Dining Room Lighting Tips

When people think of illuminating their dining room, most minds go straight to chandeliers to hang over the table. According to lighting designers, what most people don't consider is the many different types of 'dining' that we do. On most nights, dining is casual. We sit around the table, talk, and eat. However, there are times when we want dinner to be more intimate. The dining room should be a place where family and friends can gather around, eat, and be welcome. Lighting plays such an important role in the mood that is set before you even sit down.

As we recommend with all rooms, layer your lighting! Let's tackle the table first, before we move onto accent and ambient lighting. When selecting the right light to go over your dining room table, measurements are key. You do not want your chandelier sitting on your table! You want your chandelier or pendant to be no wider than half the width of your table. So, if you have a 42 inch round table, you want to select a chandelier or pendant no wider than 21 inches in diameter. As far as height goes, you really have to measure how much space you have between the top of your table and the ceiling. The lighting fixture should not sit on the table, but measure for yourself. See where you would like the bottom of the fixture to hang, and that is your set height. Once you have the dimensions, you are ready to select the perfect chandelier or pendant to fit your style. This overhead light will be the fixture to decide your lighting scheme.

Overhead lighting is the main light source for the room. We will use this light most every day, for casual dining and gatherings. To create ambience, you want to select lighting that will create a warm or soft glow of light, without a glare. Ambient lighting will cast shadows and welcome your guests to an intimate meal together. We always recommend wall sconces in a dining room that has the wall space. If you do not have the wall space, and are working with a very tiny room, we like to use buffet lamps as well. Buffet lamps are table lamps that are tall and skinny. Typically they have thick fabric shades that diffuse the light nicely, and make for a more inviting atmosphere.

You want to allow the light to wash the walls without drowning them. Let the light come from different heights and cast shadows in different directions to set the right mood. For a formal dining room, we highly recommend Waterford Crystal Lighting. Waterford Crystal has an entire line of coordinating chandeliers, wall sconces, and buffet lamps. For a less formal dining area, may we recommend Kichler Lighting, who also does a great job providing a wide range of coordinating chandeliers, pendants, wall sconces, and table lamps. For a more modern look, with cool sleek lines and innovative design, try the ELK Lighting Collection of lighting fixtures.

Good Luck & Happy Shopping!