Selecting the Correct Lighting for Your Dining Room

Find the Perfect Lighting

In this blog series, we are considering what goes into creating the ultimate dining room for the holiday season. In previous posts, we considered TABLE SELECTION and SEATING SELECTION. Today we will look at the third item on our list: LIGHTING SELECTION:


1.  Round

  • Perfect for a square room or when using a round or square dining table.
  • The most common dining fixture choice, when sized properly it can have a big impact.
  • If you have a long narrow space, it may be more appropriate to use two or three round fixtures.

2.  Linear

  • Gaining popularity, this fixture works to perfection over a rectangular or oval table.
  • If fixed with a large mounting bracket, this type of fixture allows flexibility for centering in a space.
  • If moving dining table around when hosting large groups, this fixture can protrude more into the space.

3.  Multiple Pendants

  • Arranged to complement the shape of the table, either grouped together for circular tables or in a row for rectangular tables, this is the most flexible choice.
  • A more unique style choice than the traditional single fixture.
  • A great option if your electrical box is not centered and you need to move it over slightly.


Size & Placement

There are 2 ways to calculate the proper size of your fixture.

  • Based on the Size of the Room
  • Based on the Size of the Table
  • The fixture should be at least 12” smaller than the table in all directions.
  • If using a round fixture, ensure that it is ½ to ¾ the width of the table.
  • If using a linear fixture, ensure that it is 1/3 to 2/3 the length of the table.

The bottom of your fixture should sit 30”-36” above your table in a standard 8 foot tall room. Increase that number of 3” for every 12” of increased ceiling height.


Up-lighting vs Down-lighting

1.  Up-lighting refers to fixtures that shine the light up toward the ceiling.

  • Creates a widespread, over-all light.
  • Reduces glare from the eyes.
  • Softer, warmer light.

2.  Down-lighting refers to fixtures that shine the light directly down on to the table.

  • Creates bright light onto the surface of the table, with shadowing in the rest of the room.
  • Can create glare in the eyes of those dining at the table.
  • Perfect for dining rooms that host a lot of game nights, homework studies or morning crossword puzzles.