How to Hang a Chandelier
Decorative lighting is important in interior design and serves two purposes: it must be aesthetically appealing and provide proper illumination. Hanging chandeliers is all about following interior design rules so that the end result is beautiful, without getting in the way, or guests bumping their heads.
The proper height of the light fixture, be it a chandelier or pendant light takes some common sense, and the ability to follow some guidelines. The height of the light fixture could make or break your overall design scheme, so it requires some thought. The idea is to ensure it casts a gentle light around the entire room, but in no way should it obstruct diners’ views.
Therefore, observe its appearance from a standing and seated position. The mood of the room depends on the lighting and the fixture. Installed too high results in a darker room that loses its feeling of intimacy and will require the addition of other lights. Installed too low results in a feeling of overcrowdedness.
Standing, it should look attractive and cast the desired light throughout the space. Seated, you should be able to see other guests around the table without having to strain or lean to any side.
Determining the Ceiling Height
Normal Ceiling Height
The majority of dining rooms in modern homes have ceilings that are 8 feet in height. If 8 feet is what you have to work with, then adjust the chandelier so that its lowest point is between 30 to 36 inches from the tabletop.
If your dining room is graced with a high ceiling, that is to say, more than 8 feet, your chandelier may need to be adjusted to suspend higher over the table than in the normal ceiling height example above. The reason for this is to achieve the visual balance in the room. The solution is to hang it about 3 inches higher, meaning its lowest point could be hung 33 inches from the tabletop. Another option is to choose double-tiered chandeliers that provide some “weight” at the top.
Standard Height for Light Fixtures
Interior design rules can always be bent depending on the circumstances, as well as particular needs. Many can be suspended approximately 30 inches from the tabletop, but this is not always the case. Some could go as high as 42 inches or as low as 28 inches.
Determining the Proper Distance of a Chandelier from a Dining Table
There are numerous considerations to be made before suspending your new dining room lighting, such as the size of the table and the size of the room. Also consider the size and height of any decorative centerpieces and accessories that will adorn the dining table whether entertaining or not, as this will also require some adjustment to leave enough room for them. Leave enough space (about 3 feet in distance from the table) for flower arrangements, candlesticks, and so on.
Hanging Contemporary Pendant Lights
In a modern or contemporary dining room, there are often other rules to follow, and are an exception to the 30-36 inch rule. Such lamps are actually designed to be hung lower than chandeliers to maintain that modern theme. In this case, aim for their lowest points to suspend between 28 and 32 inches from the table. That said, a lot depends on the size of the table, whereas a larger table is able to visually support one that hangs higher. On the other hand, a smaller table shines with a lower hung pendant light fixture.
- If light bulbs are visible beneath the pendant, use diffusers to soften the light they emit.
- No matter how high or how low the fixture is hung, add a dimmer switch to provide light control that will make the room more useful, and help to establish the right mood aimed at achieving.
- Heavier chandeliers should be hung higher than lighter, more delicate ones.