Hanging a chandelier over your dining room table not only lights the room, but it also adds style and a decorative flourish to the space. It is often the primary design feature and focal point of the room. Because it gets so much attention, getting the chandelier’s height right is essential.
But don’t worry, while this may seem complicated, we’re here to help. Begin with the standard height recommendations and make adjustments as needed from there. It’s as simple as that. If you like how it lights the room and adds to the décor, you’ve done it right.
Standard Chandelier Height Recommendation
The first thing to figure out is how high a chandelier should be above the table. The general rule when you hang a chandelier for the dining room is that the lowest part of the light fixture should be 30-36 inches above the dining room table’s surface. This standard is based on the assumption that your ceiling is 8-foot high. If your ceiling is higher, hang the chandelier three inches higher for every additional foot of height. For instance, if you have a 10-foot-high ceiling, your chandelier would be hung six inches higher than it would be in a room with a ceiling that is eight feet high.
This standard recommendation is an average, but here’s where it can get complicated. Before you hang your chandelier, consider the room size, table size, and how much light the fixture provides.
Dahlia 32 Inch 6 Light Chandelier by Hubbardton Forge
The sculptural botanic aesthetic of the striking Dahlia 32 Inch 6 Light Chandelier by Hubbardton Forge references its namesake flower with forged-steel petals that flare out from exposed bulb sockets.
Adjust for Ceiling Height or Room Size
For some, adjusting how high you hang the chandelier to accommodate the size of the room is controversial. Some designers feel that is unnecessary. This makes sense if you think that the chandelier’s primary role is to shed light on the table.
However, there are valid reasons to adjust for room size or ceiling height. While a chandelier’s function is to illuminate the space, its role is to be a design feature. That means that you will want to take into consideration how the chandelier works with the room’s design.
To do this, evaluate how the chandelier looks from different vantage points:
- Start with how it looks when you are seated at the table
- Then consider how it looks when you enter the dining room
- And lastly, when you are seated somewhere else
This is especially important if the dining room is part of a great room or open-concept space. Be sure to visualize how the chandelier looks from every common area in the space.
Unity 55 Inch 5 Light LED Linear Suspension Light by ET2 Lighting
Abstract shapes finished in brushed champagne intersect in an intriguing sculpture of luminous light. Unity 55 Inch 5 Light LED Linear Suspension Light by ET2 Lighting brings art and illumination when you want to make a statement with unique lighting.
The style and size of the chandelier may also influence the height at which you should hang it. If your chandelier is beautifully elaborate, it will take up a lot of visual space. Hanging it a couple of inches higher than the standard height will help show it off and keep the room design balanced.
Aerin Jacqueline 32 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort and Co.
Perfect for a space with high ceilings, the Aerin Jacqueline 32 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort and Co. grabs your attention and won’t let go. It’s perfect for defining the dining area and is a beautiful sculptural focal point in the space.
Adjust for the Size of Your Table
The standard recommendation for the size of a dining room chandelier in relation to the dining room table’s size is that the light fixture range from one-half to two-thirds the width of the table. Another way to determine the size is to select a chandelier that is one foot smaller in diameter than the dining room table’s width. This means if the table is 42 inches wide, the light fixture’s diameter should be 30 inches or less.
This range helps keep the chandelier and dining room table in proportion, so your dining room design won’t be out of balance. It also keeps people from banging their heads as they sit down or get up from the table.
Piemonte 43 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Corbett Lighting
The perfect mix of function and décor, the enchanting Piemonte 43 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Corbett Lighting brings a luxurious glow that enhances this dining room. It’s the ideal shape and size to define this open-concept space.
If your chandelier is on the larger side in relation to your dining room table, hanging it a little higher will help avoid unpleasant collisions. If it is smaller or unusually narrow and long, a series of fixtures or pendants might be a better choice for the space than a single chandelier.
Giada 38 Inch 3 Light Linear Suspension Light by Hinkley Lighting
Giving the space a trendy, modern vibe, the Giada 38 Inch 3 Light Linear Suspension Light by Hinkley Lighting features three chandeliers with stunning crystal prisms in a black metal frame. It creates a seamless, sparkling, jewelry-like effect that brightens the space.
Get the Light Right
Keep in mind it’s about design and functionality when choosing and hanging a chandelier. To test how much your chandelier illuminates the table, there is no standard formula or rule. How the chandelier casts light onto the table is affected by a number of things, such as the design of the chandelier, the light bulbs used or lumens emitted, and the height.
The best way to test the lighting effect is to hang it over the table and light it up, even if temporarily. This lets you see the chandelier in all types of lighting conditions and assess its height for functionality and design.
If you are looking for a stunning chandelier for your dining room, come into the Capitol Lighting showroom near you to experience all our chandeliers on display. Or, schedule a design consultation and speak to a lighting specialist who can help you find a chandelier that is the right size and style for your dining room.