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Daring Modern Pendant Lights For A Contemporary Space

I think many of us tend to take lighting fixtures for granted. After all, I’m willing to bet that – with maybe a few exceptions – most of the lighting fixtures in your home aren’t terribly remarkable, and are maybe even a little bit boring. But I’m a big believer that the right lighting fixture can really make a room, and so much better if the design is a hop and a step outside the norm. I think this is especially true for a modern space, where a same-old lighting fixture can be actively uninteresting, and even an expensive crystal chandelier can fail to do justice to your design. So, if you favor a striking modern aesthetic, here are a few gorgeous modern pendant lights that will more than get the job done.

Making It Modern

Sputnik Modern Pendant Light From Nuevo Living
Sputnik Modern Pendant Light From Nuevo Living (Image by: Amoroso Design)

Traditional lighting fixtures are defined, largely, by symmetry. With chandeliers in perfect tiers and even very simple pendants with strict radial designs, most conventional lighting fixtures are meant to be equal parts beautiful and unobtrusive. But modern lighting fixtures like this Sputnik Pendant draw attention to themselves and even form an assertive focal point for your room. I like this light in particular for it’s asymmetry, with arms of different lengths and thicknesses that jut in all directions, but add a futuristic, slightly molecular look to this otherwise fairly traditional space.

Playing With Shape

Fringe Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern
Fringe Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern

Moreover, while almost all traditional lights have that same, simple, radial shape, more modern designs have a whole lot more freedom to play with the idea of what a pendant light is, rather than conforming to expectations. From inside-out wire-framed lamps to ones with complex chrome insets and angles, often modern lighting fixtures are more like sculpture than background bits. Take this gorgeous Fringe Pendant: made of loops and swoops of fabric that cover the actual bulbs, this light is anything but ordinary, deconstructing the idea of a fabric shade and creating something relaxed, artistic, and utterly lovely.

Wild In White

Cerebro Modern Pendant Light From Nuevo Living
Cerebro Modern Pendant Light From Nuevo Living (Image by: Hayneedle)

You might be surprised to find that many of the most visually interesting modern pendant lights come in what many might consider the least interesting color: white. Why? Because white both shows texture and catches light incredibly well – meaning that something like this Cerebro Pendant from Nuevo not only has an incredibly tactile appearance, it also shows a beautiful, sculpture-like quality of shadow when turned off, and glows from within when turned on.

Bare Bulbs?

Nimbus Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern
Nimbus Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern

In theory, this sounds like a pretty weird alternative to a traditional chandelier. But I can’t help but love bulb-bouquet style lighting fixtures like this Nimbus modern pendant light. They’re specially coated so they won’t cause immediate eye death when you look at them the way a standard bare bulb would, which is good because they happen to also be quite eye-catching. One part casual and one part avant garde, these ten individual 10-watt bulbs produce the same amount of light as a regular lighting fixture, but with a whole lot more style. I especially like this one in particular, for the daring red cables that can help elongate your room as they stretch up to a single standard lighting fixture.

Making It Fun

Gilese Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern
Gilese Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern

One of the most important things to remember when you’re shopping for a modern pendant light is not to take it to seriously. While a formal crystal chandelier in an entryway or grand dining area is designed to add sophistication and traditional weight to your design, modern lighting fixtures are more about expressing your own personality or artistic flair. Don’t believe me? Well, take a gander at this Gilese Pendant. Made to look like a giant light bulb, there’s no denying that this tongue-in-cheek design is more conversation starter than quiet dinner companion.

Keeping It Classic

Bradyon Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern
Bradyon Modern Pendant Light From Zuo Modern

Of course, not all modern pendant lights break so completely from tradition. In fact (as regular readers will remember) some of my favorites are ones that riff on classical design rather than rejecting it. I particularly like this Bradyon Pendant from Zuo Modern, which puts an intriguing industrial twist on the classic chandelier. With black wires and bare bulbs in place of polished brass and flame-shaped bulbs, and jutting, asymmetrical rods instead of symmetrical swooping arms, this piece pays just enough homage to tradition while creating something entirely new and unexpected – perfect for a cutting edge modern space.

Do you like a daring modern look for your lighting, or would you prefer a more traditional pendant light or chandelier?

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