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What are the differences between Chandelier, Pendant and Ceiling Light?

You are in the middle of a renovation, you are redoing the walls, the floor and the Ceiling. But once you're finished, it's time to think about lighting your home. But how do we do that? What to choose? Various models of luminaires exist on the market: chandelier, Suspension, Ceiling lamp, Wall lamp, made of metal, with led or bulb... But what is the difference between these four types of lamps?

We will remove the wall lights beckiause they are easily definable (they are lamps to be installed on the walls), while the Ceiling lights and hanging chandeliers come from the same source: the Ceiling, for main lighting.

I. The Ceiling lights

We will therefore start by discussing the Ceiling luminaire.

The Ceiling light is, as its name suggests, a lighting fixture that is fixed directly to the Ceiling. There is no wire or cable to lower the luminaire, unlike a hanging chandelier.

The Ceiling lamp can have a complex but also refined frame. It will depend on the designers who will propose a modern and contemporary, industrial, Scandinavian style...

The Pros:

The advantage of choosing a Ceiling lamp is obviously a considerable space saving. Since the structure itself is (almost) anchored in the Ceiling, the maximum height of the lamp is limited to its own dimension. From one Ceiling lamp to another, the height can vary between 10 to 40 cm (for larger Ceiling lamps).

It is also interesting to note that the higher a light source is, the more open the angle of diffusion will be. In short, the Ceiling light, which is at the top of your interior, will be able to diffuse its light by covering a very large area, which is very beneficial in terms of lighting.

Very affordable price.

The Cons:

A Ceiling lamp with a low height is more likely to go unnoticed. Although Ceiling lights are also a decorative element, they are much less imposing and impressive than the chandelier and suspension. If you rely on a small Ceiling light to decorate your home, it is not relevant enough.

The mounting cannot be suitable for all Ceilings. It is mandatory to drill holes in the Ceiling (2 or 4) to be able to fix the base.

Let's now move on to the suspension chandelier.

II. The Pendant Lights 

This is the trap, one must not confuse a chandelier with a suspension. These are clearly two different types of lighting. It is true that sometimes the two models merge to form a suspension chandelier. But we will see together the differences.

1. The chandelier

Living room crystal chandelier

A contemporary dining room Chandelier

As illustrated by our Roma model above, the chandelier immediately gives the impression that it is majestic, tall and imposing and from another time. That's not untrue!

A chandelier has a complex frame, centered towards a point. This means that the luminaire has "arms", starting from a central point, often represented by a column. It can be set with crystals, pendants, glass glass pendant lights domes, candle holders... etc.

The chandelier has a cable, or wire, that attaches to the Ceiling. The entire structure does not touch the Ceiling, it is "hung" by the cable, connected to the base. The chandelier plays on gravity and gives the effect of "falling" like drops.

Although it played a very important role during the Renaissance, chandeliers are once again becoming fashionable. Many companies use it to decorate their stores, but more and more individuals want to opt for a chic luminaire at home.

The pros:

The chandelier is very imposing, if you want to impress the gallery, it is the luminaire to choose!

It is very decorative and very bright.

Easy to install, if your Ceiling has a hook, there is no need to make holes. All you have to do is hang the chandelier.

The height is adjustable, so you can customize the lighting.

Can be customized with lampshades to provide a warm touch

The Cons:

chandeliers are more expensive because the realization requires much more work and might be a bit vintage.

They are imposing so they take up space. To be used only in large areas such as the living room or possibly a large bedroom.

2. The hanging lamp

Nordic Orange pendant lights

Orange Metal & Wood Pendant Lamp

As its name suggests, the suspension is suspended. Unlike a chandelier, the suspension contains a single frame at the other end of the wire. Basically it's like there's only one light ball attached to a cable.

Of course, the suspension can be declined in several forms, from design to industrial, but the spirit remains there: There is only one light source at the end of the line.

The suspensions are even more numerous and varied than the chandelier or Ceiling lamp. You will undoubtedly find them in public places, bars and restaurants with bowl-shaped hangers, arranged just above a dining table.

Interior design enthusiasts also like to combine several suspensions to form one. This is what you can find in the image above. The Sekka luminaire has several branches, starting from the base (unlike a chandelier where the branches start from a central column). With a lamp like this one, it is easy to customize your luminaire. The suspension can be offset (place the light sources elsewhere by moving the cables) by giving it the appearance of a spider.

The suspensions can have a complex design with the presence of a cage (commonly known as a "portable suspension") or be completely simplistic with a single hanging lights socket: a bare suspension.

The Pros:

  • Very wide variety of suspensions in the market
  • Very suitable in for kitchen island
  • Very affordable price
  • Possibility to offset the light source
  • Adjustable height and easy to install (as for the chandelier)

The Cons:

  • Very common
  • Minimalist design compared to Ceiling lights and chandeliers
  • Must sometimes be used in large numbers in order to have an original decoration

Looking for a chandelier or a suspension but your Ceiling is low? Take a look to our ceiling light fixtures.

3. The Suspension chandelier

crystal hanging chandelier

Modern Crystal Hanging Chandelier

Now it is time to talk about this hybrid lamp. No chandelier, no suspension. It brings together the advantages of each of them without bringing their share of disadvantages.

Very design, the suspension chandelier takes the positive characteristics of a chandelier and a suspension. Very often accompanied by the integrated led technology, this one allows to obtain a unique and extravagant design.

It can be presented with several reinforcements. Take the suspension above. It consists of two luminous rings encrusted with crystals. The rings can be adjusted in height and angle. It also provides homogeneous lighting.

The Pros:

  • Price accessible to all
  • Adjustable and customizable height
  • Possibility to offset the light source
  • Very decorative and ambitious
  • Easy to install
  • Several existing styles

The Cons:

  • Can become cumbersome if your Ceiling is low
  • The integrated leds cannot be changed

In short:

Each luminaire has advantages and disadvantages. But not every type of luminaire adapts itself at all to its surroundings.

If you want to promote brightness, without wanting to show off too much to your friends and especially save space, choose a Ceiling lamp.

You really want to impress everyone, even if it means taking a majestic lamp that takes up space by investing a little more, take a chandelier.

If decoration is one of your hobbies and you like to innovate while adding your personal touch, take one or even several suspensions.

Finally, if you don't know what to take, I recommend the chandelier suspension, it will reconcile your desire to obtain a unique decoration with your budget limits.