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pendant lighting

Lighting Lingo | That Flat Thing on the Ceiling Explained!

I admit that I may be biased, but I strongly believe the sales team here at Barn Light Electric is unrivaled. In a time when internet-based companies can be faceless and often unresponsive, the team at Barn Light Electric takes each phone call and personal visit in the showroom to heart.

They know lighting inside and out and are happy to give advice on what fixtures work well in different spaces and offer solutions for difficult lighting situations. You know, like that tiny laundry room with the low ceiling? Yep, they’ve got lights for that!


Customers often have questions and the sales team is top notch at explaining the sometimes-confusing lighting terminology. For instance, the Original™ Stem Mount Pendant has multiple ways it can be customized. Do you want a porcelain enamel finish or powder coat? What size of stem do you need? Do you want a standard canopy? How about a cast guard and glass? And do you need a GU24 Bi-Pin CFL socket?

So many options…

Today we’re going to talk pendant lighting and that flat disk that rests against the ceiling — otherwise known as the canopy. It is a decorative plate, typically circular in shape, that covers the electrical box.


For a stem mounted pendant, there are three choices for the canopy — a standard canopy, a hang-straight canopy, or a heavy-duty canopy. In this adorable bedroom, the Original™ Stem Mount Pendant, is mounted with a standard canopy which is typically used with a flat ceiling.


The Hang Straight Canopy is useful if you’re installing a pendant to a sloped ceiling but want your light to hang straight, thus the name. The secret is a pivot used to level the light. This handy piece of lighting hardware is shown here with this Jadite-finished Original™. The third option is a Heavy Duty Canopy which is a rugged version suitable for multi-light fixtures and heavier pendants.


Cord hung lights, like this Seaside Pendant Light, also use a canopy for installation. But if you score the perfect vintage warehouse shade at a yard sale, you can purchase a Cord & Canopy separately.


No matter which type of canopy you choose, you can customize the look of the hardware with your choice of finish color. Some people prefer the canopy to match the ceiling color while others choose a contrasting shade to give an unexpected pop of color at the ceiling like in this commercial setting.

If you have questions, our Customer Care team stands ready to assist! They can be reached at 800-407-8784, via email at, or via Live Chat from our home page during regular business hours.


  1. 820a352cf0fef74a900405ad2eefa0a7?s=60&d=blank&r=g
    john lemmon

    good morning,
    does your canopy “CC” come with a bracket that the canopy fastens to? is it a threaded piece?

  2. 8565155288266f8b1c948ca1892cdb4f?s=60&d=blank&r=g

    The Cord & Canopy listing, code: CC, does includes threaded nipple, crossbar and mounting hardware with the ceiling canopy. Your order would include detailed installation instructions. If you have any other questions, you can reach our sales staff at 800-407-8784, via Live Chat during regular business hours, or via email at Thanks for your query John!

  3. 6d305cef6bf8a511cbbbe9ce0fc4b3b4?s=60&d=blank&r=g
    Donna Tomak

    I bought the cord for my lamp but not the canopy because I had one. Problem is there is nothing w the canary inhale that takes the pressure off the (cord/wires ) when hanging from
    Ceiling. If I get your canopy is there something that attaches so the lamp just isn’t hanging w all the weight on the cord?

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