Lighting that makes a statement can create a real focal point in a room, drawing attention, whilst lighting its surroundings. Choosing the right lighting for you can be a tricky task, with so many types on offer.

If you are struggling to decide which lighting fixture you require, you may find our guide to lighting fixtures to be useful. If you have settled on a hanging ceiling fixture, however, you’ll need to choose between a pendant light and a chandelier.

What is the difference between pendant lighting and a chandelier?

Before looking any further, it is worth looking at the simple definitions of each light type. A chandelier is a suspended ceiling light with multiple light bulbs, whilst pendant lighting is a suspended ceiling light fixture with only a single bulb.

Chandeliers tend to be more expensive than pendant lights (although there are some cheap chandeliers and expensive pendants available on the market.)

Pendant lights are commonly hung on the cord, as the weight of the light is much lower than a chandelier, whilst chandeliers are commonly hung on a chain. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule, as many of Soho Lighting’s Schoolhouse and Statement pendant lights come with chains, as these are much heavier than many other pendant lights.

Which sort of rooms suit pendant lights more than chandeliers?

Chandeliers tend to suit classic, or period properties, as they are generally more grand. Pendant lights are very versatile and can suit all sorts of styles of décor, as well as different heights of room. Chandeliers tend to fit better in rooms with very high ceilings as they tend to be larger and heavier than pendants. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule, as there are many long drop pendant lights available, with longer chains and cords.

Chandeliers usually give off a more ambient, less concentrated light. This can be great for a relaced location like a living room, but many pendant lights, especially ones that direct the light downwards, are often better for task lighting. Pendants can be great when positioned above a kitchen island, as they not only provide useful task lighting, but also create a beautiful centrepiece.

When to use a chandelier or a pendant light

Personal preference can really be the key point here, but in certain situations, it is more likely that one sort of light fixture will be better than another.

  • When lighting a big room like a living room (with high ceilings) then a chandelier is likely to be a good choice.
  • When concentrating light into a certain area, e.g. above a kitchen island, then a pendant light could suit.
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