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What’s the Difference Between Pendant Lighting and Chandeliers? | HedgeHog Electric

Statement lighting is the crown jewel of a room and is an excellent way to display your personality and style. But if you are hunting for lighting options on your own, you may be a bit confused when it comes to chandeliers and pendant lights, and you may have some questions.

Are pendant lights and chandeliers the same thing? What’s the difference between these two types of lights? Should you care about the differences? To help clear up any confusion, HedgeHog Electric is here to help!


First things first, let’s clarify just what is a pendant light and what is a chandelier. Here is a simple definition:

  • Chandelier – Light suspended from the ceiling with multiple light bulbs incorporated into the single fixture.
  • Pendant light – A light fixture that is suspended from the ceiling with only a single light bulb incorporated into its fixture.

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Now, that is the basic definition of what these lights are, but there are other key differences that set chandeliers apart from pendant lights.

Cost of Pendant Light vs Chandelier

If you are shopping for pendant lights or chandeliers, the first thing you will notice is that chandeliers are distinctly more expensive. Your average pendant light from a home improvement store can start at price at $10 and range up to $7,249. However, on average, people tend to spend between $120 to $350 on their pendant light.

When it comes to chandeliers, prices at a home improvement store can start at $39 and go to $14,000. That is a pretty wildly large price range. However, you should remember that some available chandeliers are meant for commercial buildings and need to be large and make a showy impact. On average, most people will spend $300 to $700 on their chandelier.

Suspension of Chandelier vs Pendant Light

One of the quick, visible differences you can spot between a chandelier and a pendant light is the way their lights are suspended. A chandelier will generally hang from a chain to support the weight of branching lights. The traditional look of upright lights is modeled after the historical use of chandeliers when candles were in the place where the bulbs now are situated.

As for pendant lights, they are often suspended by a simple cord or chain and have one hanging light at the terminal end. Sometimes there are a few lights included in the pendant light, but the suspension is the same.

Also, as installing a chandelier can be more complicated than a pendant light, it is often recommended to use professional lighting services to complete the installation safely.

Style Variation of Chandelier vs Pendant Light

In general, pendant lighting is more simplistic, which doesn’t mean it isn’t attractive. Also, as you go up in price, you can find more artistic and ornate pendant lights. However, most people are looking for clean, simple, and attractive lighting when using pendant lights.

When it comes to chandeliers, you can choose a more simple and functional chandelier, but these lights are meant more as a showpiece. That’s why you often will find chandeliers in the more public rooms of the house, such as the dining room, and formal living rooms.

Materials Used For Pendant Light vs Chandelier

A smaller range of materials is used for chandeliers. Usually, you will find that chandeliers are made of bronze, wrought iron, glass, steel, and crystal. These materials are often fairly heavy, which is why you will usually see chandeliers suspended by a chain.

On the other side, pendant lights are made with a wide variety of materials. Some of the most popular materials are:

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

The Versatility of Chandeliers vs Pendant Lights

Because of the styles of these lights, there are different levels of versatility. Chandeliers are sources of ambient light, which may leave the corners of a room in shadow. Also, their general size makes using a chandelier difficult, if not outright dangerous, when it comes to bumping your head on the chandelier.

As for pendant lights, they have greater utility as they are smaller. Often, pendant lights are used as task lighting. For instance, say you want to add some lighting over your kitchen island. One or two pendant lights can solve that issue, no problem.


As your local residential electrical service providers, our electricians can help you determine which of these lights will best suit your lighting needs. But, to help you get a clearer idea prior to consulting with our electricians, here are some instances where you may want to choose a chandelier or a pendant light.

  • If you want to brighten up a large room—i.e., a living room or dining room—a chandelier can be a great option.
  • To provide more lighting to your kitchen island, a pendant light or several pendant lights can be an attractive and helpful addition.
  • Should you want to make a bold statement, a modern chandelier can really tie together adventurous decor.
  • You are looking to add discreet pools of light for an outdoor space. Choosing weather-appropriate pendant lights is a great option.

If you would like expert assistance to install your chandelier or pendant lighting, you should contact HedgeHog Electric. No job is too big or too small for our team of licensed electricians, and we are ready to help light up your home.