If you’ve ever researched the best lighting for low ceilings, you’ll be told that your best choice would be flush or semi-flush ceiling lights or maybe recessed lights, wall sconces, table lamps or floor lamps.

It won’t be often that you see pendant light and low ceilings mentioned in the same sentence unless you are being told that they are incompatible. So if your home is a little bijou and you don’t have those high cavernous ceilings that all the home decor magazines seem to focus on, are pendant lights a no go?

Can You Have Pendant Lights With a Low Ceiling?

You’ll be relieved to hear the answer is yes! But with some caveats, if you want to install pendant lights from low ceilings, you need to be mindful of where you hang them.

From an aesthetic perspective, if you have a pendant light that is too large for your room, it will look out of place; similar to having a 75-inch TV in a small room, it will just be overpowering. On a similar note having too many pendant lamps will also give the room a cluttered look.

In regards to practicalities, if you have a low hanging pendant room in the centre of the room and have to duck every time you walk under it, it’s going to be irritating as well as look absurd.

So now that you’ve been given the green light on purchasing some pendant lights for your low ceilings, you’ll want to plan out where you are going to position them and what rooms you want to hang them in. As we discussed and probably pretty obvious to most of us, you don’t want to be hanging pendant lights where there is a chance that someone can walk into them.

You’ll need to measure up the different areas that you are planning to hang your pendant ceiling lightings from and visualize in your mind’s eye how it should look. With most types of pendant lighting, you can adjust the chains and cords and customise how low they can hang.

If you are going to install pendants in the kitchen, you should take into account that grease from cooking will adhere to its surface. If you choose a simple style that is easy to clean, it will be a lot less hassle in the long run than trying to clean one of an intricate design.

The ideal places to hang pendants are going to be above furniture, for instance, over a dining table or a kitchen island. Pendant lights over a table can make a great statement piece for your dining area. A few mini-pendant lights are better than one large one if you don’t want to block out the view of your fellow diners. A good rule of thumb for pendant lights is that they should be 70-80 centimetres above the top of the table and 20 to 30 centimetres from either edge.

Hanging pendant lighting from the centre of a room for general lighting is certainly best avoided, as well as the aforementioned issue with people walking into it. It will also make your room seem smaller, and the low ceiling appears even lower.

Later on, we will briefly discuss some other low ceiling options, but if you are interested in stylish decorative lighting for ambient lighting, then semi-flush ceiling lights make a good alternative. They look attractive, are available in lots of different styles, and won’t look out of place in a room with a low ceiling.

If you have a low ceiling bathroom and want to add some elegance, you could install pendant lighting over the bath or in the corner of the room. In the bedroom, mini-pendants hanging either side of the bed to replace bedside lamps adds a touch of refinement.

What To Look For Before Purchasing Your Pendant Lights

Pendant lights come in all sorts of styles, shapes, and sizes. If you want them to match your current decor style or you are thinking of giving your home a completely new makeover, you’ll find lighting to match your tastes.

Some of the best types for low ceilings are:

Mini Pendant Lights – These are ideal for small rooms that lack height as they are basically a smaller version of the standard pendant light. Being small in size means they don’t take up much space, and they are great for task and accent lighting.

Inverted Pendant Lights – These project light upwards so are ideal for providing ambient or general lighting. They look particularly good in hallways, just make sure that you get your measurements correct before installing an inverted pendant light or adjust the chain length.

Linear Pendant Lights – These are great for kitchen islands, desks, pool tables, and even dining tables. They consist of a row of lights on a single linear fixture.

Rise and Fall Pendant Light – Based on traditional French lights that were common in cafes in the early 20th century. They have a special pulley design that lets you lower and raises the height of the pendant as you like. So this makes it ideal for rooms with low ceilings.

If you are looking for a pendant light style that matches your existing decor, they come in a wide variety. You can choose from the farmhouse, industrial, modern, contemporary, coastal, retro, and rustic, to name a few. They also come in all sorts of materials and finishes such as glass, plastic, metal, fabric, and concrete.

As well as the type and style of pendant lighting that you are purchasing, there are a few other things you should consider.

The type of light bulbs you are going to use with your pendant lights is one such consideration. Different fittings will use different types of bulbs and wattage, so check the instructions that come with the pendant lights first. LED light bulbs are the most energy-efficient and long-lasting available and would be our recommendation. We especially like the Edison style light bulbs with their stylish vintage look.

Adding a dimmer switch or colour changing bulbs to your pendant lighting can control the level of light and atmosphere of the room.

You should also consider the installation of your pendant lights. If you are handy with DIY projects, then you may be able to install them yourself. For those less practical you’ll need an electrician to do the job. You should factor the installation cost in your overall budget to save yourself any surprises down the line!

One last check to make is if the light fitting is suitable for the room, for instance, a damp environment like the bathroom, check the Ingress Protection rating [IP] to find out if it offers the degree of protection needed.

Other Low Ceiling Light Options

Pendant lights won’t work in every room, and sometimes you’ll need to mix and match with other lighting options to achieve the best outcome. Lighting that works well with low ceilings includes flush and semi-flush ceiling lights, recessed lighting, table lamps, floor lamps, and wall sconces.

Some of the newer decorative semi-flush ceiling lighting available can add a stunning look to a ceiling. Standing floor lamps are recommended as they make great uplights and are easily transportable, so they can be moved from room to room. We especially like the tree floor lamps where you can have one branch used for task lighting and another for uplighting. If you want a sleek minimalistic look, then recessed lights are a good pick. Table lamps with open tops placed at different heights can create a nice effect as well as adding valuable uplighting.

In Conclusion

You don’t have to rule out pendant lighting if your home has low ceilings, but you do need to be realistic where you are going to situate them. Some rooms might be more suitable than others, where pendant lighting looks great in one, it might look terrible in another.

Layered lighting works extremely well in rooms with low ceiling rooms, so combining pendant lights with other lighting solutions can make a significant improvement.

Ignore the naysayers who reject the use of pendant lights with low ceilings and have fun experimenting with different ideas. If you follow the advice above, you’ll be showered with compliments from friends and family who will be inspired by your creativity and design vision.

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Interior designer with a special interest in lighting and how it shapes our perception of a space. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to rearrange and reimagine virtually every room I’ve gone into, often to the great despair of my family members. I continued to pursue this inclination into adulthood, which has led me to obtain a Master’s Degree in Interior Design from the University of Brighton. Currently, I work as a freelance design consultant, helping new homeowners create a warm and welcoming atmosphere with a special emphasis on the right use of lighting. As a writer for the Simple Lighting blog, I hope to use my field experience to help countless people brighten their homes and utilize their living space in the best way possible.

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