dining room light fixture
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A Complete Guide to Hanging Your Dining Room Light Fixture

It was another busy weekend of renos, renos and more renos. Happily, we made some more great progress on a few different projects.  Our built-ins for the living room are coming along nicely.   Plus we made great headway on our canopy range hood for the kitchen.  I think the cherry on top of it all though, was hanging our new dining room light fixture at the end of the weekend.  (Featured image via Houzz)  It’s nice to see some of the finishing touches slowly taking shape.

Picking a dining room light fixture can be a bit daunting.  There are hundreds for beautiful options out there to choose from.  After considerable searching, we finally settled on this two toned 8-light beauty.  It has the modern farmhouse chic sort of vibe that we were looking for.

dining room light fixture
via The Home Depot

So what should you think about when selecting and installing your dining room light fixture?  Here are some helpful tips to guide you through hanging your dining room light.

Fixture Size

When selecting a dining room light fixture you need to take 3 things into consideration: the height of your ceilings, the size of your room and the size of your dining table.

  • Ceiling height: This isn’t something you can easily change, but it will definitely come into play during the lighting process.  Your ceiling height will influence both the height you hang your light fixture from the floor and the vertical size of the fixture itself.  9′ ceilings, for example, will allow you to have a taller, possibly two-tiered fixture compared to 8′ ceilings.  Measure your ceiling height and multiply that number by 2.5 or 3 to find your fixture’s maximum height. (9′ ceilings could have a fixture between 22.5″ and 27″ high)
dining room light fixture
This image via Luxe shows a taller light fixture in this 9′ ceiling dining space.  This fixture wouldn’t likely be possible with a lower ceiling height.
  • Room size:  To keep the proportions of your table and light fixture in line with your actual dining space, take some measurements of your dining room.  There are a few calculations you can use to get to the right size, but here is the easiest I’ve found.  Find your room’s width and length, add them together.  Use that number as a diameter in inches for your dining room light fixture.  In the image below for example, a room that is about 12′ by 12′ (12 + 12 = 24) would set your max light size at about 24″.

dining room light fixture

  • Table size:  The shape of your table may influence the shape of your light fixture.  A round table is nicely complimented by a round light.  Whereas a rectangular table pairs nicely with rectangular fixtures or multiple fixtures of varying shapes.
dining room light fixture
via Nina and Cecilia

Regardless of your table shape, however, you want to make sure you have around 12″- 15″ from the edge of the table to the edge of the light fixture.  Another way to look at it, your light fixture should be about half the width of your table.  A 12′ x 12′ room as mentioned above, would accommodate a 48″ table 48″ round table, for example, could have up to a 18″ – 24″ light.  Or a 60″ rectangular table would need at least a 30″ fixture, up to as large a 36″.  Therefore, the size of your table directly relates to the size and arrangement of your light fixture(s).

dining room light fixture

Fixture Height

The final hanging height of your dining light fixture should be taken either from the floor or from the table top.  I prefer using the height of the table as a guide as that could vary slightly if you had a raised eating area.

There is a degree of personal preference to selecting the final hanging height of your light fixture.  However, if your have left enough clearance (at least 12″) from the edge of the table to your light fixture, then hanging height should be relatively consistent.  Your dining light fixture should hang approximately 33″ to 34″ above your table for a 8′ ceiling.  Add an additional 3″ (approx 36″) for 9′ ceilings.

dining room light fixture
via Apartment Therapy

Fixture Placement

Generally we want our dining room light fixtures centered above our dining table.  If your ceiling connection doesn’t allow for this, you can swap your fixture’s rods for a chain.  This will allow you to swag it over to reach the centre of your table.

dining room light fixture
via Apartment Therapy

If you have opted for multiple lights over your dining table, centre the fixture grouping over your table.

dining room light fixture
via Style at Home

Fixture Bulbs

Picking the right light fixture is only half the battle.  Next you have to light it with the right bulb selection.  When selecting light bulbs keep two things in mind:

  • Lumens: This will affect the brightness of your light fixture.  Basically the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulbs.  Decide if you want a dim glow for a cozy atmosphere or a brightly light dining space.  A good mid range is about 500 to 600 lumen, depending on the number of lights in your dining room light fixture.
dining room light fixture
via Roca Wood Works
  • Light Temperature: Light bulbs’ light colour temperature is measured in Kelvin.  Most bulbs range from Warm Light (approx 2700K) to Soft White (3000K) to Bright White or Daylight (5000K).  Choose your bulbs to fit the look and feel of your dining space.  Click here to check out my post on Light Colour Temperature.

Have your hung a new dining room light fixture recently?  Send me a pic, I’d love to see it!

For more great design inspiration, follow me on Pinterest!


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