four hanging shades from a row of lit pendant lights
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What do they cost? A 4-inch, colored-glass "mini" pendant from the home center starts at $25; larger hand-wrought metal fixtures and ones with blown-glass shades can go for $500 and much, much more.

Where can you use them? To light up a workspace, such as a kitchen-island prep zone or a desk in a home office. They can also cast a warm glow in a dining room or an entryway.

Open or closed shade? Closed shades, such as schoolhouse-style opaque globes, soften light and hide the bulb. Shades that are open on the bottom create bright spots beneath them; ones with open tops, such as drum shades, also bounce light off the ceiling.

Install it yourself or hire a pro? Swapping out an old fixture is easy if you know basic wiring. But if your existing wires are brittle or you need to run electricity to a new spot, call an electrician.

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