Lighting Style and Trends Blog

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Dining Room Chandelier Lighting

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sun, July 12, 2009

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.


Tags: Chandeliers, Buyers Guide, Home Lighting

Ten Things to Know When Buying a Ceiling Fan

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sun, June 28, 2009
Ceiling FansStay Cool! Fans are a breeze if you follow our expert advice on how to go about picking one out. Ceiling Fans used to be about function and circulating air. In today's designer homes ceiling fans are not just about function, but about style as well. Many designer ceiling fans look more like art work that can be the focal point and conversation piece of a room. Ceiling fans are becoming more and more common throughout the home including bedrooms, great rooms, bathrooms and outdoors. You can add designer light kits for general lighting as well as remote controls and wall remotes which can control fan speed, direction, lighting and dimmers.  

1) Energy Savings.  Ceiling Fans are great for improving room comfort while at the same time producing energy and cost savings. Homeowners all over are seeing increased energy costs due to higher prices and it's only predicted to get worse.  There is no time like know to enjoy the benefits of owning a ceiling fan. In the summer ceiling fans allow you to feel cool with wind flow known as a "wind chill" effect. This makes a person feel cooler without having to turn the air conditioning full-on therefore saving you energy and money. Its estimated that be setting your thermostat higher with a ceiling fan running you could save up to 40% on air conditioning bills. Studies show this can make a room feel up to seven degrees cooler. In winter ceiling fans should be reversed and used to push the warm air down from the ceiling to keep heat in the lower part of the room for comfort.  This is especially important in rooms with tall ceilings. This leads to energy and money savings by keeping the heat recirculated and setting your thermostat lower.

2) Larger rooms need bigger fans.  For maximum performance, choose the right fan to fit your room size. In a room up to 50 square feet, like a bathroom, choose a 29" fan. Breakfast nooks and laundry rooms up to 75 Sq. ft. choose a 36" blade span. Medium size rooms up too 100 square feet can fit fans from 36" to 42". Standard bedrooms and family rooms up to 400 square feet work most efficiently with fans that are 50" or 52". Great rooms or large areas over 400 sq. ft. require a ceiling fan with a 54" or larger blade span.  For long or large rooms, you should consider more than one fan to handle your cooling requirements. For maximum comfort, the fan should be placed as close to the center of the room as possible. Keep blade tips at least 18 inches from any wall.

Suggested Fan Size   Application  Room Size
 29" Blade Span  Bathroom, hallways  Up to 50 sq. ft.
 36" Blade Span  Breakfast nooks, laundry rooms  Up to 75 sq. ft.
 42" Blade Span  Small bedrooms, small kitchens  Up to 100 sq. ft.
 50" or 52" Blade Span  Standard bedrooms, family rooms  Up to 400 sq. ft.
 54" or Larger Blade Span  Great rooms, large areas  Over 400 sq. ft.

3) Ceiling height and choosing a fan. Optimal placement would be 8 ft from the floor of your room in the middle of the room for maximum comfort, circulation, safety and style. Most fans right out of the box are designed to fit standard eight-foot ceilings. They typically come with a Ceiling Mount kit or a 3 - 6 inch downrod.  This puts the blades at seven feet from the floor for minimum clearance. 

Ceilings Lower Than Eight Feet. Use the Ceiling Mounting Kit or go with a Snugger or Hugger model to achieve the desired seven-foot blade clearance.

Ceilings Above Eight Feet. For ceilings above eight feet, the fan should be hung by a downrod extension so that the fan is eight or nine feet from the floor. You will want to hang it at this level since the higher the fan is hung above eight feet, the less air circulates near the floor. Select one of the accessory downrods available in lengths of Twelve (12) to Seventy Two (72) inches to achieve your desired height.

Sloped or Cathedral Ceilings Most ceiling fan manufacturers sell an optional Ceiling Mounting Kit or Sloped Mount Kit in addition to the appropriately sized downrod accommodating cathedral ceilings and sloped ceilings up to 40°.

4) Bathroom and Outdoor Ceiling Fans, look for a bathroom ceiling fan specifically designed and UL-listed for damp locations. Bathroom Ceiling Fans start at 29 inch blade spans since smaller rooms require less air movement and space is usually limited. Want one for the covered outdoor patio?  Opt for an Outdoor Ceiling Fan that this is UL-listed for wet locations. Outdoor ceiling fans can also be used indoors. They have protective motor coverings to keep moister from corroding the motor.

5) Fan blade pitch and size. Fan blades determine the amount of air being circulated throughout the room.  You will see fan blade pitch as a specification on a ceiling fan product. Fan blade pitch is usually between a 12-15 degree angle for optimal circulation. Fan blades must be weighted and matched as a balanced set to avoid having your fan wobble. Ceiling fans with less than a 12 -degree angle will not circulate air as well and be less efficient. The greater the angle or higher the pitch of the blade the more air circulation you will have in your room. Quality blades should be made with wood or acrylic. They should be sealed or covered with a protective coating to resist humidity.

6) The most important part of every ceiling fan is the motor. The motor is responsible for producing quiet operation while driving the blades for air movement. Look for high-quality motors with heavy-duty windings and sealed bearings that are permanently lubricated. Emerson Fans invented the first ceiling fan motor in 1890. They know a few things about good and strong fan motors.  Other top mainstream manufacturers are Monte Carlo Fans, Casablanca Fans, and Hunter Fans. The high-end designer scene is dominated by architectural fans from Fanimation, Minka-Aire, and Tommy Bahama Fans.  Smaller, less powerful motors found on lower quality fans may produce higher operating temperatures, lower air circulation and noisier operation. Motors are designed to work flawlessly for long periods of time and should have a long lasting life.

7) Choose a lighting style and kit to match. Too add that finishing touch or general lighting, add a lighting kit to your ceiling fan.  Many fans have one included or give you many options to choose from. Choose from classic to contemporary lights to compliment the look of your fan and your room. There are many light options such as single light bowls, spotlights, or multiple glass shades that can be added to a fitter to enhance the design. Adding a light kit can also be added to match your home décor. Designer line fans may come equipped with uplighting as it creates a more relaxed environment especially at night. Light reflecting off the ceiling creates more of a mood effect than general downlighting.

8) Consider your home's style. If you want the fan to be part of your home's décor, look for colors and detail that are complimentary. Ceiling fans are no longer just about function, many are designed to set the tone for a room. If you are looking for a conversation piece then a designer fan is the way to go. If you want the fan to "disappear", select one that is the color of the ceiling and a little less designer or ornamental. Remember that a high quality finish on the fan blades will resist blistering, tarnishing, fading and corrosion while less advanced finishes can be very fragile and start to peel, bubble and corrode quickly. Brass finishes on the housing are long lasting, scratch resistant and never need polishing. Painted finishes are thick, rich and durable.  We always recommend that you get what you pay for and usually the more you spend the more you get.  This includes fan size, motor power, design and materials.  Also look to see if remotes or wall controls are included. Its worth the money to control all the fans options from a remote without having to get up from your chair.  

9) Consider the warranty. When you choose to purchase a ceiling fan, look for a good warranty or the life of your fan.  Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty and in-home service. Good tip is that the larger or more powerful the motor and the more you spend usually correlates to the better and longer warranted fan. Again, we believe there is a true correlation in terms of you get what you pay for.

10) Installation is so easy that with a few basic skills anyone can install the product themselves in an hour or so. Almost all ceiling fans come with step by step instructions so your new fan can be up and working efficiently in no time at all.  You will need to determine if you will need electrical wiring brought to the ceiling of the room where you want to add the fan. Since most of the time homeowners are replacing existing lights with a ceiling fan, the wiring is usually already in place. Some fans come with a support system to assist you by freeing your hands to make wiring connections allowing you to hang a hook from the electrical box to the fan to support it while you install it.

Fanimation   Emerson Fans  Minka-Aire Gyro  


 Emerson Fans

 Minka-Aire Fans  

Shop for ceiling fans at the following expert locations. Location 1, Location 2.


Tags: Ceiling Fans, Buyers Guide, Energy Star

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