Chandeliers have the potential to do much more than illuminate the spaces they inhabit. They can also add visual interest while serving as an elegant expression of your personal taste.
However, getting the most out of your dining room chandelier comes down to more than just picking one you like, installing it, and flipping the switch. Several key considerations — starting with the question, “What is the perfect chandelier height over a dining room table?”— should also be addressed.
That’s why we prepared this handy guide. We’re going to cover five tips on how to choose and hang a chandelier in your dining room or other space.
1. Consider Your Style
For interior design devotees, wandering through the chandelier section of a high-end lighting store may feel a lot like being a kid in a candy store. With so many dazzling options to choose from, it can quickly become overwhelming — especially when you factor in the different styles, sizes, shapes, materials, and more.
For example, an architectural origami chandelier has a very different aesthetic than a glamorous Jonathan Adler Meurice Chandelier, while a whimsical Regina Andrews bubble chandelier is also unique. That’s why it’s important to hone in on your style preferences before you start shopping.
If your style is more modern and minimal, you may narrow your search to chandeliers with minimal ornamentation in a finish like chrome or nickel. Have a more traditional aesthetic? Brass may be more suitable. Looking to make an unforgettable and captivating statement? You've got plenty of options there, too.
One way to ensure that your new light fixture integrates harmoniously with its surroundings while also creating flow between rooms? Look for materials and finishes that complement the space’s existing elements, as well as those throughout your home.
2. Settle on Size
In the previous point, we touched on the size as a stylistic consideration. For example, an oversized ornate chandelier makes a dramatically different statement than a sleek, chic chandelier with a more streamlined look.
However, the size of your chandelier is also important for other reasons — starting with scale. If your chandelier is too large, it can feel like it overtakes the space. But if it’s too small, it will feel awkward and look out of place. This applies to both room size and table size.
Here’s one formula designers use to choose the right-size chandeliers for interior spaces: Add the length and width of the room. This sum (in feet) should be the diameter of your chandelier (in inches).
Some other rules of thumb for chandelier sizing in dining rooms? Your chandelier shouldn’t be wider than your table width as this can be unwieldy to navigate. In general, it’s recommended that chandeliers be a minimum of 12 inches narrower than the table and at least 48 inches of distance from your walls.
3. Give LED a Look
The lighting industry is always innovating and evolving. One of the newest and most exciting lighting trends? LED chandeliers. LEDs may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of chandeliers. However, many leading lighting brands are now making LED fixtures as opposed to traditional incandescent ones for several reasons, including design flexibility, increased reliability, and energy savings.
Speaking of energy savings, if sustainability is a priority for you, LED lighting is a truly exceptional option. Not only do LEDs expend a fifth of the energy of halogen bulbs, but they also have a projected lifespan of approximately 50,000 hours.
The takeaway for homeowners? Don’t discount an LED chandelier or other LED light fixture based on preconceived notions about lighting. Many of today’s LED chandeliers are even fully dimmable!
4. Embrace Layers
Chandeliers add illumination while serving as natural focal points in any room. However, they’re not intended to be the sole light source. Like all light fixtures, chandeliers “play well with others.” This is where layered lighting schemes come in.
The best-lit rooms incorporate three types of lighting: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Hanging light fixtures, such as chandeliers and pendants, provide general ambient lighting. This means they’re not only a room’s primary light source, but also influence the vibe of your space. For example, ambient lighting dictates whether a space feels bright and cheerful or darker and more somber.
Additionally, integrating other lighting has functional benefits. From highlighting a piece of art or architectural feature to providing task lighting to see by for food prep, eating, reading, or another activity happening in a particular space, task lighting is a must.
Whether you’re looking to compliment the tone set by your chandelier or to improve the functionality of your space through mindful lighting, incorporating other types of lighting — from wall sconces to floor lamps — will improve both the look and feel of your space.
5. Pick The Place
If you’re selecting a chandelier for your dining room, the natural (and best) location is centered over the dining table.
This brings us to the last-but-not-least question about the chandelier height above the table. Interior design guidelines recommend hanging your chandelier between 30 and 36 inches over the table surface in a room with a ceiling height of eight feet. You can add three more inches per foot for higher or vaulted ceilings. (Keep in mind that these are just guidelines. Feel free to adjust the height of your light fixture according to the demands of the room or your personal preferences.)
A more casual recommendation for hanging chandeliers? Your light fixture should be high enough over the dining room table that it doesn’t interfere with sight lines while low enough that it doesn’t cause glare.
When deciding on chandelier height and position, it’s also important to consider the cast of the light. For example, if it’s beaming down on diners from directly above, it can be both uncomfortable and unflattering. Opting for lower-wattage bulbs can decrease the heat while eliminating excessive glare.
This is assuming that you’re working with only one hanging light fixture. Some larger tables and spaces may incorporate two or even three chandeliers or pendant lights. In this case, while the height recommendations won’t change, you’ll have additional considerations regarding how to space them.
When it comes to light fixtures, there’s nothing quite like a gorgeous and statement-making chandelier. Whether you have an exact style or brand of chandelier in mind or you’re seeking inspiration and guidance while putting together a lighting plan for a single room or your entire home, you’ll find it — and more! — at Fashion Light Center, CT's #1 source for high-quality lighting.Including Robert abbey chandeliers and many other elegant options from other leading lighting brands, our collection of chandelier lighting comprises a beautiful breadth and depth of design styles. To start discovering the joy of exceptional lighting at home, contact Fashion Light Center today.