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Lighting in the Dining Room is very important. You not only want general and accent lighting, but you also need versatility. If you only have a chandelier over the table, read on and possibly you can add some of the suggestions. One extra lamp or a change in the lighting can completely transform a room.

If you have lots of light at your dining room table, select a chandelier that will
catch it and reflect it back, such as this teardrop crystal chandelier.

Lighting Ideas For the Dining Room

  • If the chandelier over the table doesn't have a dimmer on it, call an electrician and have one installed. This is one of the single best things you can do because it gives you flexibility in changing the light from just one source. You can have it bright for times when you require it and then you can also dim it for intimate dinners.
  • If you have space above the Dining Room ceiling, such as attic space, consider adding some recessed can lighting, also on dimmers, so that they shine down on the table.
  • A buffet or sideboard looks wonderful with a couple of tall buffet lamps on it. Keep the bulb wattage low for soft lighting.
  • If you have an empty corner in the room, find a potted tree (or a silk tree) and place it in the corner. Add an uplight to shine up through the branches to throw wonderful shadows on the ceiling.
  • If you already have lamps but they seem a little outdated, update them with new shades or purchase some beaded fringe and add to the bottom edge.
  • You can also add small chandelier shades to your overhead fixture. These shades are small and usually snap onto the bulb itself.
  • Shades with a gold lining will provide a soft warm light to the room. And shades with black lining will direct more light downwards. Or you could go with one of the new translucent shades that will allow more light to shine through. All are wonderful selections for the Dining Room

Height & Size of Chandelier

How high a chandelier is hung over the table and what size is required, depends on several things. First the size of the room and also the size of the light fixture.

To determine the size of a chandelier that a particular room requires, you can take the length of the room and add it to the width of the room, then convert the final figure to inches, which will be the approximate size of chandelier to use. For instance, if your dining room is 11' x 11', then you would want to find a chandelier that is approximately 22" in diameter. Also, the chandelier should be at least 12" narrower than the table. Therefore, if your room is 11' x 11' and your dining room table is 36" x 60" (which means the chandelier shouldn't be larger than 24") you have a range of 22" to 24" when looking for the perfect light fixture. If you want to add small chandelier shades to the light fixture, keep in mind that it will add a few inches to the overall dimension, therefore, you will want to stay on the low side of the dimension and may even want to go (for the room and table above) for a fixture that is about 20" in diameter (without the shades). This, again is a rule of thumb, but it gives you a place to start. You will need to take into consideration the overall proportions of the room and the light fixture.

Another common dilemma is determining the height to hang a chandelier over a dining room table. This also can vary depending on the size of the light fixture and the height of the ceiling. In general,in a room with 8' ceilings the chandelier should be hung approximately 28" to 32" above the table, adjusting that dimension based on the height of the chandelier itself. In a room with 9' ceilings, you would go approximately 30" to 34" above the table surface.

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