The good news is that there is no one way to choose or use pendant lights, and they can be a relatively inexpensive way to upgrade a room in just a couple of hours.

Like any other light fixture, pendant lights are available in so many styles and colors and a plethora of materials, it is nearly impossible not to find one that will work. Use a cluster of glass globes in a number of sizes for a striking look above a dining room table or wide metal shades for an industrial vibe that mixes with a more country look in the kitchen.

The possibilities are endless, but there are a few points homeowners should follow to get the most out of their pendant light fixtures:

1. When used for task lighting, a pendant fixture should be open at the top to allow for a more balanced light beam. Otherwise, the downward beam could be too harsh.

2. Pendant lights should hang 30 to 36 inches above the surface below; counters and tables alike.

3. If being used for more general purpose lighting, pendants should be hung about 20 inches below an 8-foot ceiling. Add three inches for every foot of ceiling height.

4. Don’t forget the dimmer! Set pendants on a dimmer to control overall light output because there may be times when a full beam isn’t needed or wanted.

5. Don’t be afraid to imitate. Visit model homes that have been professionally staged and make note of how pendants are used and hung. There’s a reason prospective buyers sign on the dotted line, so take some ideas home and transform a room or two.

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