The Perfect Spot for Your Pendant Light: How to Get the Most Out of This Decorative Lighting

two pendant lights hanging over the perfect spot in the living room

When it comes to lighting, there are a lot of options to choose from. And when you focus specifically on pendant lighting, there are just as many (if not more!) choices to make. But don't let that overwhelm you – a pendant light can add the perfect finishing touch to any room, whether it's in your kitchen, dining room, or bedroom.

Let's take a look at some of the frequently asked questions when it comes to hanging pendant lights, so you can make sure yours are always in the perfect place within your home.

Can I Swag a Pendant Light?

If you're looking to add a bit of extra flair to your pendant light, then you may be wondering if you can swag it. For those of you that are unaware, swagging a pendant light simply means to hang add a small hook (or suction cup) to your ceiling and run the pendant light hanging wire through it. See our Cavelights Spider Chandelier below for an example:


Cavelights Spider Chandelier swag pendant light

Swagging a pendant light is most commonly done after redecorating a room and finding out the hard wiring for your lights are now not in the right position for where you want to hang your new pendant lights. However, it is also a great way to add some personality to your space. And, as an added benefit, it's really simple to do!


How Big Should Pendant Lights Be Over Island?

The size of your pendant light will depend on a few factors, like the size of the island and the height of the ceiling. So there is not going to be a hard and fast rule you can use to determine how big your kitchen island pendant light(s) should be.

Generally though, there are a few basic rules you should follow. if you have a smaller island, then you'll want to choose a smaller light - perhaps no wider than 30-40cm. Something like our Nordic Wooden Pendant Light would work well here. Conversely, if you have a high ceiling, you have more space to play with and you can go with a larger light, as the larger the pendant light, the longer you’ll want it’s hanging height to be. The 50cm version of our Oriental Colour Pendant Light springs to mind here.


How High Should Pendant Lights Be?

One of the most common questions we get asked about pendant lighting is how high a pendant light should hang. Again, the answer to this question depends on a few factors, i.e. the height of your ceilings and the size of your pendant light.

If you have high ceilings, you have two options. The first option is to go for quite a large pendant light with a normal hanging length (1 - 1.2m). Having the large light (or lights if you pair multiple together to create a lighting fixture) ensures the light being emitted will sufficiently illuminate all areas of your room.

The second option would be to buy a normal-sized pendant light and have it’s hanging length increased. This option ensures that the pendant lamp will hang low enough to light up it’s surroundings. Here at Cavelights we can cater to both options - just send us a message using our Contact Form after you’ve found your perfect light!


How Low Should Pendant Lights Hang?

As a general rule of thumb, the average height that a pendant light should hang is about 20-30 inches above the surface you’re looking to light up. See the image of our Glass Loft Pendant Lights below as a reference:

Glass Loft Pendant Lights hanging above table

This gives off the perfect amount of light without it being too overwhelming. Of course, you can always go higher or lower depending on your preference and the specific needs of your space.

If you have a low ceiling, you may want to hang your pendant light a bit higher, so it doesn’t get lost in the room. Conversely, if you have a tall ceiling, you may want to lower your pendant light, so it creates a cozier, warmer feel.


How Far Should a Pendant Light Hang Above a Table?

Unfortunately there is no one correct answer here! Having said that, It’s common to find that the bottom of the pendant light should hang about 20-30 inches above the table. Having this clearance ensures that the light is high enough to provide sufficient light without being so low that it becomes a nuisance or an obstacle. The last thing you want is for your sinner guests to be accidentally knocking their heads on the lights!

Of course, the size and shape of your table will also play a role in determining the appropriate height for your pendant light. For example, a larger table will likely require a higher hanging light, while a smaller table can get away with lower hanging light. You can see with our Wood Skin Pendant Lights below we have had to use a high hanging height as well as multiple pendant lights due to the large size of the dining table below it!

Three Wood Skin Pendant Lights above large dining table


How Far Should a Pendant Light Be from the Counter?

Pendant lights above kitchen countertop

The average pendant light should sit about 30 inches from the countertop. This will ensure that the light is bright enough to provide good task lighting, but not so bright that it can become unsettling.

If you have a high ceiling, you may need to adjust this distance accordingly. A good guide to use is that the pendant light should be about one-third the height of the ceiling.


How High Should Pendant Lights Be Above Island?

Pendant lights are a great way to add style and dimension to your kitchen island. But if you're not careful, they can also be a major source of eye strain and neck pain. So how high should pendant lights be above your island?

The answer depends on a few factors, including the height of your ceilings, the size of your island, and the type of pendant light you've chosen.

If you have high ceilings (9 feet or more), look to hang your pendant light about 30-36 inches above your island. If you have medium ceilings (around 8 feet or so), hang your light about 24-30 inches above the island. And finally, if you have low ceilings (7 feet or less), you'll want to hang your light about 12-18 inches above the island.

The size of your island also plays a role in determining the perfect height for your pendant light. If your island isn’t very wide (less than 4 feet wide for example), a single pendant light hung at the recommended height will provide plenty of light. But if your island is on the larger side (more than 6 feet wide), you'll probably want to use multiple pendant lights to get the same effect.

Finally, the type of pendant light you've chosen will also affect the perfect hanging height. If you've chosen a light with a long cord or chain, you'll have more flexibility in where you can place the light. On the flip side, if you've chosen a light with a short cord or chain, you'll need to be more careful about making sure the light is hung at the right height.


Should Pendant Lights Be Centered to Kitchen Island?

Pendant lights above kitchen countertop

With kitchen island pendant lights, you’ll often want to center the pendant light over the island for a nice, clean symmetrical look. Although, it can also work very well if you place it a bit off-center for a more asymmetrical look.



Pendant lights are a great way to add style and function to your kitchen. But it's important to take the time to figure out the perfect spot for them, as in many cases they can really make or break a room. By following the guidelines above, we guarantee that your pendant lights will provide the perfect amount of light and style for your space.


Looking for Pendant Lights?

If you're looking for the perfect pendant light for your kitchen, be sure to check out our wide selection of pendant lights. We have a light for every style and budget, and our team of experts is always here to help you find the perfect light for your space.