Places to Avoid Installing Pendant Lights: How to Illuminate Your Space Correctly


If there's a swoon-worthy aspect in any decor, it's pendant lights. More than just a source of illumination, these decorative pieces can provide the focal point to your room, casting your space - be it the living room, kitchen, or bedroom - in a whole new light. Yet, despite their stunning designs and illuminating power, pendant lights can be rather tricky to place. Install them in the wrong location, and you may hit your head on a swinging lightbulb every time you get up from your chair. This guide explores places you should absolutely avoid installing pendant lights in your home.

The High-Traffic Areas: Pendulum of Problems

Think of pendant lights as oversized earrings for your rooms: they need to make a statement without getting in your way. Therefore, avoid placing pendant lights in high-traffic areas where people frequently walk through or in spaces with a lot of movement. Examples include near room entrances, hallways, or directly above seating areas. Disregarding this can result in people bumping into them or moving objects like ladders, brooms, or even playful children disrupting the light's hang.

However, where a high-traffic area leads to a specific feature of a room, like a dining table or an island in the kitchen, pendant lights can work wonders. Just remember to consider the light's height and the traffic patterns in the room.

The Bathroom Battles: Enlightening Possibilities, Not Problems

While pendant lights can add a touch of elegance to your bathroom, you might want to avoid installing them above your sink or bathtub where the visibility of mirrors and water splash could cause problems. Instead, consider flanking your bathroom mirror with sconces to ensure an even illumination.

Keen on boosting your bathroom's ambiance with pendant lights? You can consider hanging it in a bathroom corner that features an accent table or a stylish stool. This way, you are adding a touch of style without compromising on functionality. Our guide on pendant light style provides resources on lighting your bathroom appropriately.

Bedrooms: Height and Hindrance

While pendant lights are a popular choice for bedrooms, don't hang them directly above the bed or run the risk of either the light intruding into your sleep or injuring yourself upon getting up. Instead, hang pendant lights on either side of the bed, akin to wall sconces or bedside lamps. This will not only ensure you avoid the hanging hazard but also add a touch of elegance to your bedroom's decor. If you're looking for more lighting solutions for your bedrooms, check out our comprehensive ceiling light size guide.

The Finite Kitchen Lighting Failure

Kitchens, being a hub of activity, require lighting that is practical and task-oriented. Hence, avoid placing pendant lights where you chop, cook, or generally prepare food. Oil and grime particles created during cooking might not be the best companions for your stylish pendant light. Opt instead for layered lighting solutions using a combination of ceiling lights, under cabinet lights and well-positioned pendant lights.

The Placing of Pendant Lights Outside: Think Before You Shine

It can be tempting to sprinkle your garden with pendant lights for aesthetics, but outside spaces can often expose pendant lights to damage by harsh weather conditions, especially if they are not specifically designed for external use. Instead, opt for outdoor lighting or landscape lighting that's specifically designed to handle inclement weather. Check out our outdoor lighting collection for options tailored for your external areas.

In Summary

Pendant lights, with their versatility and beauty, are undoubtedly one of the most popular lighting solutions. However, it's integral to place these fixtures mindfully to enhance aesthetic appeal without compromising on functionality and safety. With careful attention to traffic areas, room functionality, and the fixture's independent characteristics, you can illuminate your home to its best advantage. So next time you feel inspired by one of the trendy pendant light designs, remember these tips to ensure your lights not only look great but work great, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Install a Pendant Light Anywhere?

While pendant lights are highly versatile and can enhance the look of any room, they should not be installed just anywhere. Avoid high traffic areas or places where the pendant could pose a hazard, such as low ceilings or directly above beds or seating areas. Additionally, pay attention to the room's functionality and the potential for the pendant light to collect grime or be subject to harsh weather conditions if installed outdoors.

Where Should Pendant Lights Be Placed?

Pendant lights are highly effective in areas where you want to create a focal point or need concentrated lighting, such as above dining tables, kitchen islands, desk or workstation areas. However, their placement should always factor in the height of the ceiling, the mobility within the space, and the specific task or function of the area.

What Are the Rules for Pendant Lights?

When installing pendant lights, consider these general rules – Hang pendant lights approximately 28 to 36 inches above a countertop or 72 inches above the floor in an open area. In a room with a low ceiling, opt for pendant lights that hug the ceiling, also known as semi-flush lights. Always consider the light's purpose: is it for general illumination, task lighting, or mood lighting? And avoid areas where the light could be a hazard or obstruction.

What is the Proper Placement of Pendant Lights Over an Island?

The suggested rule of thumb when hanging pendant lights over an island is to space them approximately 30 inches apart, measured from the center of one pendant to the center of the next. The lights should be hung 60-66 inches from the floor to the bottom of the pendant to ensure optimal illumination without obstructing the view or conversation. These measurements may need slight adjustments depending on your island's size and the size of your pendant lights.

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