A fixture of the industrial age, steel-and-enamel pendant lights were a happy marriage of form and function. First introduced in factories in the late 1800s, they had one purpose: to shed as much light as possible. Broad shades lined with reflective white porcelain enamel directed the glow of bulbs that were often protected from breakage by cages. Today the shades may be lightweight aluminum instead of steel and coated in rustproof paint instead of porcelain enamel, but their simple, streamlined shapes remain just as popular. Here, 13 of our favorite takes.
TOH Tips: Shallow shades are a great way to show off stylish bulbs, like the Edison ones shown here. Too much glare? Try a lower wattage or a frosted or chrome-dipped model. Kinked cord? Smooth out problem areas by laying it flat and blasting it with heat from a hair dryer to help stretch the plastic coating.