About Pendant Hanging Lamps
A pendant is a light that is hung from the ceiling but unlike close-to-ceiling fixtures, its purpose is usually targeted to a task being done on a surface rather than general room lighting. Most downward-facing pendants are designed to put light on a surface where people are doing something, whether it be eating, cooking, cleaning, or some other task. Upward-facing, or inverted, pendants throw most of their light up on the ceiling for ambient room lighting and some of it, diffused by a shade, downward. This gives the advantage of obscuring the light bulbs so there is no glare. While most pendants light specific human activities, there are some that exist to provide general illumination, such as lanterns and multi-pendant fixtures.
Pendant hanging lamps are often used over smaller kitchen tables for illumination while eating. It is not unusual for them also to be used over dining tables although since this is a more formal setting, a dressier hanging lamp could be used in the dining room. In the family room, a pendant could be hung over a table for playing games or doing hobbies. A special pendant called a pull-down light is great for this. It can be pulled down closer to the table for more light or pushed back up out of the way when not needed.
Linearly arranged multi-light pendants are used over billiards tables or kitchen islands. For pool table lighting, these can take the form of two or three separately shaded lights with the shades made of glass or metal. Sometimes a fixture with the capacity to hold three to six bulbs is diffused with one large Tiffany glass shade or a custom mica shade. These type of lamps can be 33 to 72 inches long. In the kitchen, it is more typical to have decorative fixtures with two or three lights that have glass shades over peninsulas or islands. Another popular treatment of island lighting is to have three or four mini pendants in a row, illuminating the surface. Mini pendants are 4 to 10 inches in diameter and come in several styles. Brightly colored blown glass ones are popular but they are also available in traditional style. Another form of multi-pendant light is one that has three small pendants hanging from one pan, each at different levels. This is a decorative element that would brighten up the corner of a living or family room.
Lanterns are hanging lamps with a long history predating the discovery of electricity. Now they are used in foyers and also outdoors. Nearly any room of the house could support the use of a lantern. They come many sizes from small enough to fit your hands to a large size as big as a person. Lanterns are characteristically straight-sided frames (square, polygon, or round) that may or may not have glass panels. In the center is usually a group of candelabra-type of lights, although small lanterns may have just one light. Styles can range from simple to ornate. Mediterranean style wrought-iron, stark unadorned Modern, clear blown glass Colonial, lush old European traditional, Craftsman style, or Crystal-embellished are all possibilities.