While the guidelines for kitchen lighting are generally applicable to most kitchens, dining rooms are much more flexible. The fixtures and positioning depends entirely on the shape and size of both the table and space, not to mention the desired effect. Despite the versatility of dining room lighting, being aware of a few guidelines is always helpful.
The height you hang your light will be dependent on the size of the fixture and the space. However, as is the case in kitchens, you should usually hang pendants around 28-32 inches above the tabletop. You may want to position larger fixtures slightly higher as they can dominate the space. Whereas multi-use spaces may require rise and fall pendants that you can adjust for various tasks.
Again, the rule of three works in dining rooms as well as kitchens, due to the symmetry, however the size and shape of the table is often much more important. Round tables lend themselves to single fixtures; a large pendant, centred over a table anchors the space and creates a focal point. Longer, rectangle or oval tables often require two or three fixtures to ensure the table is evenly lit. This also creates a visual balance that is pleasing to the eye. If using two or more fixtures, be sure to measure the space to ensure that the pendants are evenly spaced to avoid overcrowding.
The desired effect in a dining room is one of the main points to consider. This is determined by the purpose of the space; will you be using the room primarily for dining and entertaining guests? Or will it double as a desk space, used for working?
If you are often entertaining guests, it is crucial that the table remains the focal point of the room. Lighting is key in creating an intimate atmosphere for conversation so that the rest of the room recedes.
Multi-use spaces require a much more flexible lighting solution, making a dimmer system essential. The option to control light levels makes planning a lighting scheme much easier because you can create different moods for different purposes without compromising on design.
The various options for dining room pendants make it difficult to choose. If you’re looking for contemporary or industrial inspired fixtures, check out our range of Pendant Lighting. Our standard and micro Coolicons or Small Factory Pendants are ideal for hanging in a row over a long table, while our Supersized Coolicons or XL Prismatic Pendants are the perfect size for a round table.