Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Are you wondering which lighting element can best set the scene for your dining table and at the same time visually enhance the room? Then the answer is: a hanging lamp. Hanging lamps can be used flexibly and set stylish accents in vintage and country house style as well as in modern and antique design.

For our big hanging lamp test 2021, we have picked out the most important features that you should consider when buying a hanging lamp. We answer relevant questions about your hanging lamp purchase and show you how to build and install a hanging lamp yourself. In this way, we want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best hanging lamp for you.




Summary

  • Besides being a pleasant source of light, hanging lamps are an eye-catcher in any room. They are available in a wide variety of colours, designs and styles.
  • Depending on their positioning, hanging lamps can cast focused light on a specific object or distribute the light evenly throughout the room.
  • There are single-flame and multi-flame hanging lamps. Which of the two types is most suitable depends on the area to be illuminated.

The Best Hanging Lamp: Our Picks

Hanging lights: buying and rating criteria

With the huge selection of different hanging lamps, it is easy to lose track of what you are looking for. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, we have picked out the most important features of hanging lamps and present them to you below. In summary, these are the following criteria:

If you have read through our tips on the individual evaluation criteria, you are optimally prepared for the purchase of your hanging lamp.

Place of use

The place of use decisively determines which hanging lamp model is best suited for you.

Typically, hanging lamps are placed above the dining table.

Before you start looking at the special features of the different hanging lamps, you should therefore think carefully about the purpose for which you want to use them and the room in which you want to use them. But they are also a real eye-catcher in other rooms with their soft lighting and are suitable for a wide variety of purposes. The following list gives you an overview of the most popular places where hanging lamps are used:

  • Dining room: The classic place for hanging lamps is in the dining room above the dining table.
  • Kitchen: Hanging lights mounted above the kitchen island provide sufficient light for cooking.
  • Living room: Wide hanging lights above the coffee table not only visually enhance the living room but also provide lighting for the upholstered suite.
  • Bedroom: Placed centrally in the room, hanging lamps can illuminate the entire bedroom and create a cosy atmosphere.
  • Office: Here, modern, simple hanging lamps above the conference table usually provide the light needed for long meetings.
  • Work and hobby rooms: Here, hanging lamps are suitable for spot illumination of the work surface.

As you can see, hanging lamps can be used for various occasions and in almost any room.

Brightness

Either halogen or LED lamps can be used as light sources for hanging lamps. In newer models, LED lighting is used almost exclusively because it consumes around 85% less energy than halogen lamps. If you choose a hanging lamp without a dimming function, pay attention to the brightness they spread. The Kelvin and lumen numbers of the LED light will help you. These indicate the mood and intensity of the light source.

Basically, the higher the lumen number, the brighter the light, and the higher the kelvin number, the colder and bluish the light.

If, for example, you are looking for a hanging lamp that provides cosy warm-white light, you should go for a lamp with approx. 2,500 - 2,800 Kelvin. To ensure sufficient brightness, you should plan for about 700 lumens per square metre to be illuminated.

Material

As a rule, hanging lamps are made up of different elements: The lampshade and the frame are made of different materials.

Different materials are often combined with each other.

Basically, there is a wide range of materials that can be used for hanging lamps. Most hanging lamps are made of one or more of the following materials:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Crystal
  • Fabric
  • Plastic

Pendant lamps that consist of a metal frame and glass shade look particularly noble and elegant. A combination of wood and glass, on the other hand, has a natural and romantic effect.

Colour, design and style

The range of hanging lamps is very extensive: they are available in all different colours, designs and styles. This means that everyone who is looking for a hanging lamp is guaranteed to find the right model. The following table presents the most popular design styles of hanging lamps:

Style Features
Modern Modern hanging lamps have a futuristic look and are characterised by striking, geometric shapes. Materials such as glass, stainless steel and wood are used for the most part.
Country style The wood and metal elements with ceramic or glass ornaments of the country style create a cosy and rustic ambience.
Minimalist These are single-flame lamps without ornaments or large lampshades. Light bulb-look lamps in plain colours are often used.
Antique Characteristic of the antique style are many copper and brass elements with gold leaf trim. Often, the shapes are curved, as in the case of a chandelier, for example.

To create a harmonious overall picture, it is best to match the hanging lamp to the rest of your furnishings. However, you can also use a different design style to set off the pendant lamp and make it stand out from the rest of your furniture.

Size and weight

Depending on how the pendant lamp is designed, its size will vary. Expansive, curved models usually take up more space than simple, unadorned hanging lamps. Here, your personal taste and the space you have available are decisive. In a spacious dining room with a large table, a large, eye-catching hanging lamp can be a stylish eye-catcher and visually enhance the room.

But a pendant lamp also looks great in small kitchens or living rooms: minimalist design looks particularly good here. The weight of a pendant lamp depends primarily on the materials used. Frames made of metal and glass are considerably heavier than models made of wood with fabric shades.

Additional functions

Many hanging lamps have certain special functions. These usually facilitate the operation of the lighting element and enable the hanging lamps to be flexibly adapted to a wide variety of occasions. Get to know the most important additional functions here:

  • Adjustable height: Allows the light incidence of the hanging lamp to be adjusted individually. If it hangs higher up, a large radius is illuminated. If it is mounted further down, it illuminates only a few spots.
  • Dimming function: Ensures that the brightness can be changed. There are also hanging lamps with touch dimmers.
  • Remote control: This allows the brightness or colour selection to be changed conveniently at the touch of a button.

If you are looking for a hanging lamp that you can adjust flexibly, then it is best to buy a model with these practical functions. Nowadays, the majority of hanging lamps are both dimmable and height-adjustable.

Hanging lights: frequently asked questions and answers

In this section, we will answer the most common questions about hanging lamps. In this way, we want to prepare you as best as possible for the purchase of your hanging lamp and help you find the ideal model for you.

Who is a hanging lamp suitable for?

As the name suggests, hanging lamps are lamps that are mounted on the ceiling and hang down from it. They are often called pendant lamps because the hanging position is reminiscent of a pendulum. Basically, hanging lamps are used where concentrated light is needed on a delimited area. This makes them recommendable for all those who are looking for pleasant lighting for a specific object (such as the dining table).

Hängelampe-01

A hanging lamp contributes significantly to the ambience of a room. It is mainly used to illuminate the dining table, but is also a real eye-catcher in other rooms.
(Image source: Daniil Silantev/ Unsplash)

At the same time, a pendant luminaire suspended higher up can distribute even light over the entire room. This also makes them suitable for use in hallways, bedrooms and living rooms. Besides its lighting function, a pendant lamp is above all a stylish highlight in any room. So buying a hanging lamp is recommended for anyone who wants to visually enhance their home and specifically illuminate other furnishings.

What types of hanging lamps are there?

When buying a hanging lamp, you can choose between different types: Single-flame hanging lamps or multi-flame hanging lamps. This means that the different models differ not only in their design, but above all in the number of their lighting elements. The most important advantages and disadvantages of both types can be found in the following table:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Single-flame hanging lamp Concentrated incidence of light on specific area, Space-saving, Less expensive, Appears plain and unobtrusive Light produced is often insufficient, Light is distributed unevenly, Cannot illuminate large areas
Multi-flame hanging lamp Distributes light evenly throughout the room, Can illuminate a larger area, Can be used as a design element and enhances the look of the room More expensive, Can appear overdone and bulky, Unsuitable for small rooms

When choosing the right number of flames, the most important factor is how large the area to be illuminated is. Single-flame hanging lamps are particularly suitable for lighting small rooms or dining tables. They are an excellent choice if you don't have much space and only a small budget.

However, if you want to illuminate a larger area or have a dining table for 8 or more people, the light from a single-flame hanging lamp is probably no longer sufficient. This is where multi-flame hanging lamps come in handy, allowing you to optimally illuminate and set the scene in the room.

Did you know that a three-flame hanging lamp looks more harmonious than a four-flame one? When buying a multi-flame lamp, make sure that the number of lamps is odd. This will contribute to a harmonious overall appearance of the room.

Hängelampe-02

An eye-catching, multi-flame hanging lamp is usually more expensive than plain models. With designer pieces, the price limit is open at the top.
(Image source: Roberto Nickson/ Unsplash)

What are the alternatives to a hanging lamp?

Hanging lamps are particularly suitable for illuminating individual areas, for example above tables. However, if you want to illuminate an entire room or are looking for a more inconspicuous lamp, other lighting models will help. There are the following alternatives to a hanging lamp:

Alternative Description
Ceiling lamp Here, the lamp is mounted directly on the ceiling and operated via a light switch. Wall lamps illuminate a larger area than hanging lamps and are therefore ideal for rooms that need to be brightly lit.
Wall lamp Wall lamps are mounted on the wall and provide indirect and soft light. They are optimal for rooms that only need to be partially lit.
Floor lamp Floor lamps do not require mounting, but are placed on the floor and connected to a socket. This creates flexibility and is often used to provide additional lighting for upholstered furniture.
Table lamp Table lamps produce punctual light for the work area and can be used flexibly due to their small size.

Which alternative light source is best for you depends entirely on your needs. Depending on how much space you have in your living room and whether you are looking for full or partial lighting, you can choose a ceiling, wall, floor or table lamp.

Hängelampe-03

A floor lamp can be used as an alternative to a hanging lamp for lighting the living room. It is also possible to combine different light sources.
(Image source: Francesca Tosolini/ Unsplash)

At what height should a hanging lamp be installed?

The height of a hanging lamp is a delicate issue. If it is hung too high, it can dazzle and shine out over the table. If it is hung too low, you can bump your head on the lamp or lose sight of the person sitting opposite you at the table.

To ensure that neither of these cases occurs, use the following yardstick: hang the lamp approx. 80 - 100 cm above the table or keep a distance of approx. 60 - 70 cm between the table and the lower edge of the hanging lamp.

If you do not mount the hanging lamp over a table but freely in the room, allow for a distance of approx. 2 m between the floor and the hanging lamp. This will prevent you from hitting your head on the floor when you walk. The exact height you decide on depends on your personal taste. Note that the radius of the light increases the higher the lamp is hung. If it is hung lower, the light is concentrated in a certain area.

How can I build a hanging lamp myself?

You want to give your home a personal touch and don't want to spend a lot of money on your hanging lamp? Then you can build it yourself in a short time with just a few tools and materials. Do-it-yourself hanging lamps made of old driftwood are particularly popular. They give your room a natural and rustic look and bathe it in a cosy light.

How is a hanging lamp mounted?

Mounting a hanging lamp can be challenging. First of all, you are working with electricity and should take all safety precautions beforehand to avoid life-threatening electric shocks.

Therefore, always switch off the fuse and use appropriate devices to make sure that there is really no current before installing a hanging lamp.

Important: If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe installing a lamp, leave the work to a professional electrician. Your safety has top priority.

Conclusion

Hanging lamps can be used for various purposes and are a visual highlight in any room. With the large selection of colours and designs, there is a suitable model for every taste. Moreover, dimmable and height-adjustable hanging lamps can be flexibly adapted to a wide variety of occasions. With the soft light of hanging lamps, you are no longer in the dark, but are always well lit - for eating, playing, writing or reading.

Image source: Salikhau / 123rf.com

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