HANGING LIGHTS: VERSATILE FIXTURES THAT NEVER GO OUT OF STYLEThere’s a special place in designers’ and lighting lovers’ hearts for hanging lights. Why? Versatility! When it comes to hanging lights, there are so many options available to you – everything from the style of fixture to the hardware you use to hang it. Whether you’re welcoming guests into your home with a warm, inviting foyer lantern, illuminating a kitchen island with beautiful art glass pendants, or distinguishing your style with a chic modern chandelier, one thing remains consistent: hanging lights are a classic choice for making a decorative statement and creating ambiance.
THREE TYPES OF HANGING LIGHTSBut what exactly is a hanging light? There are three main types of hanging lights—sometimes also referred to as “hanging lamps”—which include, chandeliers, pendant lights, and hanging lanterns. To keep these three fixture types straight, you can keep in mind:
• Chandeliers feature light bulbs on multiple arms, and are known for being dramatic centerpieces
• Pendant lights are traditionally a single bulb suspended in a straight line from a down rod or wire with a decorative shade—although some styles may incorporate multiple small bulbs!
• Lanterns are all about the decorative frames that enclose the hanging light bulbs. While pendant lights might have a shade that covers the light bulb(s), lanterns frame the bulb(s) on all sides.
Modern and contemporary designers may occasionally blur the lines between these three categories in their fixture designs, so we recommend exploring all three categories when you’re brainstorming new light fixture choices.
Not sure where to start? Check out our lantern lighting guide for tips on incorporating this lesser-known hanging light option into your home, our pendant lighting guide for help choosing hanging lights for your kitchen, or our foyer and living room chandelier ideas guide for advice on choosing a classic eye-grabbing hanging light fixture.