5 Tips for Perfect Dining Room Lighting

December 16, 2014

With holiday parties and family get-togethers coming up, it’s time to take a look at your dining room lighting with a critical eye:

  • Is the room well lit?
  • Does the lighting transition between dinner party, casual family dinner, and grand holiday meals?
  • Are your lights a beautiful addition to the design of your room in both form and function?

If your dining room lighting doesn’t measure up, here are our 5 top tips for the perfect dining room lighting:

Dining room lighting: Kichler Jules Chandelier

Kichler Jules Chandelier

1. Choosing your primary dining room lighting: get the right size and shape

Choose the type of chandelier or pendant for over your table based on the size and shape of your dining room table. A round table should be echoed in a round chandelier or pendant, while a rectangular table looks best with a linear pendant.

When choosing a dining room light fixture, the correctly sized fixture is 30cm (12″) smaller than the table in all directions. In other words, if your table is 120cm wide and 180cm  long (4 feet wide and 6 feet long), your best dining room light should be approximately 6ocm wide and 120cm long (2 feet wide and 4 feet long).


Dining room lighting: Kichler Montara Chandelier

Kichler Montara Chandelier

2. Not too high or too low: hang your dining room pendant or chandelier at the right height

The standard height for a dining room light over a table is 75-90cm (30-36″) between the bottom of the light and the top of your table.

If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, you can increase this distance up to 102cm (40″). The general rule of thumb is to add 1″ of extra space between the bottom of the light fixture and the top of your table for each additional foot of ceiling height.


Dining room lighting: Kichler Hendrik Chandelier and matching wall sconces

Kichler Hendrik Chandelier

3. Mix your lighting to highlight, brighten, and increase options

It’s very common for a home to have a single light in a dining room. This is not enough light! Add additional lighting sources to your focal point chandelier or pendant. For example:

  • Recessed or track lighting, aimed to highlight a piece of art or furniture
  • Table lamps to add glow and interest on a sideboard
  • Puck or LED strip lighting in hutches or built-in cabinets with glass doors to add glow and sparkle
  • Wall sconces to frame and light

Dining room lighting: Kichler Gracie Chandelier

Kichler Gracie Chandelier

4. Embrace the dimmer switch

The mood created by your dining room lighting should match your dining event. A family dinner after an active day is a great time for bright even lighting, but that would be really harsh at your next dinner party! The answer is the dimmer switch, which lets you customize the light level to match the mood you want to create in your dining room.


Dining room lighting: Kichler Crystal Sky Chandelier

Kichler Crystal Sky Chandelier

5. Get enough wattage

Kichler Lighting has a great tip for getting enough light for a room: in feet, multiply the width by the length of the room. Then, multiply that number by 1.5 to calculate the amount of general light wattage required for a room.

6. Bonus tip!

If you’re looking for the perfect dining room light for you home, don’t forget to stop by Lando Lighting Galleries in Brampton. We have the best selection of dining room lights in the Greater Toronto Area!