If you need some dining room lighting ideas for your South Bay home, you came to the right place.
A dining room might host either formal or informal gatherings.
And it often becomes a place for doing homework, household bookkeeping and correspondence, or hobbies.
The dining room table is the focal point of the room, so lighting layers are built around it.
The more activities you have in your dining room, the more layers of light the room will probably need.
The Central Chandelier in the Dining Room
The first layer of light is usually a chandelier or pendant centered over the table. Select a mixture that matches the size of the room and the table.
A fixture 24 to 30 inches in diameter generally fits an average dining room comfortably. If the room is narrower than 10 feet, look for a smaller fixture.
The diameter of a chandelier should be at least 12 inches less than the width of the table, or it will crowd the diners.
Suspend the chandelier high enough so that diners can see each other under it.
With an 8-foot ceiling, the fixture should hang 30 inches above the table. To preserve the proportions in a room with higher ceilings, raise the chandelier 3 inches for each additional foot of ceiling height.
Chandeliers usually come with at least 3 feet of chain and cord. But you should verify that the model you want will hang correctly in your space.
Control the chandelier with a dimmer. Dim crystal chandeliers and those with exposed bulbs to a pleasing glow. Uplight pendants can be operated at higher intensity because most of their light reflects off the ceiling.
Accent Light for the Dining Room Table
The dimmed chandelier will light diners’ faces comfortably, but will not cast much light on the tabletop.
To bring out the sparkle in table settings and centerpieces, add accent lighting. The accent lights can be recessed or track-mounted, located midway between the center of the table and the ends.
If you have a larger chandelier that might create shadows, push the accent lights farther away from the middle of the table.
To avoid unflattering shadows, place the accent lights or downlight so they aren’t over the diners’ heads.
Fixtures 3 to 4 inches in diameter are unobtrusive. Those with low-voltage 20- to 50-watt MR16 lamps or a 50-watt PAR20 are good choices.
Lamps with medium or flood distribution prevent hot spots on the table.
Dining Room Wall Lighting
Make your dining space more comfortable and attractive by lighting the walls. For this third layer in your lighting composition, choose a featured area -- such as a buffet or sideboard, breakfront, or a wall with a painting or drapery -- to focus your lighting on.
Narrow candlestick table lamps on top of the buffet, wall sconces over it, or accent light from above all provide pleasing light for a buffet.
For a formal atmosphere, select lights that match the style of the chandelier. The accent lights can be the same types as you use over the table.
Dining Room Ambient Lighting
In a large dining room, add light around the table and fill the space with a soft brightness.
In a small room the wall lighting will provide adequate ambient light. Recessed downlight between the table and the corners of the room provide comfortable ambient lighting without dominating the room.
You can use small accent fixtures, aimed down, or 5-inch downlights.
Dimming Controls in the Dining Room
To adjust the intensity of each layer of lighting to a pleasing balance, dim each one separately. Make sure you control the central chandelier with a separate dimmer.
Other lights can be combined or placed on separate dimmers.
If there are two entries to a large dining room, put a three-way control at each entry.
Proper lighting lets you see the people, objects, and spaces around you; essential traits for a comfortable dining room dynamic.