Chandeliers vs. Pendant Lights: What’s the Difference?

Chandeliers and pendant lights both make a statement in any space. Because they’re very similar, they are often confused for one another. While they both hang down from the ceiling, there are a few key differences you need to know that can help you choose what’s best for your home.



A chandelier has a central body with multiple lighted branching arms. It usually hangs suspended from a chain.


Pendant Light


A pendant light has a cord or chain with one light attached. Sometimes pendant lights have multiple lights, but if they do, they’re usually surrounded by a structure 

like the one pictured above.


Similarities and Differences


The biggest difference between a chandelier and a pendant light is how it looks. Chandeliers are more intricate and ornate. They make a big statement and add elegance to a room. Chandeliers will be the center of attention. Pendant lights come in a wide variety of shapes and styles. When compared to a chandelier, pendants are usually smaller and have a cleaner, more minimal feel.


Chandeliers and Pendants can both be used in any room in the house! Chandeliers are usually used to provide ambient light (illuminates a space evenly) in large spaces, but their ornate designs can create shadows. Because there are many lights on one chandelier, you may only need one to illuminate a whole room. Pendant lights are better for direct lighting (over a kitchen table, for example). Since there’s usually only one bulb per fixture, smaller pendant lights are often used in groups, like a set of 3 over a kitchen island.


While there are exceptions, chandeliers tend to be much more expensive than pendant lights. Chandeliers also often require professional installation due to their size and weight, which may add extra to your total bill. On the flip side, a handy homeowner can sometimes hang a pendant light by themself! If you’re comparison shopping, don’t forget to consider the number of fixtures you’ll need when calculating cost.


When choosing between these two statement fixtures, be sure to consider maintenance. Since pendant lights are simpler, they are usually easier to clean and have simpler lightbulb changes. On the other hand, chandeliers can be more challenging to maintain because of their delicate design. If you’re looking for easier maintenance, a pendant light is your best bet.


Pros and Cons

Chandeliers and pendant lights are both great options, but to help you make up your mind, we rounded up all of the details above here as some quick-reference pros and cons.

No matter which you choose, chandeliers and pendant lights will both make a statement and show off your style! If you’re still not sure which is right for you, give our experts at Stewart Lighting a call for personalized advice!