The Difference Between Pendant Lights & Chandeliers

Two of the most popular ceiling lights for any kind of space, pendant lights and chandeliers are a great way to make a stylish impact with your lighting for both homes and commercial interiors. It can be easy to confuse the two if you’re not totally sure what the differences between pendant lights and chandeliers are, so we’re going to dive into the details to help you understand which is which.

What Is Pendant Lighting?

Pendant lighting is an increasingly popular choice for modern interiors, and you’re most likely to find it in the kitchen or dining spaces over a breakfast bar or dining table. Pendant lights are suspended from the ceiling in the same way as chandeliers, but the light itself is usually attached to the end of a long suspension chain. Much in the same way as you’d describe a pendant necklace: the chain comes first, and at the end sits a single pendant (light).

What Are Chandeliers?

Chandeliers sit much closer to the ceiling itself. The design of a chandelier is such that it’s a hanging light, but the suspension chain is much shorter. The design often then branches out into a circle of smaller, decorative lights.

Different Suspension Systems

The primary difference between chandeliers and pendant lights is, therefore, the suspension system. Whereas pendant lights hang from a long chain or cord with a single light at the end, chandeliers hang in a branched system designed to hold multiple light bulbs. Pendant lights, therefore, tend to suit modern interiors, whereas chandeliers can complement more traditional interiors.

Difference in Weight

Chandeliers are usually much heavier than pendant lights due to their larger designs. In order to support the design structure, chandeliers are often constructed from steel, wrought iron, or bronze and are much more ostentatious in their appearance – which in turn means they’re much heavier! Pendant lights, on the other hand, take on a much more minimalist style and therefore, are much less bulky and lighter. This is something to consider when you’re fitting the light – make sure that the ceiling can hold the weight of your chosen light.

Difference in Light Casting

Aside from the style and construction of pendant and ceiling lights, they actually cast light in very different ways. Pendant lights tend to cast light on a particular spot, which is why they’re often seen hanging in threes above areas such as breakfast bars. They’re a great choice of functional lighting. Chandeliers, however, can cast a much wider frame of light making them suitable for use as atmospheric lighting.

Should I Choose Pendant Lighting or a Chandelier?

If you’re still deciding whether your interiors would suit a pendant lighting or a chandelier, consider the following:

  • Do I need atmospheric lighting that can light the whole room? Chandelier.
  • Do I need functional lighting to light a particular spot in my room? Pendant.
  • How much weight can my ceiling hold?
  • Am I looking for a traditional lighting style? Chandelier.
  • Am I looking for a modern lighting style? Pendant.

Whether you’re looking for chandeliers or pendant lighting, we offer a great selection of both lighting styles here at Leader Lights for you to explore.

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