You can take a space from drab to cheerful, dreary to dramatic, or even cold to romantic—all through the power of light. Of course, there’s more to it than picking out an eye-catching light fixture. Size, scale and placement make all the difference. These general guidelines illuminate how to hang pendants and chandeliers properly.
DIAMETER: To size your entry light: Add up the length and width (in feet) of your space to calculate the diameter of a light (in inches). For example, an entryway that’s 5 feet by 10 feet can accommodate a light 15 inches in diameter.
HEIGHT: The higher the ceiling, the longer a chandelier can be. Rule of thumb: each foot of ceiling height adds up to 2.5-3 inches of light height. With that said, an entryway with a 10-foot ceiling can accommodate a chandelier 25-30 inches in height. Heads up! Remember the bottom of a light fixture should hang no less than 7 feet off the floor.
Dining Room Lighting
PLACEMENT: If you plan on a single pendant or chandelier, it should be centered over your dining room table. For a standard 8-foot ceiling, chandeliers should hang about 30-32 inches above the table, and raised about 3 inches for each additional foot of ceiling height.
SCALE: The general rule: for round/square tables, the diameter of the chandelier should be about 12 inches narrower than the diameter of the table. Rectangular tables tend to offer more leeway. If you have a rectangular table, consider your options. A single chandelier, a long linear fixture, or two smaller flanked lights are all delightful ways to go.
Living Room Lighting
PLACEMENT: It’s a common notion that chandeliers should be centered in a living room. Not so. They should illuminate the “living” area of your living room (i.e., generally over your coffee table). As applies in the entryway, living area chandeliers should be hung at least 7 feet off the floor to provide ample “head room.”
TIP: Swap out space-hogging table lamps for low-suspended pendants and chandeliers hung over tables. We love the unobstructive, floating-on-air quality they bring to a room.
It’s a style awakening: chandeliers in the bedroom. Incorporating romance and elegance, chandeliers work best in rooms with at least 9-foot ceilings.
PLACEMENT: If you’re hanging a chandelier over your bed, remember that the bottom of the light fixture should be approximately 7 feet off the floor. Chandeliers look lovely centered over or toward the head of the bed.
SCALE: Match the size of your chandelier to the size of your bed. General guideline: for a queen or king bed, a chandelier about 36 inches in diameter; for a twin or full bed, a chandelier approximately 24 inches in diameter.