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Tips for Selecting the Perfect Dining Room Chandelier Lighting


chandeliersA chandelier is a great way to set the style of your dining room. Picking out the right chandelier is the crowning jewel or centerpiece of your dining room table. When you hang a chandelier over your dining table, you want to make sure the chandelier enhances the beauty of your dining room and furnishings by having the appropriate sizing, lighting and style.

Hanging height for your Chandelier

The most frequently asked question regarding chandeliers for the dining room is how high should it be hung in relationship to the table. Most chandeliers come with more chain then needed to account for  differing ceiling heights and will need to be reduced to size. For good design practice, the general height of the main lighting source of should be between 30" - 36" above the table top for an 8 foot ceiling. For taller ceilings you will want to raise the chandelier another 3" - 6" for every additional foot of ceiling height. You will want to have at least 150 watts overall illumination in the chandelier. You will want to avoid bulbs of high wattage as they will increase heat output and glare. Keep in mind that your guest will be sitting under the chandelier. Lighting that is too powerful and too close can put off heat which can make someone uncomfortable.

Sizing your Chandelier

Just as your dining room table comes in many shapes and sizes, so do chandeliers. So, its important to hang the chandelier in the appropriate position to have the best impact on the dining room. We recommend sizing your chandelier based on the size and measurements of your dining room table. For starters you will want to avoid a chandelier that is wider then your dining room table. Your guests will bump their heads on it when trying to sit down for dinner. A good design practice is that the chandelier should be at least 12 inches inside the outer edge of the table.   

Your room dimensions play a big role in your final chandelier selection. Essentially you want at least 4 feet of space between the walls and the chandelier around the room.  Any less and the chandelier will take up the entire room and will look out of proportion. For smaller rooms you can consider hanging a mini-pendant chandelier. Here are some recommended guides for the size of chandelier in relationship to the size of the room.


Diameter of Chandelier 

 10' X 10'

17" - 20" 

 12' X 12'

20" - 26" 

 14' X 14'

24" - 30" 

Chandelier Style

The style of your chandelier should match the style of your dining room or home. In many cases people choose to have the style of their chandelier set the style and theme for the dining room. Styles include Traditional, Transitional, Contemporary or Crystal Chandeliers. For more information about chandelier styles, visit our chandelier style article.

Dimming Controls

You should consider using a dimmer to vary the illumination to match your preferred dining atmosphere and experience. For every day dinning, you typically desire a bright light similar to the rest of your home. For formal or romantic dinners a soft candlelight is usually more desirable.

Accessory and Layered Lighting

To properly light your dining room you should layer your light. You can do this by using a chandelier ceiling light in conjunction with table lamps, buffet lamps, floor lamps, wall lighting and home accents to create a well designed look for your dining room.

Wall Sconces (wall lighting) come in many styles to match the chandelier and they are valuable in shedding accent lighting on a sideboard, serving table or buffet table. Sconces can help accent a mirror which gives depth to a dining room.

Feature Manufactures

Some of the most well known chandelier manufacturers are Murrary Feiss, Kichler, Minka-Lavery, Quoizel, Trump Home, Elk Lighting, Troy Lighting, and Corbett LightingJessica McClintock Home is well known for the romantic dining room collections. Trump Home Lighting is well known for that wealthly and rich New York style of Trump's number properties. For Crystal Lighting look to Crystorama for a wide selection of great Crystal Chandeliers.



I have a chandelier that is 25" high, and the room is 13'W x 15'L x 15'H. The dining table is 44"Wx112"Lx30"H. Is it too high to hang the chandelier 50" above the table? I had it at 38" above the table and I seemed to be having some problems finding fun candlesticks that didn't look dwarfed in the room to set on each end of the table that wouldn't interfere with the chandelier, but I may have gone overboard raising it incrementally by a foot from 38" to 50" above the table. It's a simple design ellyptical shaped 8-arm chandelier with a grape leaf motif(@steel rod arched arm is 3/8"diameter).
Posted @ Monday, August 10, 2009 9:56 AM by Nancy Rosenthal
Nancy: Looks like you have re positioned the chandelier by eye to match the recommendation. Since the ceiling is 7 ft higher then the standard 8ft ceiling that would mean an addiotional 21 inches to the standard of at least 30 inches above the table. That would put you at the 50" mark per design recommendations. That should give you room for the candle sticks and get the chandelier back up into the ceiling so that you are not cutting down the ceiling. Kudos to you.
Posted @ Sunday, August 16, 2009 10:37 PM by Gavin Martin
My dining room is 12x13 (but open into both the foyer and family room) and a 9 foot ceiling. Is a chandelier that is 28x34(wide) to big for the room? My table is 44 wide.
Posted @ Friday, November 05, 2010 12:15 PM by Tamara
Keep in mind that this is a general rule of thumb and other factors can change the decision. Things like having a 9 ft ceiling which then requires having the chandelier raised higher. Big issue is not dwarfing your table and making sure you have room around the table and that the chandelier is not in your face while sitting and that you are not bumping your head on it when standing up. Thats we we recommend 1 foot of space from the edge of the table. That one foot is what you may need to avoid the chandelier touching you or you standing up and whacking your head on it. Hope that helps.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 07, 2010 11:46 PM by Gavin Martin
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