Selecting & Hanging Dining Room Light Fixture

Ceiling light fixtures are important statement pieces in any room, but never more so than in a dining room.  For me as a designer, sometimes, they’re  the jewelry of a dining room, at other times they are the architectural or sculptural accent of the room.  Then again, they might be the mood setter of the entire dining room, or  in opposition – we may need the chandelier in a dining room to become the back-up singer to other more important elements I’m bringing forward in order to make a clients dining room wishes true.

I can’t teach you all there is to know on the above but at the least, I can give you two tips for hanging and selecting the right size dining light fixtures.


Proportion, proportion, proportion.  Most DIY’er go too small.  As a rule of thumb, the fixture should be approximately 2/3 of your table width.  Need something more mathematical?  Take your table width and subtract 18” from it  to determine your fixture width because doing so will allow at least 9” of your table to be unobstructed by your fixture.  For example, if your  dining table that is 70”L  & 42”W  that would be:  42”-18” = approximately 24” in diameter for the ceiling light fixture. In this case, for the right piece I could  breath that up to 25-26” , but that’d be the max AND the fixture would really need to loose some bulk for me to be willing to do so.

(Is it me, or does it this blog post sound like I’m talking about something x-rated?)

Back to our lighting topic:  Yes, positioning is also very important.  General rule of thumb:  Get the base of the fixture 5’ off the floor, roughly translated, that’ll be about 30” above your table.  Do I sometimes hang higher or lower depending on the design of the fixture and height of ceiling, yes I do.  As  a general rule of thumb, I’m usually around 30-32” off the table  – but sometimes, we’ve had cases where we had to go 36”.

Here are some fantastic fixtures that could make the right  dining room sing in the key of “Wow.” Enjoy that dining room – may it be filled with great friends and  family and good times to last a life time!