How to choose pendant lights for your home

You can enhance the décor of any room with pendant lights. Designed to make a statement they can catch the eye and become a feature in their own right. Darren from Mercator explains the different type of pendant lights available with some advice on choosing the right style.

Pendant lights make a statement

Pendant lights are designed to hang from the ceiling and come in many different sizes, shapes and colours. Often referred to as the ‘jewellery of lights’ they can be elaborate and dominating or minimalist and subtle. Darren’s advice is, “Use pendant lights when you want to add a decorative feature to a room.”

Many pendant light styles include matching ceiling and wall lights, even lamps. So, you can make a feature of one style in a room or continue an interior lighting theme throughout your home.

Modern pendant lights are constructed from a variety of coloured materials, including glass, metal, timber and plastic. Darren says metal is very popular in contemporary pendant designs. “Things like industrial brass, shiny copper and shiny chrome are on trend at the moment.”

ceiling light

Types of pendant lights

There are three main types of pendant - multi-arm, linear and shades. 

Multi-arm pendant lights are like a chandelier, while the linear style is long and thin. Both feature a number of globes that create a warm, comfortable atmosphere.

In the shade style of pendant you can have an exposed bulb or a glass shade. These pendant light styles usually have one globe and can be grouped together for a dramatic effect.

You can find all three pendant types in designs that look great with decorative globes, and others that can be fitted with energy efficient LEDs.


Feature pendant lights over dining tables

Pendants are a popular choice in dining rooms where they can really make a statement over the table. The bottom of the pendant can be just 1.7m above the ground - high enough that it doesn’t intrude into the dinner conversation.

Darren suggests matching your pendant with your dining table for maximum impact. “You can choose a pendant to suit the shape of your table. So, look at multi-arm for a round or rectangle table, use a linear long thin light.”

ceiling light

Planning for pendant lights

Before you install a pendant light, there are a few things to take into consideration such as the height of your ceiling. If you plan on installing it in an open space, rather than over a table or benchtop, you need to allow 2.1m of clearance so people can easily walk underneath.

“It’s also a good idea to check with your electrician to make sure your ceiling can support the weight of your chosen pendant”. You’ll need an electrician to install your pendants, so Darren recommends involving them when you’re making your lighting plan.

“Then bring your colour scheme into Bunnings to help choose a pendant that suits your décor.”


The easy way to clean pendant lights

As a design feature, pendant light shades will need an occasional clean to keep them looking their best. Darren says a quick wipe is all they need. 

“Don’t use your vacuum cleaner, because you can damage the metal or the globe. I’d recommend using a soft cloth.” 

You’ll find all the latest looks in our wide range of pendant lights online or in-store.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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