Have you ever looked up and noticed what office lighting you have? Workplaces that haven’t had a recent refurbishment are bound to feature very basic lights that nestle alongside the ceiling tiles, perhaps with a less-than-attractive metal grill cover.

While these lights can be replaced by more modern (and efficient) LED panels or spotlights, they don’t add much design interest. Step forward the pendant light. Once reserved for over the dining table and now hovering above many a breakfast bar, commercial offices can also benefit from pendant lights.

Here in the UK, it is PwC leading the charge, with an announcement that it will allow staff to split their time between home and office working. The revised expectation will be for staff to spend 40%-60% of their time with colleagues or clients in a physical capacity.

Our recent four-floor fit-out of a new headquarters for The Acorn Group saw us install a variety of pendant lights in different styles and finishes. In fact, we think we have installed over 1,000 pendant lights over the years, so we’re bringing you our quick guide:-

  • Power & wiring

Always seek professional advice when it comes to the installation of pendant lights. A refurbishment is a great time to add the necessary overhead wiring or you could add a false, decorative ceiling to accommodate the power supply and cables.

  • Placement

MPL always plans the placement of pendant lights early in the layout design process, while the wiring will fall in the ‘first fix’ stage. Advance planning ensures the pendants work in tandem with task lights and furniture, as well as fit in with the overall aesthetic.

  • 1, 2 or 3?

Interior designers often work to the ‘power of 3’ and a row of three suspended pendants always looks well balanced. That doesn’t mean to say the rule can’t be broken. One oversized pendant in a smaller room can look very dramatic or choose a single pendant with multiple bulbs.

  • Materials & finishes

There is a pendant to match every type of interior style. If you’re trying to create an urban look, opt for a matt black finish and a wire frame, while an industrial theme matches well with brushed chrome. For luxury interiors, opt for shiny gold, brass or copper. Orbs of opaque glass lend a very Art Deco feel to ceilings, while naked vintage-style bulbs can be teamed with dangling faux foliage to make a real design statement.