10 best pendant lights
Shun the spotlight and opt for some conversation-starting illumination
Industrial-style lights and filament bulbs are still a strong trend for modern interiors – they’re an easy way to add some instant cool to a room.
If you are looking for a statement pendant light for over the dining table or kitchen island, go for a bold shape or colourful shade that will make a strong accent.
Solutions for cosier areas include tinted glass, fabric and other natural materials. These can add softness, texture, and ambient light for reading or relaxing.
Most pendant lights don’t include a bulb, so do look out for the recommendations. Check also whether you’re buying a shade (which you can fit yourself), or a whole light fitting (which you’ll need the help of an electrician for).
Nordlux Lighting DFTP Float 18 Light: £79, trouva.com
Scandinavian style can be expensive to achieve, making Nordlux’s affordable products a good find.
As a lighting specialist, the technical aspects of their extensive range have been well thought out. Float 18 is a small pendant with a curved form, highlighted with an alluring brushed steel finish and simple top in oiled walnut wood.
Copper and white versions are available too. Its calming design makes it a good accent light for the bedroom.
Spin Pendant Light: £169, heals.com
The domed shade of this stylish light has a quality matte finish that contrasts beautifully with the metal hardware.
The shade is cast from solid steel and comes in black, white or light grey. The bulb is enclosed within an opal head that diffuses light over a large area – ideal for over the dining table, where you want a soft, rather than directional light.
The shade is adjustable, an unusual feature for a pendant light, but fun to play with.
Home Collection Brass Miles Pendant Light: £40, debenhams.com
The Miles light proves you don’t need a huge budget to find a statement light. The industrial style of its transparent glass shade and brass hardware is right on trend, but it also has a timeless quality that makes it a good fit in many types of home.
Team it with a round, oversized vintage bulb for the best effect. It comes in an alternative copper finish, and also a larger version (£80).
Smoked Ceiling Lamp: £110, frenchconnection.com
The glass lampshade of this light has been hand-blown, giving subtle variations in thickness and pattern. These, and the sea-blue colour, make for a calming wash of light that would work well in the bedroom, living room, or corner of the kitchen.
The brass bulb-holder has been finished with a gold tone that makes it stand out from within the glass shade.
Vita Copenhagen EOS Feather Pendant Shade: from £49, blackbydesign.co.uk
Hundreds of individual goose feathers give this shade a soft and subtle glow when illuminated from within.
Naturally, it works well as a playful and romantic touch in bedrooms, but it can also be used to bring texture to harder spaces like hallways.
Vita’s EOS can be used as a shade for an existing bulb, or as a light source itself when bought with a corresponding cord set (£12).
PH5 Mini Pendant Light: £470, nest.co.uk
It’s the design icon that’s as popular today as it was in 1958. The distinctive PH lamp, by Danish designer Louis Poulsen, has three shades that direct light up, down and outwards.
This makes the light a prominent feature in the room, as well as providing ample illumination. It is expensive, but consider it as an investment in a superior piece of craft and design.
This mini version of the lamp was launched for its 60th anniversary; it comes in eight bright colour combinations.
It’s About RoMi Antwerp Pendant Light: from £90, houseology.com
You’ll see this style of wire cage pendant light in lots of places, but not always with a good quality of finish. This version is made in strong iron, with a layered geometric design that has interest from all angles.
There’s a choice of white black, or metallic copper for the shade, and a monochrome fabric cable to complete the modern look. Looks good alone, or clustered with others.
Amber Glass Cylinder Lamp Shade: £168, urbancottageindustries.com
This showstopper of a light has a long amber glass shade that creates a warm glow when lit from within.
There’s an option to buy just the shade, or the whole light fitting. It’s designed to match a Factorylux E27 bulb holder and cable. Choose a long tube bulb (either LED or filament) for a striking look.
This shade is best for giving ambient light; consider a lower output bulb or dimmer to avoid glare.
Moxley Ceiling Shade: £35, habitat.co.uk
The quick way to refresh your lighting is to just switch up the shade. Habitat’s design is bright, budget-friendly, and doesn’t require an electrician to install.
The outer surface is matt-lacquered in either cobalt blue, yellow or red, and the bamboo inner adds a hint of natural material to a room. It has a generous diameter of 36cm and looks effective in a row over a kitchen island.
You can use it over an existing light fitting, but with some, it can be tricky to get it to fit.
Hampstead Pendant Light: £110, gardentrading.co.uk
Natural materials are having a popular moment in home decor. This handmade light has a domed shade made of powder coated steel, wrapped with bamboo ribbons.
The result is a softer, more organic look than more common lighting options in glass or metal. The black twisted cable, and bulb holder, keep the light looking modern.
Garden Trading recommends its own range of LED filament bulbs (from £10.50).
The Verdict: Best Pendant Lights
The Nordlux Float 18 light is well made from quality materials, and has a good level of finish. It looks good in a cluster or row of three, as well as by itself over a table. The light has a designer look, but without the hefty price tag.
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