How to light your dining room
10 May 2019
In modern times, the dining room has become much more than a place to eat; it’s also used for working, studying and other tasks. Getting the lighting right in a multifunctional space is all about balance. Our lighting designers have put together some simple rules to follow to make your dining room shine in any situation.
Scale your statement lighting
Everyone loves a chandelier or pendant over the dining room table, but it’s important to scale the size of the fixture to the table itself. Getting the proportion of your statement piece right helps the dining room maintain a visual balance.
It’s important to look at the size of room and the width and depth of the table first. A chandelier or pendant that’s too big will dwarf the dining table and create peripheral weight from above; too small and it’ll look small compared to the table. As a good rule of thumb, if the room is less than 3 metres wide, a chandelier or pendant less than 60cm wide will look more comfortable and appealing. If your room and table is bigger, choose a bigger light to match.
Balance the shape of the light to the table
Similar to balancing proportions, you’ll want to find the same balance between shapes. Imagine how a linear pendant would look above a circular table– not quite right!
For rectangular or oblong dining tables, a linear suspension, a large rounded fixture, two hanging fixtures on either end or a row of smaller pendant lights can achieve a harmonious design.
For square or round tables, you’ll want a fixture with a design contained within the dimensions of the table. A single central lighting fixture or a cluster of pendant lights in staggered lengths would be ideal.
How high can you go?
As to how high you should hang your pendant above the dining table, approx. 76 cm is the standard. But obviously your main goal is to install it high enough so you or your guests don’t bump your heads on it and it’s easy to see others across the table.
Set the mood with layered lighting
While we recommend layered lighting in most rooms, it’s particularly important in multi-tasking spaces. In the dining room, you’ll want to be able to switch the mood from bright and energetic for times when you’re working, to soft and relaxing for times when you’re entertaining. Using smart globes in your pendants will give you the flexibility to adjust the brightness and dim as you need it. If you can’t use smart lighting globes, ask your electrician to install dimmers to your switchboard.