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10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Dining Table Light

Who doesn't enjoy dining in a well-lit space? No one wants to eat in a dark dining area, unable to see their food or the person they're dining with. Dining with family is an opportunity...

Who doesn't enjoy dining in a well-lit space? No one wants to eat in a dark dining area, unable to see their food or the person they're dining with. Dining with family is an opportunity to build relationships and share stories, so it's essential to create an inviting and homey dining area that provides a positive atmosphere. And that's where choosing the right dining table light comes into play.

In this article, we will provide you with expert tips on how to choose the perfect lighting for your dining area. Besides illuminating the space, lighting fixtures can also serve as decorative elements in your home. Whether you're considering a pendant, chandelier, or any other lighting option, we've got you covered.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the 10 tips for choosing the perfect dining table light.


Dining areas with suspended lighting fixtures like chandeliers or pendant lights create a visually appealing ambiance. When hanging your lighting, whether in an enclosed room or an open plan, it's crucial to ensure that the light fixture is centered over the dining table.


Now, you may be wondering how high the lighting should be. The fixture needs to be high enough to avoid obstructing the view, while still effectively illuminating the space. A general guideline is to hang the fixture 28"-36" above the tabletop.

To further assist you, here are some design guidelines to consider:

1. Consider table shape and size.

Consider table shape and size Sublime Homes

The shape and size of your dining table can help you choose the appropriate lighting fixture. For round tables, it's recommended to use round or bowl-shaped fixtures, or even hexagonal ones. If your table is square or rectangular, consider oval, rectangular, or square fixtures, or any linear pendant light. When it comes to table size, a small table pairs well with a large pendant light, while a long table benefits from double light installations.

2. Do not obstruct the view.

Do not obstruct the view Madeline Tolle

Some dining rooms offer great views or feature interesting wallpapers or wall decor. If this is the case, ensure that your lighting fixture does not obstruct the view. Consider open fixtures like cage chandeliers, and hang them higher than usual, above eye level, to allow a clear view of the surrounding area.

3. Decide on your room's style.

Decide on your room's style Chris Merenda-Axtell Interior Design

The style of your dining room also plays a role in choosing the right lighting fixture. Decide whether you want a modern, eclectic, or any other style. For a formal vibe, opt for fixtures with crystals or metallic elements like bronze or gold. On the other hand, if you prefer a casual look, fixtures made from jute, ropes, or wooden beads can add warmth to the space.

4. Get the right size and shape of your lighting fixture.

Get the right size and shape of your lighting fixture Jamie Keskin Design

The size and shape of your dining room light fixture can have a significant impact on your space. To achieve a balanced look, the fixture should be approximately 30 cm or 12" smaller than the table in all directions. Alternatively, you can calculate the fixture's size by adding the room's length and width together and using the sum as the diameter. For instance, if your room measures 5 feet by 8 feet, aim for a light fixture with a diameter in the range of 12 inches. As for the shape, refer back to tip number one or choose a shape that complements your dining area.

5. Mix with other lighting.

Mix with other lighting Agsia Design Group

Using just one lighting fixture for the dining area is often insufficient. Consider adding additional lighting to highlight specific focal points. Recessed or track lighting can be directed towards furniture or artwork, while table lamps on a sideboard or console table add a warm glow. LED strip lighting can illuminate cabinets, while wall sconces provide an extra touch of elegance.

6. Add a dimmer switch.

Add a dimmer switch Knauf-Koenig Group

A dimmer switch isn't just for the living room or bedroom; it can also enhance the dining room's ambiance. Depending on the occasion, you can adjust the lighting to match the desired mood. Bright lighting for family dinners, dimmed lighting for dinner parties, and customized lighting for a romantic evening with your partner. With a dimmer switch, you can create your own candlelight dinner at home.

7. Decide on how bright you want your room to be.

Decide on how bright you want your room to be Marlowe Hues - Colour & Design

To achieve optimal lighting and ambiance in your dining room, ensure that the total wattage of all your light fixtures falls between 200 and 400 watts. Additionally, consider how bright you want the room to be, as this will affect your fixture selection. For a diffused lighting effect, choose fixtures with shades, like a drum pendant light.

8. Choose the type of lighting fixture you want.

Choose the type of lighting fixtures you want Stephanie Gamble Interiors

When it comes to lighting fixtures, the options are limitless. You have the freedom to choose based on design, materials, size, shape, color, and more. If you prefer subtle lighting, consider drum pendants or lanterns with enclosed sides. Bell pendant lights can create a spotlight effect. Glass chandeliers or pendant lights can lend a light and open feel to the space. You could even explore lights that cast patterns on walls and ceilings.

9. The ceiling matters.

The ceiling matters TL Remodel & Construction Inc

While installing lighting fixtures is easier on a flat ceiling, it becomes more challenging when dealing with a sloped ceiling. In such cases, choose a fixture with a flexible cord or chain for easy installation. If you opt for a stem-type fixture, make sure it can swivel, allowing you to hang it straight.

10. Of course, make sure it's appealing!

Of course, make sure it's appealing! Clark and Clark Interiors

Lastly, always consider function before aesthetics, but don't ignore the appeal of your lighting fixture. If you want it to be the highlight of the space, go for a big chandelier with intricate details. Alternatively, if you want other elements in the dining room to steal the show, choose a simpler lighting fixture that enhances the overall space. Some homeowners opt for fixtures that resemble mobiles or showcase artistic designs. Whatever your choice, ensure that it adds beauty, appeal, and invites a warm atmosphere to your dining area.

Choosing the perfect dining room lighting fixture can actually be a fun experience. Let your personal taste guide you, and don't be afraid to fall in love with a fixture before even selecting the dining table. Consider all the tips mentioned above, and you'll be sure to find the ideal lighting fixture that adds value to your dining area. For more tips on dining room lighting, make sure to check out our website. Happy decorating!