10 Dining Room Lighting Tips For The Perfect Ambience
Much like how the perfect pendant in a foyer creates a great first impression, the right light fixture in your dining room can make all the difference. Create just the right ambience for a fabulous meal with our best dining room lighting tips, tricks and ideas below.
Layer lighting. To create a restaurant-worthy vibe in your dining room, use multiple sources of light. Case in point: this sophisticated space by designer Nam Dang-Mitchell, where a graphic chandelier and set of wall sconces create a warm, inviting look when lit.
Or, install dimmer switches. A quick and cost-effective way to enjoy multiple levels of light, a dimmer switch sets the mood for a fabulous dinner party in an instant.
Hang multiple fixtures above long tables. Suspend more than one fixture above dining tables that exceed 8 feet to ensure that there is even and adequate lighting.
Use a single fixture for tables shorter than 8′. Simpler pendants, or ones that don’t obstruct sightlines, create a more relaxed feel above smaller tables. To ensure that there’s even light distribution, center the fixture over the table.
Don’t shy away from a less traditional fixture. Homeowner David Cubitt embraced this bird’s nest chandelier, which looks like a piece of art.
Get the right size fixture for your dining room. Measure the width of your room in feet, then multiply by two to calculate how many inches in diameter your fixture should be (if your room is 12 feet wide, your fixture should be no more tan 24 inches in diameter).
Get the right size fixture for your table. Check that the fixture diameter is about one-third the length of your table. Having the fixture be at least 6 inches from the edge of the table on each side will ensure that it won’t overpower the table or make it seem narrower than it is.
Group multiple lights together for an interesting display. Take advantage of tall ceilings with groupings of long pendant lights, as designer Kimberley Seldon did in her own Creemore, Ontario, home.
Hang fixtures 30 inches to 36 inches above the table. This will ensure that there’s enough room to see guests seated across the table. In this dining room by designer Sam Sacks, a brass pendant adds a hit of modern drama against a rustic wood table and original leaded-glass windows.
Consider sight lines. Follow the rules to hang a fixture at the perfect height, but always eyeball the height before committing, as the room’s sight lines may impact things. In planner Jeffry Roick’s home, a sculptural fixture doesn’t block the floating stainless steel fireplace.