As one of the busiest and most productive rooms in a house, the kitchen needs lighting that is not only stylish but bright enough to illuminate the cooking, cleaning, snacking, studying and cleanup that makes this space a focal point of family life.
As an addition to canned lights and as a replacement for more traditional chandelier lighting, pendant lights are increasingly being called into service in today’s new and remodeled home kitchens.
Pendant lighting is an excellent choice for breakfast bars and kitchen islands. Sometimes called drop or suspender lights, pendants hang from the ceiling. In multiples, pendants can be used to effectively light the area and add style. They are also less bulky — and far less costly — when compared to a chandelier.
Pendant lights are widely available and come in multiple styles and materials. Clear glass pendants spread light in all directions. Likewise, a shiny metal pendant will reflect the light. Cloth or plastic finishes are also available, but be wary of the heat coming off the bulb, which may cause discoloration or damage.
Should you go big or small? When in doubt, err on the size of a larger pendant, especially when hung alone. You’ll be surprised how small a light fixture looks once it’s installed from the ceiling. Smaller pendants work well in groups, such as over an island. They can be a nice alternative to track lighting.
Invest in LED bulbs, which tend to last much longer than more traditional incandescent or CFL bulbs. Though more expensive initially, LEDs are more energy efficient and use less wattage while producing the same amount of light.