1 // THE RIGHT HEIGHT IS KEY
When hanging pendant lights above a bar or a kitchen counter, allow for 30 to 36 inches of air space between counter and the bottom of the pendants. This is the most practical height, especially for pendants used for task lighting. This height also allows enough room to avoid bumping into the lights while also providing ample light.
2 // CONSIDER THE RIGHT SPACING
Bar counter islands are typically long and straight, making them the ideal shape for the "rule of three" design concept. Place three identical pendant light fixtures over the bar counter, spaced evenly across the counter. The number of inches between the lights will vary based on how long your counter is, but a standard rule is to allow 30 to 32 inches between each fixture. Measure the distance between the bulbs rather than the edges of the fixtures.
The spacing between pendant lights should be uniform. If your bar counter is short, either reduce the inches or use fewer lights. The important thing is to keep the space even, not only for appearances but also to ensure an even spread of light over the entire counter.
3 // SIZE IS IMPORTANT
Pendant fixtures look best when their size and scale is in harmony with the size of the room. A band of pendants running the length of a bar should be at least 10 inches smaller in diameter than the width of the bar to leave headroom for anyone seated beneath.
In general, however, bigger is better with pendants if your goal is to make a powerful visual statement. Small pendants don't have an impact among other elements in the space. So, as long as you follow the headroom rule above, opt for the biggest pendant that will work in your space.
Another approach for choosing the size of a pendant is to simply add the room’s dimensions together and change the total from feet to inches. For example, if your bar is 15 feet by 15 feet, add 11 plus 14 to get 30. The proper pendant size would be 30 inches in diameter.
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