It’s no secret that pendant lighting can give interiors a welcome boost, adding drama, sophistication and a sleek point of interest to any room, all while being incredibly functional. However, there are several things to consider if you want to get the most out of your lighting.
The height at which your ceiling pendant lights hang can play a big role in general lighting ergonomics. Hung too high, and they might not provide enough light to the right areas, but hung too low, and your pendants will look out of place and get in the way.
Finding the Right Height for Your Pendants & Chandeliers
There are some general guidelines on the best height for pendants, but how you use this information will depend on several things:
- The purpose of the light – do you need general, task or ambient lighting?
- The room and what your light is hanging over
- The size and style of the pendant shade
- The height of the ceiling
- Other design choices and personal preference
Before buying your light, you must consider these factors, with the dimensions of the light versus the available space being a top priority. You do not want to settle on a style only to find the light is too big or small to be reasonably installed into a space.
Generally, pendant lights tend to hang from between 12-20″/ 30-51cm below a standard 8ft/ 2.4m ceiling, obviously also taking into account the above points. Another way to think about this is ensuring there’s at least a 7ft/ 2.1m clearance between the floor and the bottom of your pendant.
If you have higher than 8ft/ 2.4m ceilings, the general rule is to add 3-6″/ 8-15cm of length to your pendant’s wire for each additional foot, after taking in the standard recommendations.
The Best Height for Pendant Lights Over Kitchen Islands
One of the most common places to hang ceiling pendant lights is in the kitchen. Pendants here will add effortless glamour and function particularly brilliantly as spotlights over kitchen islands.
Designers typically recommend that the distance between the top of your island, counter or kitchen workbench and the bottom of your pendant should be 30-36″/ 76-91cm. This ensures you have plenty of room to move around and work while being pleasing to the eye and getting good levels of light.
If you’re hanging multiple pendants, make sure there is the same distance between each fixture – around 2ft/ 61cm between lights, depending on their diameter and the measurements of the ceiling.
Retro Large Pendant - 13 Inch - Pewter by Industville (Image supplied by @lydiaallen_interiors)
Dining Table Pendant Light Height
Perhaps the next most popular place for statement pendants is over the dining table. Again, a general rule here is to give yourself a clearance of at least 30″/ 76cm from the tabletop to the bottom of the pendant. This means your view across the table will remain unobstructed.
However, depending on the style of the light, you may also find that lowering it slightly will be more suitable, successfully providing a more intimate dining atmosphere.
If you’re unsure about how you want your dining room lights to sit, create mock lights with string and paper or balloons, keeping to the same dimensions as your desired lights, to see more accurately how they would hang and interact with the space when you’re sat down.
Brooklyn Tinted Glass Schoolhouse Pendant - 10 Inch - Smoke Grey by Industville (Image supplied by @the_cow_shed_conversion)
Bathroom Pendant Light Height
Pendants are becoming increasingly popular in bathrooms, often installed on either side of a mirror or sink for a luxuriously stylish feel.
These lights work best when they are hung at eye level or around 30-40″/ 76-102cm above the sink. Pendants here also tend to get hung close to the wall, so there is no risk of bumping into longer fixtures.
Entry & Hallway Pendant Light Height
Hallway pendants can offer that impressive wow factor, providing an opportunity to get creative and solidify your design theme.
A pendant or impressive chandelier in your hallway should have at least 7ft/ 2.1m of clearance from the bottom of the pendant to the floor. It’s also recommended that you leave around 4ft/ 1.2m of space between the light and surrounding walls or other obstacles if possible.
Living Room & Bedroom Pendant Light Height
In living rooms and bedrooms, you’ll probably want to install your pendant in the middle of the room or perhaps on either side of your bed or above side tables.
Again, a good place to start here is with a clearance of 7f/ 2.1m. If you are installing a pendant over your bed, you can certainly get away with hanging it a little lower if preferred, as there’s no concern about you walking into it.
Pendant Light Over Nightstand Height
Another common place to hang pendants in these spaces is over bedside tables or living room side tables. Here, they should hang around 26-32″/ 66-81cm above the top of the table to ensure they provide good lighting levels and ambience while leaving plenty of space for any decor or additional things you need within reach.
Sleek Tinted Glass Globe Pendant - 7 Inch - Smoke Grey by Industville (Image supplied by @Ourhomeonthefold)
Hanging Pendant Lights at Different Heights
If you’re installing a series of pendants or designing a custom chandelier cluster light, you might consider staggering the heights of each pendant for an organic, more dynamic look. Varying the length of each pendant by several inches can easily be done upon installation.
For instance, when you purchase one of our cluster lights, you’ll get 2m of fabric flex for each pendant, wired to the holder but not the ceiling rose, so it can be adjusted to suit your needs.
Staggering the height of pendants works best when you have more pedants as it allows for a more intentional feel rather than seeming poorly mismatched!
All of these measurements can be considered good starting points, but styling pendants is not an exact science. At the end of the day, if a slightly lower or higher pendant looks better to you, go with your preference!
Here at Industville, we have an extensive range of ceiling pendant lights, with sleek modern, elegant vintage and characterful industrial styles to choose from. If you’re still trying to find the perfect light for your space, be sure to browse our extensive selection of pendants for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and more.
Header image credit: @snookphotograph