Dining Room Lighting Guide
A beautifully lit dining room is an instant mood lifter, but a poorly lit one can ruin a meal. Make sure your dining room is equipped with the right lighting for every occasion with these tips.
If there’s one room in the house where lighting matters most, it’s the dining room. The light fixtures you select for your dining room can have a dramatic impact on the style of your space, as well as your entertaining. Read on for a few tips on choosing and hanging chandeliers and pendants for your dining room.
Dining Room Chandeliers and Pendant Lights
If your ceiling height allows, hang a chandelier or pendant light above your dining table to illuminate the space. There are countless styles of ceiling light fixtures to choose from, from traditional to modern and everything in between. An expansive, statement-making chandelier can draw major attention to your dining room, while a part of subtle pendants can create a calming atmosphere. Select what resonates most with your personal style and the vibe you’re trying to create in this communal space.
When it comes to selecting the right size for your chandelier or pendant, there are a couple rules of thumb to follow. First, chandeliers should be approximately 12” narrower than your dining table; Otherwise your table will feel dwarfed by your light fixture. Second, there should be at least 48” of space between the edges of your chandelier and the surrounding walls of the room. Measure your space given these guidelines before you buy.
How to Hang Dining Room Lighting
When your chandelier or pendant arrives, we recommend getting professional help installing it, unless you have experience with electrical work. If it’s a heavy or cumbersome piece, it may be a two-person job. To rest at the proper height for the space, the chandelier should hang approximately 30–36” above the table with a ceiling height of 8’. For ceilings higher than 8 feet, mount the chandelier an additional 3” higher for each foot of ceiling. Resist the urge to “eyeball” it; There’s less room for error if you do. If you’re hanging pendants above a kitchen island, the guideline of 30-36” above the countertop surface applies as well.
We recommend having your electrician install a dimmer in your dining table to allow you to adjust the light levels as needed. For a candle-lit dinner party, you can dim your chandelier or pendants for a truly romantic and magical look.
Before you purchase your chandelier or pendant, it’s a good idea to take stock of surrounding light levels in the room and select a fixture that will improve or balance existing lighting. If you don’t go with a chandelier, consider purchasing multiple pendants, which can be a very effective choice above a rectangular table, as it will ensure you’re properly lighting the entire table surface. A collection of pendants can be hung at equidistance or at varying heights for a unique and more artful aesthetic.