Lighting is often an afterthought in home design, but it shouldn’t be. Decent lighting is essential to a well-functioning room at both day and night, especially in the kitchen. A pendant light can serve as a focal point for your space, while also providing adequate task and accent lighting.
As a rule, pendant lights are smaller and lighter than chandeliers, but they can still pack a punch. They can be harnessed in clusters, hung in a decorative series, or used as stand-alone light fixtures over kitchen countertops and dinette sets. They also come in an array of shapes, sizes and styles, and some have smart capabilities, allowing you to control them remotely or through voice commands.
While there are general rules when it comes to selecting the right pendant for your space, your priorities for its aesthetic and functionality will dictate a lot of what’s available on the market. For example, some designers prefer to use pendants with open shades that diffuse and soften the brightness of the bulbs, while others are more drawn to enclosed designs that cast a more dramatic and concentrated light. You’ll also want to consider a fixture’s wattage and its ability to illuminate the space, as these are factors that impact its performance.
If you’re looking for a versatile pendant that can fit in with many different décor styles, you can’t go wrong with this selection of sleek and affordable picks. The first two lights in this roundup, from Anthropologie and West Elm, feature beautiful glass shades with simple yet sophisticated silhouettes. These lights are hardwired and plug in, and both come in multiple finish options.
These next two picks offer a more industrial look. The first is a smart update on traditional fisherman-style pendants with a glossy white or matte black finish that will suit coastal and farmhouse decor. The second is a rare lantern candelabra that points upward, making it the perfect choice for rustic homes.
Finally, if you’re looking to simplify the appearance of your kitchen, consider this modern take on the classic industrial pendant. It’s a minimalist take on the classic design, and its metal frame and shade can be painted to match any colour palette you have in mind for your space.
While these three pendants are all great options, there’s a fourth option on this list that may be particularly appealing to those who are short on space. This Nate pendant descends from the ceiling and replaces four individual pendant lights, so it’s a convenient way to get the look of a row of pendants without needing to install more than one fixture. However, it isn’t the brightest pick, so you might need to opt for a higher wattage bulb if you’re using this fixture in a large room. It’s also not the most durable pick, and its cord tends to stay kinked even weeks after installation. However, for the price, you’re getting an effective and attractive light that will still look good even after years of use.