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Four Steps to the Perfect Chandelier

A chill is in the air and the Holidays are right around the corner, which means NOW is the best time to evaluate your current chandelier situation.




Not only will your table be gracing the most delectable eats this season, it will also serve to seat and entertain your nearest and dearest family and friends, which leads us to ask you an important question…does your current dining room light fixture fit the bill?  Or, are you in desperate need for a dining light re-do?  Let us help you find a new light fixture that not only reflects your own sense of style and is the right size and scale for your space, but provides the appropriate amount of illumination for your dining room situation.  Follow our four-step guide to selecting the perfect chandelier.

Step 1: Which SIZE is right for me?

Size and placement are of the most important in considerations you need to make while selecting a chandelier for your specific dining space. Generally, we advise selecting a fixture that is approximately half the width of the table it will be above. However, with each sizing formula, there are exceptions and stipulations to consider for every unique space.  Here are a couple of general sizing guidelines to help get you steered in the right direction.

First, take your room dimensions (length and width) and add those figures together. Convert that sum to inches to achieve the appropriate sizing guideline for your chandelier.

Example: 12′ + 14’= 26′

Converted to Inches= 26″

Recommended Diameter of Chandelier= 26″


Take a peek at this video from Hinkley Lighting walking you through this formula:

This being said, each home and space is unique.  If you have a large, open dining area with tall or vaulted ceilings, then you may demand a fixture of a larger scale. For this, there is another guideline to consider which pays more attention to the size of the table itself.

Take the smallest width of your tabletop and subtract 12″, the remaining measurement would be the recommended diameter of a fixture deemed appropriate for your dining room.

Example: 72″ x 48″ table

Smallest Width of Table= 48″

Less 12″= 36″

Recommended Diameter of Chandelier= 36″


The next most popular question we are asked is, “How high do I hang my fixture above the table-top?”  This answer will vary depending upon your ceiling height, but the most standard guideline we use is to start with a 30″ increment between the bottom of your light fixture and the top of your table.  This is the best measurement for ceiling heights of 8′, adding 1″ per additional foot of ceiling height- 31″ for 9′ ceilings, 32″ for 10′ ceilings, etc.

As with many lighting choices- size, scale and hanging height can be subjective.  Using a grouping of smaller fixtures or chandeliers in lieu of the classic singular suspended piece, is another popular trend people are embracing.  In this situation, the above formulas are not an accurate depiction of what you may need.  Each space is unique and may require a different size and scale to help it “shine”. Don’t hesitate to visit us in the showroom with pictures of your particular space so we can best help you choose the appropriately scaled fixture(s) for your lighting situation.


Step 2: How much LIGHT do I need?

Our lighting language is changing.  Instead of relying on our previous formulas focusing on how much wattage our fixtures are producing, we have shifted the conversation into how many lumens a light fixture is providing us with.  A lumen represents the amount of actual ambient light coming from the lamp.  This discussion can be complicated, so we have found a simplified formula to use as your guideline in determining how many lumens your dining room requires in this article from 1000bulbs.com, represented below:

General Floor Spaces=  Require 20 Lumens per square foot

Dining Table and Raised Counter Spaces= Require 30 Lumens per square foot

Desk and High-Task Areas= Require 50 Lumens per square foot



Example: 72″ x 48″ (6′ x 4′) table

Square Footage of Table= 24

Multiplied by 30 (as recommended above)= 720

Recommended amount of Lumens for above Table= 720


Notice this doesn’t include the rest of the room.  For the remaining square footage of the room, you would multiply that number by 20 (as referenced above) to achieve the additional amount of lumens needed to provide adequate illumination for the room’s entirety.

Example: 12′ x 14′ Dining Room= 168 square feet

72″ x 48″ table= 24 square feet

Subtract the difference= 144 square feet

Multiplied by 20 (as recommended above)= 2,880

Recommended lumens for floor area of Dining Room= 2,880

Add these two sums together to achieve your overall lumen recommendation for the Dining Room: 720 + 2880= 3,600 lumens


3,600 lumens compares to an average of 250-300 watts of incandescent light, or approximately 60 watts of LED light.  Click here for more detailed information, and a lumens to watts conversion chart to help you with your calculations.

Step 3: What STYLE best fits my decor?

There are several key design features to consider when selecting the perfect chandelier for your space.  Once you have determined the correct size and amount of light needed, the look of the light is the next most important decision.  In order to find the right fixture to complement your overall look and decor, take some time to research the various styles and options available to you.  Are you looking for something Mid-Century and Mod?  Then stick to warm woods, neutral fabrics and simple, clean structures like this drum shade from Sonneman lighting.  In need of a little Glimmer and Glam?  Be looking for polished metals or lighter finishes adorned with glass and crystal.  Evoking a Farmhouse Feel?  Then dark or rusty metal finishes and more primitive shapes are going to be the key.  Whatever style suits you, Creative Lighting is your source for inspiration. Come into the showroom, or visit us on-line to get started.


Step 4: Which FINISH do I choose?

With so many metal finishes to choose from today, it can be hard to determine which direction to go when updating your lighting fixtures. This step is in direct correlation to Step 3 above, but there are a few extra pieces of advice that will help you narrow the field.

First, DIFFERENT IS GOOD-  It is okay for your dining room fixture to be unique from the rest of the house.  The fixture you choose should be appropriate to the dining room feel you are trying to create, as well as connect to the furnishings you have within that space.  This may not always be the same metal finish that is throughout the rest of your home.  For example:  if your house is full of smooth, satin nickel metals, but your dining room provides a warmer, more rustic feel- it may be more appropriate to select a lighting fixture with darker metals to help anchor the room.

Secondly, MIX IT UP-  Long gone are the days where all bronzes look the same. Yes, it is OK to blend finishes within the same color family.  Is your furniture hardware more of a smooth, uniformed oil-rubbed bronze finish?  It is completely acceptable (if not somewhat encouraged) to use different shades of browns, greys, or even black, in coordination with the existing dark bronze hardware you currently exhibit.  Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and work with something that isn’t quite an exact match in color.  Taking that risk can reap big visual rewards for your space.  The important piece to remember here is that the finish you choose needs to complement the look and feel of your dining room area.


Ready to get started?  Head into the showroom and let us help you create the dining room atmosphere you have always wanted, just in time for this Holiday Season.

Start browsing now, by visiting us at www.creative-lighting.com.

PHOTO CRED: Hinkley Lighting, Feiss Lighting, 1000bulbs.com


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