The right lighting can make or break a room. Many clients focus on all of the pieces of a project and don’t consider lighting in their plans or budget. I rank lighting pretty high up on finishing touches for a room. It’s both functional and decorative and it’s important to get it right!
A common question I help solve for clients is what size light fixture to put over their dining table. Usually I have a pretty good sense of scale and can determine from sight if a light will fit well or not. But, there is a guide/formula you can use (and I often refer to) to help you feel comfortable selecting the right size light for over a table.
If you are placing a lighting fixture over a dining table measure the table’s width. Half of the width of the table plus 5″ equals the minimum diameter for a chandelier over that table.
For example (not that I’m assuming you need help in the math department), if your table is 38″ wide you would divide that in half (19″) plus 5″ equals 24″, your chandelier’s minimum width.
If you have a very long table that size may be a bit small for your table. In that case I suggest hanging two chandeliers down the center of the table to properly “fill” the space and provide enough light for your space.
There are a few other guides to help you figure out the proper size for your dining room chandelier. You can use 3/4 of the table’s width (38″ wide table x .75 = 28.5″ diameter) to determine the right size for your chandelier. As you can see, this number is larger than the first calculation, so the two numbers together may be a good range for your chandelier’s diameter.
Another helpful tip, if you are installing your light without the help of a designer, is how high to hang the light.
In my experience, when left on their own, most homeowners select lighting that is too small for their space and they hang it too high. When in doubt, go larger and lower!
When hanging your light(s) the distance from the bottom of the fixture to the top of the table should be between 28″- 36″. The key is to make sure your guests can comfortably get up from the table without hitting their heads on the fixture. If hung too high you lose the light and the fixture feels separate from the table versus part of the space.
Finally, make sure to use a dimmer with your chandelier so you can control the mood and light. Lighting impacts everything in a room so getting it right will pay off in the end!
Do you have a favorite chandelier over your dining table? What challenges did you face when selecting the fixture? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!