Smart Tips for Dining Room Chandeliers and Hanging Pendants

Whether your dining area is extremely formal and commands its own room in the home or is marginally defined in an open floor plan, the right dining room chandeliers can really make a mundane meal a gourmet dining experience.

Harsh lighting can be just as unappetizing as a bowl of cold gruel in your home. The lighting needs to be thoughtfully designed and executed if it is to accent a meal. It should be subdued and indirect, a cascade of light that bathes the table and room in a lovely, soft light.

The right dining room chandeliers can do the trick. Whether you gravitate toward a more formal crystal chandelier or one that is more modern and even playful, chandeliers can capture the imagination as well as the heart when it comes to setting the tone for a meal, whether it’s an annual holiday dinner or a regular Sunday brunch.

When shopping for a chandelier for your dining room, factor in the room’s size. The general rule is you want to have 200 watts of illumination for every 50 square feet. Newer bulbs can be a lower wattage as they are more energy efficient. However, if you’re getting on in years, know that the intensity of the light begins to become less as you grow older, so you may want to go with brighter lighting to compensate.

Also, the color of your walls can greatly affect the intensity of the lighting required. White and lighter colored walls reflect the light more effectively than dark walls, requiring less horsepower in terms of wattage.

The type of light used in your dining room chandeliers will also influence the intensity of the light. Decorative lights such as those resembling candles or flickering flames are lower wattage than a regular incandescent bulb, which in turn, is brighter than a comparable fluorescent bulb, the new standard out there.

Of course, there are many times when you want far less wattage. That’s where dimmer switches on dining room chandeliers come in handy. Always install dimmers on your switches – they give you so much more flexibility when lighting a room.

That said, there’s really no set rules regarding dining room chandeliers. The type and style you choose is greatly influenced by the room itself as well as the furniture you’ve chosen for it. However, even the most beautiful chandelier that matches the room perfectly will willow and wane if it doesn’t do its job of effectively lighting the room.

If you’re replacing an old chandelier with a new one, then you already have a good idea for placement, because there will already be a junction box in the ceiling for the fixture. That assumes, of course, that your table won’t be shifting left or right in a remodel. The perfect height for dining room chandeliers is 30 inches above the table itself, but you may want to play with this just a bit before making the installation permanent so you can be sure the table is bathed evenly in light. No two chandeliers are the same in how they reflect and cast light so you may have to experiment a bit with temporary installations before settling on a final height for the fixture and/or location.

There’s no real rule that a dining room needs a traditional chandelier – or a certain style of pendant lights. You could choose to go with three separate pendant lights hung above the table or use recessed lights in the ceiling in its place. But few will argue that in a traditional dining room, one that is walled and set off from the rest of the home, the right chandelier will only set the tone for the room, but make an evening in dining in that room that much more special and enjoyable.

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