Lighting by Room: Dining Room Lighting

What to think about when purchasing lighting fixtures for your Dining Room.

Maxim Lighting Ashford 5 Light ChandelierThe lighting in a dinning room space should take advantage of the space and its needs. It is also an area where function and aesthetics are important as well. A typical dinning room setting is used for many everyday activities like eating, reading, and entertaining company. Using light fixtures that are multifunctional is key for this area.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Is the lighting fixture going to be a focal point in the space?
  • What kind of lighting setting do are you trying to achieve? Do you want your dining room experience to be intimate or loud?
  • Additional lighting might be needed to accommodate all your needs such as task and accent lighting. Not only tables need lighting; other areas like serving counter tops could use recessed down lighting or pendants place above the surfaces.

How Do I Determine The Proper Size Chandelier For a Dining Table?

One must remember that a chandelier serves a few purposes in a dinning space. Some things to remember when choosing a proper size for your dining room table:

Maxim Lighting Provence 6 Light Chandelier

Things to always consider:

  • A chandelier is a great focal point in this space, you don't want to hang an over bearing fixture over your table or have it bigger than the table’s width general rule is to have a chandelier fixture with a diameter of 24" to 30" and/or a size that is proportional to the space as to help avoid any injuries while getting up from the table.
  • Lighting tip: a fixture above a dining room table should be no wider than the width of the table minus 12 inches (ALA). This is a general calculation for all table sizes.
  • Try to avoid over luminance of a chandelier. In other words the purpose for a chandelier is to serve as a focal point in the space, it is supposed to also help illuminate the objects on the table at its best.
  • Remember that if your dining space has lots of natural light, using a dimmer switch on your chandeliers will be helpful. A dimmer saves energy and helps control the levels of luminance needed in that space throughout all hours of the day.

New trends for your dining room lighting needs. Though chandeliers still remain as the typical light fixture over your dinning table experience, multifunctional lighting fixtures are working their way to your table. Ceiling fans provide both task/accent lighting along with circulation. Pendants and mini-pendants are now replacing the typical chandeliers. They are installed fixed, at varied heights, and on adjustable tracks that help bring a contemporary aesthetic to your dinning room experience. Also, portable uplights may help add drama

How High Above The Table Should The Chandelier Hang?

Murray Feiss Ethan 8 Light Island ChandelierThere are two common ways to hang a chandelier fixture. Typically a chandelier fixture should hang between 27-36 inches above the surface of a dinning table and/or designated surface. Then there are chandeliers that are called close to the ceiling surface. To install close to the ceiling fixtures properly it’s a good idea to measure from the top of the fixture to the ceiling surface. The height from the fixture to the ceiling should be at a minimum of 18 inches. Keep in mind both fixtures produce similar light sources, but a typical chandelier fixture creates more of a direct illumination to the surface at which it is installed over.

Consider This:

  • The interior ceiling when installing a chandelier fixture If the ceiling is not a flat surface or at the standard height of 9 ft additional components might be needed to hang and install the fixture at an appropriate height.
  • When purchasing a chandelier fixture make sure there are adjustable rods or any other components available.
  • Make sure you know the height of your ceiling in the space.
  • Each ceiling surface should be considered upon purchasing a chandelier fixture. Keep in mind that a vaulted ceiling vs. a standard flat ceiling surface might create a challenge when installing a fixture.
  • Hang the chandelier so that the bottom of the chandelier is roughly 30-36 inches from the top of the table. This will ensure that you can still see your companions and it will give you enough space to fit a tall centerpiece under the chandelier.
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