Parts to build pendant lights

Written by mary lougee
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Building your own pendant light requires some parts in common no matter the style. Any type of pendant light you create will requre a socket, wiring, hanging device, and framework to attach any items onto the light. Lamp globes are the portion of this project that allows your creativity to shine, because virtually any item imaginable can be made into a pendant light globe or shade.

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Lamp Socket/Bulb

Each light bulb in a pendant lamp screws into a lamp socket with an on/off switch. compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) give off less heat and work well with a larger variety of materials than standard light bulbs. There are single lamp sockets for a project with one light or multiple sockets that hold several lights for better illumination of the project. Multiple sockets make pendant lighting in a chandelier style and may be multidirectional to turn each beam of light in different directions. Multiple sockets generally have only one on/off switch that operates the entire group of lights. Electrical supply and home improvement stores sell sockets in each of these formations. An inexpensive version of a pendant light uses old lamp sockets from non-working table lamps.


Pendant lights require wiring to attach the lamp socket or sockets to the cord. The lamp wire has a plug on the end to plug a pendant light into an electrical socket for its power. Wiring is available in long lengths and with or without the plug on the end. Wiring without a plug on the end can wire into a wall lighting switch to use as an on/off switch for a pendant light.

Chains/Wall Frame

Pendant lights hang from a ceiling or wall and need a supportive hanging device. Lamp chains attach to the pendant light frame with wire on the top of the structure to hang down from a ceiling. The wall hanging pendant derives its support from a metal frame that attaches to the wall and the top of the lamp.


A pendant light has a framework that all of the items for decoration surrounding the light bulbs attach onto as well as the wiring and hanging assembly. An old lampshade frame from a table lamp without the fabric makes a good starting point to create a pendant light. Alternately, any size and shape of framework is possible by using wire coat hangers to bend and shape into an original piece of artwork.

Fishing Line/Wire

Wire will hold all the components securely to the framework of a pendant light. Wire does show in the final project but clear fishing line will be as strong and is not visible when the light is on.

Lamp Globes

Lamp globes surround each light bulb to direct illumination and give a pendant light its character and design. Recycling old globes or shopping at resale stores can yield an endless supply of designer globes. Cutting or attaching any other item to fit around the light socket creates individuality in a pendant lamp. Any material that does not heat from a light bulb is an option, including glass, plastic, cardboard and wood.

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