The 11 Best Pendant Lights of 2021

Brighten up your space with these hanging lamps

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No space is finished until it’s been outfitted with lighting, and as far as fixtures go, pendant lights are some of the most versatile around. Pendant lights can brighten up your kitchen, illuminate your nightstand, and add ambiance to your bedroom. If you need to hang one somewhere else, rest assured knowing there’s probably a pendant light up to the task. 

Pendant lights come in a range of sizes and lengths, so double-checking your measurements can help you avoid a headache later. You’ll also want to pay attention to how the pendant light is set up—can it plug into the wall, or does it need to be hardwired? And if the pendant light is going in a wet location, like a bathroom or covered porch, you’ll want to make sure it’s water-friendly.

Here, the best pendant lights.

Our Top Picks
With a metal shade and exposed bulb, this light will give your space some industrial flair that pairs well with any aesthetic.
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The wallet-friendly style has a minimal look and can work in a variety of rooms.
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Crafted from metal and featuring a two-toned palette, this light will give off sleek, modern vibes without breaking the bank.
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With a plated metal base and oiled bronze finish, this light will give any room a vintage touch, and it conveniently plugs in.
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At 44 inches wide, this fixture with four different lights is perfect for illuminating your kitchen or hanging over an island.
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This sleek lamp is safe for "damp locations," so it's the perfect way to add some ambient light to your bathroom.
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The lamp features a glass shade that works with a variety of design aesthetics.
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The light will plug right into any outlet and would work well in a bedroom, at-home office, kitchen, or living room.
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The lamp's bronze, nickel, and brass hardware options leave it with a more warm, rustic feel.
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Crafted from black metal and wood grain lacquer, this lamp is the perfect blend of classic and modern.
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Best Overall: Sea Gull Lighting Dormer 1-Light Pendant

Sea Gull Lighting Dormer 1-Light Pendant

Material: Steel | Weight: Not listed | Installation: Hardwired | Water-friendly: Yes

What We Like
  • Offered in three finishes

  • Budget-friendly

  • Dimmable

  • Sloped Ceiling Adaptable

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include a bulb

  • Assembly required

For an eye-catching silhouette that'll stun in your home, consider Sea Gull Lighting's Dormer Pendant. The industrial-style pendant light is budget-friendly and offered in multiple finishes, so it's easy to create your ideal look.

The lamp’s shade is made up of two parts—a steel ellipse that matches the lamp’s base and a metal shade that fans out. This shade is relatively short, so it exposes the bulb underneath it, adding yet another geometric element into the mix.

The fixture is crafted entirely from steel and is offered in three sleek finishes—solid brass, solid silver, or black and brass. The pendant is damp-rated as well, meaning it's as suited for bathrooms as it is a kitchen or bedroom.

Best Budget: Breakwater Bay Single Bell Pendant

Light Single Bell Pendant

Material: Glass | Weight: 2.1 pounds | Installation: Hardwired | Water-friendly: No

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Includes one bulb

  • Lightweight

  • Sloped ceiling adaptable

What We Don't Like
  • Offered in one finish

If you want to brighten up your space on a budget, Breakwater Bay's Single Bell Pendant is a great option. The wallet-friendly style has a minimal look and can work in a variety of rooms, from kitchens to living rooms and beyond.

The light is made with a brass finish and a frosted white shade that'll work well with any design aesthetic. Plus, the lightweight design comes with a lightbulb and is sloped ceiling adaptable, so you won't have to worry about installation—just be sure to put it in a dry location like a kitchen or bedroom.

Best Set: Tomshine Metal Pendants Light

Tomshine Pendant Light Set

Material: Iron | Weight: 4.41 pounds | Installation: Hardwired | Water-friendly: Not listed

What We Like
  • Includes two pendants, wire hangers, suction trays, and accessory screws

  • Budget-friendly

  • Adjustable hanging height

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include bulbs

Whether you're designing a bedroom or you anticipate needing multiple pendant lights, Tomshine's Metal Pendants Light set is a great option. The budget-friendly set includes two metal dome lights, each of which boasts a matte black exterior and a striking gold interior.

The lights are crafted from metal, so they feel durable and look industrial. Plus, their two-toned palette lends them a kind of versatile warmth. Since they’re so simple, they should play well with a variety of decor schemes, and they’re sure to look particularly great when paired with other black accents.

Best Splurge: Anthropologie Eloise Pendant

Anthropologie Eloise Pendant

Material: Glass, brass | Weight: 10.25 pounds | Power source: Hardwired or plug-in | Water-friendly: Yes

What We Like
  • Offered in two colors

  • Two installation types

  • Adjustable hanging height

  • Includes mounting plate and pole kit

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Professional installation required

Anthropologie's Eloise Pendant is a bit of an investment piece, but the vintage-inspired design makes a case for why it's worth it. The light is offered in two colors, blue, and mint, and you can choose between a hardwired or plug-in style for the white option, making it easy to find an option that works perfectly in your home.

The pendant’s base is crafted from plated metal, which is coated with an oiled bronze finish for an antique look. Take a closer look at this metal, and you’ll notice that ornate leaves have been carved into it, only furthering its vintage appeal. The lamp’s shade is crafted from cloudy milk glass—an opaque material that promises to spread light throughout your space. This cloudiness makes the lamp a great pick for rooms where you crave diffused, ambient light, like in a bedroom or living room.

Though professional installation is required, the lighting comes with a mounting plate and pole kit, so you'll have everything you need to set it up.

Best for Kitchen: Globe Electric Nate 4-Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Pendant

Globe Electric Nate 4-Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Pendant

Material: Glass, metal | Weight: 10 pounds | Power source: Hardwired | Water-friendly: Not listed

What We Like
  • Offered in three finishes

  • Offered in three sizes

  • Dimmable

  • Slope ceiling adaptable

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include bulbs

  • Requires four bulbs

Globe Electric's Nate Pendant replaces the need to stock up on several different pendant lights. The design descends from the ceiling and then branches out into four smaller lamps, which are displayed in a row. This mimics the look and feel of a row of pendant lights, but lets you skip out on the process of installing more than one fixture.

This light will demand a fair amount of space in your kitchen. But since it’s designed to replace four different pendant lights, it ends up being a pretty space-efficient pick that'll illuminate your kitchen or dining room with ease.

Best for Bathroom: AllModern Alex 1 - Light Single Globe Pendant

AllModern Aged Brass Alex Globe Pendant

Material: Metal | Weight: 6 pounds | Power source: Hardwired | Water-friendly: Yes

What We Like
  • Adjustable height

  • Dimmable

  • Offered in two finishes

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include bulbs

AllModern’s Alex 1 - Light Single Globe Pendant is a classic globe light that would look good anywhere in your home, although its sleek profile makes it a particularly great pick for your bathroom. The light is crafted from metal, and is suitable for damp environments, meaning it won't be damaged by contact with water.

Since the light’s globe is relatively opaque, it should disperse ambient light throughout your space. It's dimmable, however, so you can choose how much lighting you want in the space. Hang two in your bathroom to frame your vanity, or simply hang one in the corner of your space—with a light this versatile, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

Best for Bedrooms: Wade Logan® Hanceville 1 - Light Single Schoolhouse Pendant

Hanceville 1 - Light Single Schoolhouse Pendant

Material: Glass | Weight: Not listed | Power source: Plug-in | Water-friendly: No

What We Like
  • Built-in on/off switch

  • Plug-in installation

  • Offered in two finishes

  • Includes swag hooks

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include a bulb

Whether you're tight on space or want to forego a traditional table lamp, Wade Logan's Hanceville 1 - Light Single Schoolhouse Pendant will make for a stylish addition to any space. The light, which is offered in either a brass or black finish, is a plug-in design that makes it easy to install.

The lamp features a glass shade that works with a variety of design aesthetics, from industrial to transitional and beyond. Plus, it's designed with an on/off switch that's easy to use, especially once you're comfortable in bed.

Best Plug-in: Schoolhouse Apartment Plug-In Pendant

Apartment Plug-In Pendant

Material: Brass | Weight: Not listed | Power source: Plug-in | Water-friendly: Not listed

What We Like
  • Offered in two finishes

  • Minimal design

  • Includes a brass socket and bakelite plug

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Fitter sold seperately

  • Swing hooks sold separately

For a light that's easy to install, consider plug-in options like Schoolhouse's Apartment Plug-In Pendant. The light will plug right into any outlet and would work well in a bedroom, at-home office, kitchen, or living room.

The light is offered in two finishes, black and khaki, and is made with a twisted cord design that'll add extra style to your space. It should be noted, however, that both the matching swinger hooks and 2.25-inch fitter will have to be purchased separately—there's a matching option, but the design also leaves room to choose any shade style of your choosing.

Best Farmhouse: Pottery Barn Farmhouse Glass Pole Pendant

Farmhouse Glass Pole Pendant

Material: Glass | Weight: 4 pounds | Installation: Hardwired | Water-friendly: Yes

What We Like
  • Offered in five hardware finishes

  • Lightweight

  • Includes a rod kit

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include bulbs

  • Professional installation recommended

Pottery Barn’s Farmhouse Glass Pole Pendant offers a minimal take on the classic dome light, making it a versatile yet farmhouse-friendly pick. The light, which is offered in five hardware finishes, features a clear glass shade that'll increase the amount of light in your space.

The hardwired light includes five rod options, making the light suitable for three different ceiling heights. Plus, it's damp UL listed, meaning it's suitable for bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens as well as bathrooms.

Best Modern: Tomons Pendant Light

Tomons Pendant Light

Material: Metal | Weight: 4.05 pounds | Installation: Hardwired | Water-friendly: Not listed

What We Like
  • Offered in two colors

  • Includes one bulb

What We Don't Like
  • Sold invididually

If your design style skews towards modern design, you'll appreciate the Tomons Pendant Light. The lamp’s shade is crafted from black metal and its interior is a warm metallic gold—a sleek yet versatile combination that'll stun in any home.

The budget-friendly lamp is offered in two colors—black and white. Whether you're designing a living room, bedroom, or at-home office, the versatile piece will add a warm touch of style to your space. Plus, each light comes with one light bulb, so it'll be ready to use.

Best Rattan: Highland Dunes Medrano 1 - Light Single Bell Pendant

Highland Dunes Medrano 1 - Light Single Bell Pendant

Material: Rattan | Weight: 1.94 pounds | Installation: Hardwired | Water-friendly: No

What We Like
  • Adjustable height

  • Lightweight

  • Rattan design

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include a bulb

Rattan pendant lights can be a great way to add some texture to your space. And since Highland Dunes' Medrano Pendant comes in a light beige finish, it's versatile enough to match a variety of home decor you may already have.

The lamp is crafted from woven rattan, and its long dome shade promises to provide a blend of targeted and ambient light. This design makes the light a great pick for a variety of different rooms, and its gentle palette makes it an even more versatile option. Pair the piece with vibrant prints to make it feel a little more bohemian, or use it to add a welcome dose of texture to an otherwise minimalist space.

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend Sea Gull Lighting's Dormer 1-Light Matte Black Pendant (view at Home Depot) because it's budget-friendly, offered in three finishes, dimmable, and sloped ceiling adaptable. For a budget-friendly option, consider the Breakwater Bay Bambi 1-Light Single Bell Pendant (view at Wayfair) because it has an adjustable height, is sloped ceiling adaptable, and includes a bulb.

What to Look For in a Pendant Light

Size

Pendant lights come in an array of sizes and lengths. To ensure the pendant light you’re eyeing will fit in your space, be sure to double-check its shade size and its length before buying. And remember that some pendant light cords are adjustable, so you may be looking at a length range rather than one specific length.

Style

There are all kinds of pendant lights out there, and they come in different shapes, materials, and styles. All that variety may sound overwhelming, but it’s actually great news: it means you can reliably find a pendant light that’ll suit your space.

Plug-In vs. Hardwired

Some pendant lights can plug into a nearby outlet, but many others need to be hardwired. If you’re looking for a lower-maintenance (or more temporary) option, you may want to choose a plug-in pendant light. If you don’t mind the possibility of a more involved install, either option should do.

Water-Friendliness

If you’re planning to install a pendant light in your bathroom, on a covered porch, or in some other potentially wet spot, be sure to check whether it’s “damp location rated.” If it is, you should be able to install it in a damp location without issue.

FAQ
  • How do you install a pendant light?

    Typically, it’s a good idea to have an expert install your lighting for you. But if you want to install a pendant light yourself, there are a few steps you can take. Start by making sure the power to your light is turned off. Then, connect the wires in your ceiling with the wires in your pendant light. (Often, these wires will be color-coded, and you’ll want to connect wires that match.) Then, mount the fixture into your ceiling. Once you’ve done all of this, you may want to consult your specific pendant light’s installation instructions—just in case there are additional steps you need to take to finish the job.

  • How low should pendant lights hang?

    Typically, you’ll want to leave 30–36 inches of clearance between your pendant light and the surface beneath it. So you’ll want it to be 30–36 inches above your kitchen island, your dining room table, your nightstand, etc.

  • How many pendant lights are right for an island?

    The number of pendant lights you should hang over a kitchen island will vary, based on how big your kitchen island is. One rule of thumb is to leave 24 inches of clearance between pendant lights. So you might consider starting with two, and adding more if you can do so while maintaining this clearance.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Lindsey Lanquist, a seasoned lifestyle writer who has contributed to The Spruce since 2019. She's covered a variety of home decor topics and understands what a difference a great product recommendation can make—that’s why she makes sure to recommend products that are sleek, reliable, and well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them. To make this list, she considered each pick's size, style, plug type, and water-friendliness.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. How to Install a Hanging Light Fixture. Home Depot.

  2. Schoolhouse 101: Hanging Pendants & Chandeliers. Schoolhouse.

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