused lighting refers to a lighting technique that creates a soft and evenly distributed illumination throughout a space. It eliminates harsh shadows and reduces glare, resulting in a gentle and comfortable lighting environment. Diffused light is achieved by using light fixtures that have diffusers, such as frosted glass, fabric shades, or light-diffusing materials. Normally, the size of the diffuser is big and the light source wattage is small.

Tips: Diffused lighting usually use together with ceiling spot lights. While the diffused lighting is used as decorative pendant lighting, the ceiling spotlight is used to light up the dining table. This light combination is called layered lighting.

Diffused Lighting

  • Direct Lighting

Direct lighting is a type of lighting design where the light source is positioned in a way that it directly illuminates the subject or area. It provides a focused and intense illumination, typically without any diffusion or scattering. This type of lighting is commonly used to highlight specific objects or areas, create strong contrasts, and emphasize details. Direct lighting can be achieved through various fixtures such as spotlights, track lights, or pendant lights. It is often used in retail spaces, art galleries, or task-oriented areas where clear visibility and focused illumination are required.

Tips: As direct lighting creates focused and intense illumination, the brightness should be taken into consideration. Brightness should not be too high to cause dazzle and glare. To avoid it, we need to ensure the wall or other vertical surfaces have enough illumination.

Direct lighting

  • Half-direct Lighting

Half-direct lighting is a lighting fixture that combines aspects of both direct and indirect lighting. In this approach, the light source is positioned in a way that it partially illuminates the subject or area directly, while also bouncing some light off surrounding surfaces to create a softer, more diffused lighting effect. The typical half-direct lighting is up-and-down linear light, that the down light produces 70% brightness and the up light produces 30% brightness.

This technique helps to reduce harsh shadows and create a more balanced and pleasing lighting environment. One part of the down light can light up the table to meet the brightness requirement, while the other part of the up light gives off light on the ceiling to form diffuse reflection light and meet the space brightness. It is often used in spaces where a combination of direct and indirect lighting is desired, such as in residential or commercial settings where a mix of task and ambient lighting is needed.

Up and Down Decorative pendant lights

Depending on the ceiling structure, the above 3 types of decorative pendant lights can be with different suspended methods. And the specific method may vary depending on the type of pendant light and the existing electrical setup in your space. Here are some common installation methods:

1. Standard Hardwired Installation: This is the most common method for pendant lights. It involves wiring the pendant light directly into the electrical system of your home. This typically requires the assistance of a licensed electrician. The pendant light is mounted to the ceiling using a mounting plate or canopy, and the electrical wiring is connected to the corresponding wires in the ceiling.

2. Plug-in Pendant Lights: Some pendant lights come with a plug and can be plugged into a nearby electrical outlet. This method is easier and does not require any electrical wiring. Simply hang the pendant light from the ceiling using the provided hardware and plug it into an outlet.

Plug in and Hardwired Installation

3. Track Lighting Installation: If you have a track lighting system in place, you can install pendant lights by attaching them to the track. This method allows for flexibility in positioning the pendant lights along the track.

Track Lighting Installation

4. Swag Installation: Swag installation involves hanging the pendant light from a hook in the ceiling and using a cord to swag or drape the light to the desired location. This method is useful when there is no electrical box in the ceiling or when you want to position the pendant light in a specific spot without rewiring.

Swag installation with hooks

Regardless of the installation method, it is always recommended to consult a licensed electrician if you are unsure about any electrical work or if you want to ensure proper installation and safety. As a professional LED light sourcing agent, Penglight can also give suggestions specifically for your projects.

Home Design Style Determines the Chandelier Style

1. Consistency and Cohesion: Pendant lights play a significant role in setting the overall ambiance and aesthetic of a space. Choosing pendant lights that align with the home design style helps maintain consistency and cohesion throughout the room. It ensures that all elements in the space work together harmoniously.

2. Design Elements: Different home design styles have distinct design elements and characteristics. The chandelier style should align with these elements to enhance the overall design theme. For instance, a sleek and minimalist chandelier can enhance the clean lines and simplicity of a contemporary space, while an ornate crystal chandelier can add elegance and grandeur to a traditional setting.

3. Proportions and Scale: Decorative pendant lights come in various sizes and shapes. It’s important to select pendant lights that are proportionate to the size of the room and its design style. A large, elaborate pendant light may overwhelm a small space, while a small ceiling lamp may appear insignificant in a large room. Considering proportions and scale ensures that the pendant lights fit well within the overall design scheme.

4. Desired Atmosphere: Different pendant light styles contribute to different moods and atmospheres within a room. For instance, pendant lights with soft, diffused lighting can create a cozy and intimate ambiance, while pendant lights with exposed bulbs can provide a more industrial or contemporary feel. Selecting pendant lights that align with the desired atmosphere enhances the overall design intent of the space.

While it’s important to consider the home design style when choosing pendant lights or chandeliers, personal preference and individual taste should also be taken into account. Ultimately, the decorative pendant lights should reflect your personal style and contribute to a space that you find visually appealing.

Two Common Issues During Installation

When it comes to installation, there are two common issues that we need to consider.

  • How many pendant lights should be installed?

For example, if a dining table is 1.2m-1.5m wide, it is generally recommended to install a single pendant light or a linear pendant light fixture. The size of the pendant light should be proportionate to the width of the table.

As a guideline, the diameter or width of the pendant light should be approximately one-third to one-half the width of the table. So, for a 1.2m wide table, a pendant light with a diameter of around 40-60cm would be suitable. For a 1.5m wide table, a pendant light with a diameter of around 50-75cm would be appropriate.

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and personal preference and the desired lighting effect may vary. If you prefer a more evenly distributed lighting or want to create a statement, you can consider installing multiple pendant lights in a linear arrangement or a cluster above the table.

  • How to determine the suspension height?

How to determine the suspension height

Still, take the dining table as an example, the pendant lights should be hung at a height that provides sufficient illumination for the table without obstructing the view or causing glare. As a general rule, the bottom of the pendant light should be positioned around 750-900mm above the tabletop. This allows for ample headroom and ensures that the light is evenly distributed across the table.

And, this suspension height, paired with the typical height of a dining table (750 mm – 780 mm), allows for the line of sight to align with the height of the pendant light when standing, making it easy to see the light source and fall on the visual focus. If you are installing multiple pendant lights, make sure they are evenly spaced and aligned with the length of the table.

Tips: we suggest using adjustable pendant light fixtures that are with adjustable ropes to allow you to easily modify the suspension height as needed.


Choosing the right decorative pendant lights involves considering various factors to ensure both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Start by assessing the size and shape of the dining table, and determine whether a single pendant light or multiple lights are appropriate. Consider the proportion of the pendant lights to the table, aiming for a diameter or width that is around one-third to one-half of the table’s width. Suspension height is crucial, with a recommended range of 75-90cm above the tabletop to provide adequate illumination without obstructing the view. Additionally, take into account the overall design and style of the space, ceiling height, and personal preferences to achieve a visually balanced and pleasing lighting arrangement. Consulting with a professional LED light sourcing agent like Penglight can provide valuable guidance in selecting the perfect decorative pendant lights for your dining area.

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