Pendant Vs. Chandelier (Which One To Choose?)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

It’s time to change the light fixtures in your house, not an easy task. With today’s choices, how do you know which style is best? Is it the right size? Is it providing enough light? So finding that perfect centerpiece for the entrance hall or your living room is important to make a stately impression.

  • Chandeliers have multiple branches with multiple lights intricately decorative fixtures suspended by a chain or cord from the ceiling.
  • Pendants are single light bulbs incorporated into a dropped fixture suspended from the ceiling by a cord, chain, or metal rod leaning to a much more modern design.

If you are trying to decide what your best option is, whether you need to decide on what style, size, or lighting you need to impart in the room, it’s always best to know the difference in the products you want to buy. We have you covered with a list of pros and cons to help you decide.

What Is The Difference Of A Pendant Light vs. A Chandelier?

Have you ever wondered what makes a chandelier different from a Pendant? I was confronted with that question in a recent revamp of my house.

Both are characterized as a type of lighting suspended from the ceiling and have strikingly similar purposes, which can make differentiating them a little tricky. However, apart from their appearance, they have some key differences that separate the two apart.

Apart from the most apparent difference in how they are suspended, they are separated by style, the type of lighting they offer, and price.

Chandeliers are fancier and have more intricate designs suspended from a ceiling by chain or core due to their substantially bulkier appearance. They are often extremely hard to miss as these are intended as central showpieces.

The central body is suspended from the ceiling with an assembly of lighting branches that offer an indirect iridescent light to the room using its cut glass or crystal ornaments to refract the light and give your room a lustrous feel.

Pendants are a much more modernized model that is lighter in weight and is suspended from the ceiling from a single metal rod or cord holding a single light fixture. It can be a stand-alone fixture or hang in a series together.

The light of a pendant fixture is made to give you direct light, light for a purpose. However, pendant lights can double as a decorative fixture in the room, and coupling them with a dimmer switch can also provide a mood-setting atmosphere for the intended purpose of that room.

What Material Is Used In A Pendant Light Vs. A Chandelier

chandelier in the room

The classical chandelier is often adorned with an array of crystal prisms that refract and embellish the room with light. A more modern chandelier combines classical and more contemporary elements, using crystal or glass prisms and sometimes including mirrors. And the body and branches are generally made from hand-forged iron steel or bronze.

On the other hand, Pendants can be made from virtually any material ranging from glass, plastic, cloth, metal, nickel, and copper. Making this fixture a much cheaper and more versatile option.

When To Choose A Pendant Light Vs. A Chandelier

When choosing a pendant vs. a chandelier, you need to consider the price range you are willing to spend. Chandeliers have a higher price range than pendants as they are much more extravagant and require professionals to install them, especially if you choose one of the larger sizes.

On the other hand, Pendants provide a much wider variety of materials from which they are made, and choosing one that fits your budget is by far easier to do.

Then there is the question of where will it be hanging? Placing a chandelier in the kitchen, for example, is not only unnecessary, as you would be better off with something that gives you more direct light, but in my opinion, foolish. Cleaning alone on a chandelier is time-consuming; now, imagine cleaning a chandelier in the kitchen.

Some rooms in your home require more direct light to illuminate a specific area. Take the kitchen; for instance, the counters must be well lit to see what you are preparing. Maybe your small office needs more styling, but you require direct light, so a pendant is a better option.

Size does matter, at least with a chandelier. Installing an imposing centerpiece of a chandelier in a small TV room would defeat the purpose of its luxury. Chandeliers are more suited for entrance halls, dining rooms, and even bedrooms. 

On the other side, you can use pendant lighting anywhere in the home, and it can be a single light drop to a combination of pendants to make it distinct and striking. 

The weight that your ceiling can manage to hold is also an important factor when selecting that new elegant fixture.

Most ceilings do not support more than 50 pounds, so selecting that magnificent chandelier will require an extra mount and braces to support your chandelier. It also means more added costs to have professionals install it correctly.

Pros And Cons Of Pendant Light vs. Chandelier

pendant light

Each of these fixtures comes with its pros and cons, bringing a different feeling and purpose to your space.

Deciding where to place your light and its intended purpose will be important. Understanding the pros and cons of each should help you make an educated decision.


Indirect lighting to light up the entire roomMore expensive options
A larger variety of sizesNeeds to be professionally installed
It can be used in any roomNot easily replaced 
Adds elegance to the roomHigher cleaning maintenance
Heavier and requires extra brackets to support the extra weight.


A bigger range of stylesThe quality of light is poorer 
Easily changed to a different styleNeed additional lights to light the entire space
Direct light for task purposesMay require specific light bulbs
Easier cleaning caremay need to be installed by professionals
More suitable for smaller rooms


Finding the purpose for which you will be using your light will guide you to buying the right light fixture. Not every centerpiece is the perfect fit for the space. Finding the right chic and purpose for your light will clue you to the impeccable fitting for the perfect reason.

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.