What Is A Rustic Pendant Light?

What is pendant lighting?

what is pendant lighting

A pendant light is a light fixture that incorporates glass bulbs with a metal or wood light cover. This combination usually hangs from the ceiling and is suspended either by a chain, a chord, or a decorative suspension system.

Usually hung over dining tables, countertops, or kitchen preparation areas, pendant lights are common to most American households.

While pendant lights have recently become categorized by the pendant or structure that encompasses the light bulb, the most defining feature of a pendant light is that it is suspended from above, regardless of its size or bulb quantity.

Even though they are often suspended from high ceilings due to the ability for space extension, pendant lighting can also be hung from a short ceiling as long as their rod, chain, or suspension mechanism has the ability to be shortened to a safe and comfortable height.

What is a pendant light used for?

A pendant light is generally used for lighting seating areas in homes with high ceilings. The lights are typically hung around 28 to 36 inches above the table, counter, or couch or about 65 inches from the pendant shade or cover to the floor.

When they are hung, most rustic pendant lights are hung about 25 inches apart from each other when installed in multiples. The seating or work areas that are typically lit using pendant lights can include any of the following:

  • Living rooms
  • Kitchen counters
  • Cooking areas
  • Kitchen islands
  • Family room couches
  • Dining tables
  • Workbenches
  • Front porch seating
  • Backyard patio seating

What is the difference between a pendant and a chandelier?

There are three main differences when it comes to hanging suspended rustic pendant lighting and traditional chandelier lighting. These differences include discrepancies in the cost, the style, and the way they hang.

Cost differences

Chandeliers tend to be much more expensive than pendant lights.

An average pendant light can cost around $360 per unit, including installation, while chandeliers tend to cost about $450 total per unit when considering installation fees.

Chandeliers, unlike pendant lights, however, can vary a lot in cost. A cheap and likely short-lasting chandelier that is small in size and made out of copper or brass may cost around $40 to purchase without installation and go all the way up to $14,000 for luxury solid gold and crystal-encrusted chandeliers with multiple tiers and bulbs.

Style differences

When it comes to the differences in style, rustic pendant lights look more reminiscent of farmhouses or vintage home decor. Chandeliers have a more traditional, classical, and elegant look reminiscent of old royalty or upper-class neighborhoods.

Chandeliers are generally shinier and made of metal, therefore placed in fancier and more formal locations.

Pendant lights are more casual, can be made of wood, and are usually placed throughout the home or on the patio.

Suspension differences

Pendant lights are light fixtures suspended with only one light bulb that acts as a light source, while chandeliers have more than one small lightbulb in a formation to create a tiered lighting effect.

Because of this, chandeliers require suspension systems that are more load-bearing and tend to have multiple cords or chains.

What are rustic lighting fixtures?

what are rustic lighting fixtures

So what is a rustic pendant light? When I talk about rustic lighting fixtures, I refer to a light fixture style that utilizes materials like wood, glass, and raw metals to create an antique or country home-style lighting aesthetic.

Originating in the homes of old-English peasants, in farmhouses, and in eclectic compounds focused on reusing and refurbishing, rusting lighting fixtures have gained popularity as a home decor fashion statement over the last few decades.

In addition to reclaimed wood and glass, rustic lighting is often also made of the following:

  • Tiffany glass
  • Nickle
  • Brushed steel
  • Lampshades
  • Blown glass
  • Bronze
  • Stained glass

As they age, you’ll sooner or later end up needing to clean them especially if they gather patina or oxidation. There are particular steps to clean metal pendant lights so you’ll want to learn those when the time comes.

What makes a light fixture look rustic?

The age of the wood and the type of glass used to create lighting fixtures and hanging pendants is what makes a rustic pendant light look genuinely rustic.

While some rustic pendant lights are made of newer materials that have been artificially aged to appear more rustic than they are, an original rustic pendant light will be made of truly antique and reused wood, glass, and bronze materials. Steampunk lamps, in fact, do something similar with unique metal designs that even use pipes and fittings.

Varieties and examples of rustic style lighting fixtures

Since rustic lighting refers to the age and materials that a light fixture is made of and a pendant lighting categorization refers to a light being suspended with one bulb from the ceiling, there are many different types of rustic style lighting fixtures to choose from. These lighting fixtures can include but are not limited to:

  • Shabby Chic Candelabra-Style Hanging Pendant Lights
  • Rustic Wooden Ball Pendant Lights
  • Glass Pendant Fixtures
  • Glass Jar Refurbished and Reclaimed Fixtures
  • Simple One-Bulb Shade Fixtures
  • Metal Cage Pendant Light Fixtures Without Shades

How much do rustic pendant lighting fixtures cost?

how much do rustic pendant lighting fixtures cost

The cost of rusting pendant lighting can vary based on installation and how many lights you plan to install throughout your home.

At about $360 per unit at high-quality antique light with professional installation, rustic pendant lighting fixtures are in the middle range of lighting fixture type when it comes to cost.

Can you match your home with other rustic lighting fixtures?

can you match your home with other rustic lighting fixtures

One of the best things about rusting lighting fixtures is that they can match almost any style in any room of their house. Their ability to meld and adhere to various themes and be easily installed makes rusting pendant lighting a functional and versatile choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and more.

Rustic bathroom lighting options

Two trendy options for rustic bathroom lighting include:

  • Caged Industrial Bathroom Lighting
  • Distressed Cylinder Bathroom Lighting

Ceiling lighting to complement rustic pendant styling

Two more favorite options for ceiling light fixtures to complement already rustic, vintage, or farmhouse lighting styling include:

  • Rustic Bamboo Dome Ceiling Light
  • Copper Recessed Lighting

Do pendant lights provide enough light?

do pendant lights provide enough light

Though some may say that pendant lights do not provide enough light due to their single bulb feature, they can be adequate light sources for activities such as cooking, eating dinner, homework, arts and crafts, front entryways, and enjoying time with friends.

They’re essentially the same lighting as any other similar light fixture, so don’t worry about the lighting (although you may want to check bulb lumens [brightness] when shopping).

As long as you use a high wattage warm light, rustic pendant lights can be the perfect addition to any home.

James Marshall
About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »