Ever wondered what height to hang pendant lights?
Pendants are such a beautiful addition to your home — adding drama, interest or luxe-factor to any room — yet when they’re hung too high or low, it can make them look completely out of place.
Related article: How to light your kitchen: Different kitchen lighting options
Related article: Light locations in a new home? Expert advice on the dos and don’ts
Is there a winning formula or height to always hang your pendants? Truth is, it depends on a few key things:
- the size and style of your pendant light.
- height of your ceiling.
- area the light will hang from (ie kitchen vs dining).
- personal preferences.
Despite these variables there are some tricks to getting it right!
What height to hang pendant lights by zone of the home
Kitchen pendant lights
Kitchen pendants will often be hung 70-80cm above the island bench. However, if you have higher ceilings, you will need to raise them slightly… but by how much? A rule some interior designers use is to add 7-8cm for each 30cm. For example, if your ceiling height is 2.4m instead of 2.1m, you would hang your kitchen pendant 78-88cm above your island bench instead of 70-80cm.
Dining pendant lights
The right height to hang your dining pendant light vary significantly depending on the style you choose. Gina has the Droplet light by Copper ID in her home, which is a sleek design that lends itself to being hung lower. Whereas if you opted for a much larger pendant, you would hang it higher to avoid blocking views across the table. A general rule is hang your dining pendant 75cm higher than your table top but scale is everything! Keep reading for our tips on scale.
Staircase pendant lights
Pendants in a stairwell can look ah-mazing when done right. The most important thing to consider here is allowing plenty of clearance for people to walk under. Keep at least 2.1-2.4m clear so your tall guests don’t need to duck when they walk up your stairs. A staircase also offers other opportunities such as hanging one of more lights at eye level. This works especially well in a large staircase, where pendants will be hung to the side (so there’s no need for guests to walk under).
Entry or hallway pendant lights
Ceiling lights or wall lights are much more common in hallways but they are still done elsewhere. The right height to hang them will also depend on whether people will need to walk under them or to the side. For example, if you want to hang one or two pendant lights at either side of a mirror in the entry, consider hanging these at (or just above) eye level. You don’t want to knock your head on these but you also don’t want them too high. If you intend to hang pendant lights to walk under, we recommend hanging them at 2.4m (but keep reading on about ceiling heights).
Bathroom pendant lights
Pendant lights in the bathroom can offer serious wow factor. They are normally hung by the mirror or sometimes in a corner near the bath. Just like in the entry, you want to hang bathroom pendant lights at or just above eye level. Hang them close to the wall so people won’t bump their heads on it. Something to consider with pendants by the mirror is that while they look great, it can prevent you from having face level storage which can be more valuable in a bathroom. This is why Gina opted for a pendant in her powder room versus other sources of light in the main bathroom.
Shop our favourite basket pendant lights
Bedroom pendant lights
Bedroom pendants are normally hung either side of the bed or in the centre of the room. Pendants on either side of the bed are used instead of table lamps. An easy tip for the ‘right height’ would be to visualise hanging them at a table lamp shade height. Remember to allow a minimum of 30-50cm from your bedside table top so you have space for bedside styling. Also consider that small pendants are often hung lower than larger pendants. However, in this room more than any other in the house, your personal preferences will determine the best height for your bedside pendants. We like the look of Dea’s bedroom below where she hung the pendant lights slightly above the height of the bedhead.
Other tips to hang pendant lights at the right height
1. Consider scale
You need to look at the size and style of your pendant and the space where it will be hung. All the ‘general’ rules of measure we mention can be ignored if you have a huge statement light or cluster of smaller lights.
2. Consider ceiling height
Another big factor that can overrule the suggested heights we shared is your ceiling height. The bigger the volume of space between your furniture and the ceiling, the more you’ll need to balance this by lifting your lights. The general rule of thumb is to lift lights by 8cm for every 30cm above standard ceiling height.
3. Place furniture or mark out room
We understand how tricky it is to lock in decisions about where hang lights. It’s especially tricky when you’re doing a new build and working with a blank canvas.
Use masking tape to mark out exactly where your furniture will be placed. That way you know exactly what you’re working with. The biggest trap people get caught in is when they ‘think’ they know the size of the furniture in a space. Check this all before fixing the lights. The last thing you want to do is complete the fixings to find the lights are off balance in the room.
4. Stand back and check
The final test to getting the height right is your personal preference. Enlist the help of someone to hold the pendant lights at the your testing height. Take a step back and check that you’re happy!
Have you got any other tips for hanging pendant lights? We’d love you to share them in the comments below!
This article was originally published in July 2017 but was updated with new information and images.