American Lighting Association

Issue No. 11, September 2010

ElkLighting (2)
Photo courtesy of Elk Lighting

Learn more about:
Pendant Lighting Must-dos
Get Answers to Your Questions
Win a $5,000 Lighting Makeover

Pendants Add Panache
Put your home in the best light with perfectly placed pendants.

Send us your design questions
For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos
NEW LOOK: Pendant Lighting Must-dos 

Two common mistakes homeowners make when installing pendant lighting in the kitchen are not placing them at the proper height and not installing enough.

Kichler-croppedHeight - Each pendant should be mounted so that the bottom of the shade is approximately 66 inches above the floor. At that height, it is possible to look across the room below the pendants, and still create a dramatic focal point. If the shades are not very deep and there is seating at the kitchen island or peninsula, install the pendants a few inches lower, say 60 inches above the floor.

Quantity - Place one pendant for every two feet of counter space. For example, a six-foot island requires three pendants - one in the center with another 20 inches on each side. Usually, an odd number of pendants over a counter or island create better balance. Size also matters when determining spacing and amount of pendants. Thin, narrow pendants might look better with the addition of one or two extra fixtures.

Photo (above) courtesy of Kichler Lighting

When it comes to selecting and installing pendants for your home, the best advice is to visit your local ALA-member showroom.

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Westinghouse Ltg -LastOne
Photo courtesy of Westinghouse Lighting Corp.

Besa Ltg
Photo courtesy of Besa Lighting

EXPERT ADVICE: Get Answers to Your Questions 

What type and height of hanging light should we use over a sink in a small powder room?
Two small mini-pendants on each side of the face will provide the best light with good distribution. The bottom of the pendants should be approximately five feet above the floor to avoid exposing the bottom of the light. Recommended bulbs include a 60-watt, soft white incandescent; 18-watt dimmable compact fluorescent; or LED. For maximum flexibility, install a simple dimmer switch.

Are there any concerns about using mini-pendants on either side of the mirror in a bathroom?
There are restrictions if the fixtures are closer than 36 inches to a tub or shower. Outside of the 36-inch zone, any type of hanging fixtures are fine.

Do you have questions about lighting your home?
Click here to submit your questions for an ALA-member professional.

To get all the answers to your home lighting questions, contact an ALA-member showroom.

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Photo courtesy of Tech Lighting

BRIGHT TIPS: Enter to Win the $5,000 Home Lighting Sweepstakes 

Click here to enter the ALA Lighting Makeover Contest . You might be one of four lucky winners to receive a lighting makeover by a Certified Lighting Designer.


  • Grand Prize: $5,000
  • Second Prize: $2,500
  • Third Prize: $1,500
  • Fourth Prize: $1,000

Enter by Sept. 30, 2010. All prizes will be awarded as lighting packages that include product and design services.

Photo (above) courtesy of WAC Lighting

To learn more about the ALA Lighting Makeover Contest, or to enter in person, visit an ALA-member showroom near you.

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HF-cropped-18540-502-07-G75-RM[1] (2)
Photo courtesy of Hubbardton Forge

Send us your design questions >

For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos >