Lighting is essential to our lives. In today’s homes, it serves many needs. These include lighting for performing activities, enhancing décor, creating mood and ensuring safety and security. Good lighting also contributes to health and a sense of well being.
Dining room lighting should be both beautiful and functional. This requires a mix of general, task, and accent lighting that can set the mood for a number of functions, including a formal dinner, a family get-together, and other activities such as homework, hobbies, or family bookkeeping. Dimming controls will enable you to vary the light for different occasions.
A chandelier is the focal point of the dining room. Suspended over the dining table, it serves as a decorative style element that enhances the beauty of your fine furnishings. When the light is dimmed, a soft, glowing atmosphere similar to candlelight is created. Downlights can be used to complement the light from a chandelier. If you have a rectangular or oval table, center a downlight over each end, on either side of the chandelier, dimming it for greater beauty and warmth. The downlights provide the additional illumination needed for dining and conversation.
Sizing Your Chandelier For the Dining Room
To determine the proper size chandelier for a dining table, choose a chandelier with a diameter 12“ less than width of table. This assumes the table is sized appropriate for room. It should be hung with the bottom of the fixture 30” above the tabletop for an 8’ ceiling. Go up 3” for each additional foot of ceiling. For ceilings nine feet or higher, consider a two-tier style chandelier to fill the space from the fixture’s top to the ceiling. To size a chandelier for your dining room, or to be the focal point of your space, measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. The sum, converted to inches, will equal the diameter of the correct-sized chandelier.
To size a chandelier for your dining room, or to be the focal point of your space, measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. The sum, converted to inches, will equal the diameter of the correct-sized chandelier provides general lighting, while enabling you to highlight prized possessions through out the room.
The pure white light of low-voltage fixtures with tungsten-halogen bulbs will make your crystal and silverware sparkle. To install two downlights, center the recessed fixtures on the chandelier’s mounting plate, spaced two feet from center in a straight line over the table. If four lights are desired, each one will be 24“ from the chandelier’s center mounting, at 90-degree angles, forming a cross. In this case, floodlights work best to produce a softer light over the entire table.
A ring of four recessed downlights around the dining table supplements the light from the chandelier, while providing accent lighting for your tableware.
A buffet or sideboard can be flanked with buffet lamps on either side. Choose fixtures that complement the style of your chandelier. Displayed objects can be accented with recessed downlights installed in the ceiling above.