So you got your gorgeous pendants. Go you. Now you’re faced with the conundrum of what height to hang the pendant lights. Never fear, decorating junkies, because I have a tonne of top tips to share with you.
Below I’m going to break the tips up room by room. Because here’s the truth: what height you hang your pendant lights all depends on what’s below them, what room they’re in, and how the space functions day-to-day.
In my work as an interior designer, I’m specifying pendant lights all the time. I tend to know how high to hang them just based on looking at them held up in the space. But if you’re at home on your step ladder, with no professional installer there to guide you, I get how stressful it can be.
So kick back, scroll on through, and soak up all my top tips on the ideal height of pendant lights. I’ll also throw in some additional design advice regarding pendant light size and shape. Because you don’t wanna get the height right but fail when it comes to the dimensions. Let’s do this.
Height of Pendant Lights over Bedside Tables
I love a pendant light in a master bedroom. In my humble opinion, a master feels like a master with pendants. You can do table lamps in guest rooms. But in a master, you gotta go grand.
When hanging pendant lights over bedside tables, I like to allow about 70cm from the top of the bedside table to the bottom of the pendant light. That gives you a nice amount of breathing room between the two pieces.
Most bedside table heights will sit at around 50 to 60cm, so giving 70cm from the top of bedside table means they’ll hang about a 120cm from a standard 250cm ceiling. I hope that wasn’t too much math for you (I hate math btw). If you have a higher ceiling, the drop from the ceiling will be longer, but still keep the distance from the bedside top to the bottom of the pendant at around 70cm.
Hanging a pendant lower than 70cm can mean you limit your ability to style on the bedside with plants, photo frames, or flowers. And these are essential. I’m all about a vignette on a bedside table.
The other mistake I see people make is hanging pendants too high, so be careful here. Sometimes your fave pendant won’t come with enough cord. But it’s important not to get lazy and just hang it with the cord it comes with, especially if they cord is too short.
The other factor you need to think about is the relationship between your pendant light height, bedside table height, and the height of your headboard. I often like to have the bottom of the pendant light drop just below the height of the headboard.
Case in point: Pendant lights in the bedroom above are hung at the ideal height. Pendants below are way too high. They don’t relate enough to the headboard and bedside table. They feel lost and disconnected.
Height of Pendant Lights over Dining Table
Pendants above dining tables are essential if you’re in an open plan space. What they do is ground what can often feel like a ‘floating’ dining room. What I mean by that is, in an open plan space you will often put a rug in the living room. That grounds that space. But you shouldn’t also rug the dining room as the two spaces are too close together.
For tips on common mistakes to avoid in open plan living and dining rooms, click here.
That’s why a pendant above the table works to make the dining zone feel more intentional. More designed. It grounds the whole setting. But if you’re stuck wondering what height to hang pendants over your table, don’t worry. I got you covered.
It’s a bit of a balancing act when it comes to the height of pendants over a table. You need to hang it low enough so it feels part of the space. But you don’t want it so low that you feel like you’re in an interrogation on Law and Order: SVU. My advice: leave at least 80cm between the top of the table and the bottom of the pendant. Others will tell you to leave 60 (or even less) but I feel that makes the lighting just way too low and intrusive.
Bonus Tip: Ensure the pendant is large enough. There’s nothing worse than a large round table, or long rectangle table, paired with a pendant that feels too dwarfed. If in doubt, go larger over smaller.
Case in Point: The image above via Metricon nails the 80cm height rule.
Height of Pendant Lights over Kitchen Bench
Pendants can make or break a kitchen, not just in terms of the style you choose, but how high or low they’re hung.
Before we even get into what height to hang pendants above the kitchen bench, consider first of all what you need the pendant for. Is it purely decorative (who can blame you!) or do you need them to act as task lighting? If you fall into the latter category, it’s wise to choose kitchen pendants that are open at the bottom, so the light from the bulb shines down on the countertop.
In terms of what height to hang them, again I’m operating under the assumption you have a standard ceiling height of 250cm. If this is the case, hang them about 70cm from the ceiling, which gives you 90cm of space between the countertop and the pendant. That’s working off the measurement and assumption that your countertop is 90cm high, which it should be.
The epic fail you want to avoid is hanging the pendants too low. If you do this, it’ll block your view across the kitchen, and it’ll mean you could bang your head on them. Nobody wants that, right?!
Case in Point: The above kitchen from Metricon is ticking all the boxes. A perfect height to hang pendants!
Height of Pendants in an Entryway
Now this is where things get a little ‘choose your own adventure’, because there are a lot of factors at play.
Firstly, consider if the light is for decoration, and simply to walk under. Or, perhaps it’s a cluster of small bulbs near an entry mirror. If it’s the latter, you want to hang the pendants quite low. You want them to sit alongside the upper half of the mirror, so they’ll light up your gorgeous face every time you take a peek at yourself.
If it’s the former category, and you want a pendant to hang purely for decoration, you can’t hang this too low. In fact, if you had a ceiling height of 250cm I wouldn’t even recommend hanging a pendant light in your entryway. There’s just not enough space between you and the ceiling for a pendant to work here.
If you have slightly higher than 250cm ceilings, then I’d suggest you suspend the pendant about 20 or 30cm from the ceiling. Again, it’s really important you have space to walk underneath it. Ideally, you don’t want to be able to raise your arm and be able to touch the pendant with your hand.
Case in Point: My Bentleigh design project above. Click here to see more of the spaces. But notice how little cord there is on that pendant? It’s still a feature, but by no means is it in the way.
Are you Feeling Confident about Pendant Heights Now?
I hope this post has helped you figure out what height to hang pendant lights at your place. As always, feel free to drop me a comment below if you have any questions about lighting. Or if you need some guidance on other rooms of your home not mentioned here, drop a comment too and I can sort you out.
PS the image above is via my mates at Beacon Lighting.
Happy decorating at your place!