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Lighting guide: Dining room

Words by Saj Azam

Four Minute Read

The Dos of Dining Room Pendant Lighting

Welcome to the next instalment of the Lighting Guide. After our catch-all Bedroom and Living Room breakdowns, this week we’ll be tackling a very specific element of interior lighting that can often be a pain to nail — dining room pendant lights.

When it comes to lighting up your dining room, you want ambient lighting in the form of a ceiling or pendant light. Why, you ask? Well, ceiling lights place the focus on the delicious food that you’ve cooked and served, rather than a piece of art on the wall or the corner of the room. Plus, the lighting should be centred on the dining table itself so you can see what’s on your plate clearly. Lastly, you want to create a welcoming environment that adds to the experience of eating — so no overly bright lights that make you feel like you’re sitting in the waiting room at the doctors.

Top tip: Some decorative lighting in the form of candles is a warm addition to dining tablescaping for an occasion or romantic dinner.

Ambient lighting candles by CONCRETE & WAX
Natural Ohio24 Pendant crafted by Graypants

The volume of the Light

Let’s start with the height or length of the light itself. This all very much depends on the dimensions of your room — high ceilings allow for large pendant lighting while shorter ceilings limit how big your fixture can be. In the UK, the average ceiling height is 2.4 metres (8 ft) so we’ll be using that as the standard. The actual width or diameter of the light should be roughly one-half or two-thirds the width of the dining room table at the widest part. So if your dining table is 100 cm wide, the widest part of your pendant light should be between 50-67 cm.

Top tip: Got a particularly large table, perhaps a 12-seater? Opt for linear lighting pendants so no corner gets left in the dark. This Graphite Grey Concrete & Oxid Pendant Light from edgy crafters GANT Lights is the perfect option.

Disco Pendant Lamp by Dreizehngrad
Schneid Studios's Kaskad Pendant Lamps

Height of the light from the table

You’ve found the perfect light for your dining room, it’s been crafted with care, it’s the right size and it complements your interiors — what now? To avoid any unwanted collisions with your beautiful pendant light, it’s recommended that the lowest part of your lighting fixture hangs 75-93 cm above the dining table.

Top tip: Got high ceilings? Add an extra 8 cm for every extra foot, this ensures your light is at the perfect height when standing or sitting — obstruction free.

Light intensity

So you’ve found your perfect piece, hung it up according to the guidelines above, it’s now time to think about the kind of mood you want to create. There are three colour temperatures you can choose from and each one creates a particular ambience:

Warm white - cosy and warm with yellow tones

Cool white - welcoming with neutral warm tones

Daylight - bright and crisp with cool blue tones

For a dining room, you want to go for something that’s warm and inviting so either the warm white or the cool white are good options. If your dining room is used as a place to work, study or help the kids with homework on Sunday evenings, then a dimmer is a good idea to accommodate all its uses and make the most of your space — and lighting.

Top tip: For open-plan spaces, a singular light won’t do. Especially at times of the year when natural lighting is hard to come by. Add extra ambient lighting with table lamps on side tables or sideboards and floor lamps.

In case you’re looking to light up other parts of your home and aren’t sure where to begin, our Lighting Guides for the Living Room and Bedroom are your next go-to’s. Let there be light!

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