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Shopping for a Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights are incredibly popular, but you can’t just go out and buy any old pendant light. All too often I see people who have chosen what they thought would be the perfect light simply because they liked the way it looked, but then when they got it home, they realized that it was actually completely wrong for their room – either too small, too big or just the wrong style.

 

The best thing about pendant lights is that they can either provide ambient lighting or direct light to a surface. This means that they are perfect for both tasks and for decorative purposes, and since they are available in both small and large sizes they will fit perfectly into any space.

 

If you’re looking for the right pendant light for you, this guide will help you to find the ideal type to suit your room.

 

Styles of Pendants

The majority of pendant lights are either traditional, transitional or contemporary.

 

Traditional pendants have an elegant and decorative design or are inspired by a classic style of décor.

 

Transitional pendants are more streamlined but have a touch of vintage style.

 

Contemporary pendants are minimal and streamlined, often consisting of just a light source and a cord.

 

Types of Pendant and Their Uses

 

Some of the best-known pendant light types include:

 

Drum pendants – this type of light has a shade with a drum shape, often made from metal, glass or fabric. While glass shades emit a lot of light, metal ones have a subdued glow and fabric creates a soft effect. There are often multiple bulbs in a drum pendant.

 

Bowl Pendants – these have an open top with a broad base which allows for better light radiation, ideal for big spaces. Bowl style pendants are perfect for kitchens and entryways.

 

Bell Pendants – these have a distinctive bell shape and are made from glass. Usually, they can be found over kitchen islands, in entryways and in foyers.

 

Mini Pendants – this type of pendant is slender and small and will often be found in clusters. They can be found in several styles, shapes and finishes. They can be used for many purposes including in bedrooms and bathrooms.

 

How to Size a Pendant

Finding the right size of the pendant for you depends on the place where you are planning on using the light.

 

If you plan to use a drum or ceiling pendant over a table, you should measure the diameter of your table and then take 12” away from the number in order to find the right limit for the diameter or width of the pendant. It is also important to remember that if you choose a busy or complex design for your pendant, it will appear larger.

 

If you are using a ceiling pendant for ambient lighting, you need to measure the width and length of your room and add the measurements together. This number should be the perfect width for your fixture when measured in inches.

 

A ceiling pendant is best if it hangs around 12” to 20” below a ceiling with a height of 8 feet. If your ceiling is higher, you should add 3” more for each extra foot. You should always take care to leave a minimum clearance space of a foot below the pendant.

 

If you are opting for several pendants in a row, you should place one at two-foot intervals.

 

Remember that proportion is key – a small pendant in a large space will look odd, and a large pendant in a small space will look overwhelming.

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What Tools Do I Need?

Many DIY projects can be carried out with only a handful of simple tools, so if you’re keen to repair items around your home, or improve its appearance, these are the basic tools you’ll need to get started.

 

If you shop carefully, you’ll be able to find all of these tools available for under $300, and you’ll save a lot more than that on just your first couple of projects.

 

Power Drill

All DIYers should invest in a high-quality power drill which can drive in bolts and screws and drill holes much more quickly than is possible using hand tools. A mid-price corded drill is a good choice for anyone who will use this tool only infrequently, however for anyone who is likely to make more use of their investment, a cordless drill is a better option. A 3/8” model which is supplied with 2 batteries or which recharges rapidly is what you should look for.

 

Circular Saw

 

If you are going to be cutting plywood or lumber, you should choose a 7 1/4” circular saw. Don’t buy a cheap model since it will lack the necessary power for some tasks. A 15 amp model which costs around $100 is the right choice.

 

A Level

 

Levels are used for determining level and plumb. There are many levels to choose from and they are available in all prices, sizes and shapes. You will probably find either a two or four-foot spirit level a good purchase, and if you are going to do plenty of remodeling of your home, both sizes are ideal. If you are looking for a model to store in a toolbox, a 9” torpedo level should suit.

 

Tape Measure

 

A 1” in width and 25 foot in length measuring tape will meet most of your measuring needs.

 

Stud Finder

 

Even a Zircon battery operated basic model is pretty reliable when it comes to ceilings and drywall.

 

Hammer

Curved claw hammers are ideal for both driving and removing nails. Go for a tool which weighs over 16 oz and choose one with a fiberglass or steel handle.

 

Screwdriver

 

The best screwdriver for common use is a multi-purpose model which allows for rapid switching between either a Phillips head or a straight slot model.

 

Utility Knife

 

A cheap too, but nevertheless very handy. Choose one that has a retracting blade for better safety and ensure that you regularly change your blades for the best results.

Pliers

 

A pair of Channellock or slip-joint pliers are especially versatile and should be a key item in your toolkit.

 

Safety Glasses

If you are using hand tools with a high impact like hammers or any type of power tool, you should always wear eye protection.

 

Paint Spray Gun

 

If you are planning on carrying out a lot of DIY work, one item you may well want to invest in is a paint spray gun. These are the most convenient way to easily paint large furniture and will save you a lot of time as well as a lot of effort.