How to install pendants

January 10, 2019

How to install pendants!

Pendant lighting is trending these days. It serves a dual purpose, offering light in a much-needed area, and changing the design look of the space. Pendant lights come in all sort of colors, finishes, styles, and lengths.

As an Interior Decorator, I often get asked these two questions; how many will I need? And how big should they be? Good questions!! As with anything in design, there are guidelines. 

1. How big requires a little bit of math:
Generally speaking, you want 12″-16″ from the end of the island. The most common is 12″. Let’s say you have a kitchen island that is 120,” and you want four lights. With four pendants, you will have five open spaces, one on each end, and 3 in the middle (one between each pendant). Using 12″ x 5 (open spaces) = 60″.  Subtract that from 120,” and you are left with 60″. Divide 60″ by the number of pendants (4 pendants), and you are left with 15″. This will be the diameter for your fixture. Can you figure out what the diameter would be if you were using three pendants? (Hint 24″)


2. How many?
The Rule of 3. In the design world, odd numbers seem to work the best. That being said, rules are made to be broken. In the example I gave above, I use four pendants. Why? Because the island is very long and can handle four pendants. Just keep this in mind, if you’re going with less, use slightly larger pendants. If you’re using more, use slightly smaller pendants. Above all, scale matters!!

3. Last but not least what height should I hang my pendants? They should hang 36″ to 48″ from the top of the counter. Be considerate of sight lines. You don’t want the pendant to obstruct anyone views, nor do you want them to hit their heads!!