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A statement chandelier over a table is a classic and traditional place to start when it comes to dining room lighting. But if you want a comfortable, flexible, and stylish space to eat and socialise in, you will need to think beyond the installation of impressive fixtures.

In this article, we explore ways to light your dining room in a professional manner, so that you can enjoy the benefits of a well-lit space.

1. Focus on your dining room table

When it comes to planning your dining room lighting, the best solutions always begin with lighting the dining table. Rather than treating your dining room as a whole, base your initial lighting design around the table and work from there. This will help you achieve the most crucial part to dining room lighting – to provide an atmosphere around the table during dinner, so that when you have people visiting, the rest of the room recedes into the background.

To get this right, a series of low-hung pendants or a chandelier is usually preferred, and they should sit around 36 inches between the table and bottom of the fixture.

2. Factor in sizing for sufficient coverage with pendants

The size of your fixtures makes a huge difference to both the aesthetics and functions of your dining room, meaning it’s super important that your light works in scale with your dining room table.

For example, selecting a chandelier or pendant too big will leave your space feeling overcrowded and flooded with light. Whereas, choosing a fixture too small may not provide enough light, and will fail to draw the attention to the centre that your dining room needs. In short, you need a relative fixture that provides a healthy and balanced feel.

For small round tables, a central pendant light will work wonderfully. But for a longer and rectangular dining table, a series of pendant lights (usually 3 or 5) will offer enough horizontal coverage.

Want to learn more about lighting design?

Download our lighting design brochure

3. Layer the light with table lamps and wall lights

At times when using your dining room, you’ll want to set a low-lit mood. However, doing so with a single light source may feel too intimate, and may not provide the light you need. The solution to this problem? Layered lighting.

By having multiple light sources in your dining room, you give yourself a choice of moods. So, depending on the occasion and activity, you can combine the light of various fixtures to achieve the atmosphere you desire - how about a table lamp or a set of wall lights to match your pendants? Or even a floor lamp that can be adjusted to the right position when you need it?

4. Use a dimmer to control the mood

A dining room can be useful in many ways beyond eating at dinner time. Perhaps the kids need a place to do their homework, or you want to enjoy a game night with family and friends?

For anything practical (like the homework example) you’ll want plenty of light at the table. But in the evenings, you’ll want to turn it down low for a more relaxed atmosphere – so be sure to invest in a dimmer.

Dimmer switches give you incredible flexibility with how much light you want in the room. From anywhere between 0% and 100%, you’re able to set the mood based on the occasion, whilst saving energy at the same time. There are zero downsides to using a dimmer.

5. Consult with a residential lighting design expert

At Hampshire Light, we specialise in the design and integration of complete lighting solutions for residential properties. We work closely alongside our clients to establish requirements and collaborate with professional electrical engineers to ensure a flawless system. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, download our lighting design brochure, or contact our expert team today with any questions – we’re always happy to help.


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