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How to Light Your Dining Room

Dining table lights hanging

The right lighting is crucial in all rooms, but nowhere in the house is it more important than in the dining room.

Why? Glad you asked.

The reason is simple. Light is how you create an atmosphere in an indoor space. And it is your dining room, more than any other indoor space, which sets the tone for the rest of your house.

When it comes to lighting a dining room, there are many factors at play. Alongside decor and aesthetics, take into account how you mostly use the dining room.

Do you frequently use it to entertain guests? Do you mainly use it as a makeshift study? Or do you want dining room lighting that works for every occasion?

Well, no matter how you use your dining room, this post will help you. We have rounded up several tips from experts to help you light up your dining room in style.

So, let’s dive straight in.

  1. Create ambience with wall lights and table lamps

The first and foremost thing you must consider when lighting your dining room is the kind of ambience you want to create. For example, if you are interested in setting up a grey or darker blue dining room, you would likely need warmer bulbs. Wall lights are another thing that must be carefully considered. Regardless of the type, wall lights should be symmetrically placed around a room, as this helps create a relaxing, ambient glow and ensure the light is distributed evenly.

So, what are the best wall lights for a dining room?

Honestly, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It all depends on your personal taste. For example, for some, rustic light fixtures might be the best wall lights for the dining room, while others may prefer black wall sconces or cage wall sconces over everything else.

  1. Scale your statement lighting

A chandelier or pendant over the dining room table is popular. It's important to consider the fixture’s size in relation to the table. Your dining room can maintain a visual balance only if the statement pieces are neither too small nor too big for it.

First, look at the size of the room and the width and depth of the table. A pendant or chandelier that's too big will overpower the table. On the other hand, a pendant or chandelier that's too small will look small compared to the table. If your room is not more than 3-3.5 meters wide, a pendant or chandelier with width not exceeding 60cm will suit it the best.  For bigger rooms and tables, go with a larger light.

  1. Balance the shape of the light to the table

Another thing to pay attention to is the balance between shapes. For example, a liner pendant, you would agree, won’t look very nice above a round table?

A harmonious design should exist between different shapes. Continuing with the above example of a round table, opting for a light fixture that has a design which can be contained within the table’s dimensions might look just perfect. On the other hand, if your dining table has an oblong or a rectangle shape, a linear suspension would look good. You may also go with a large rounded fixtures or one fixture on each side of the table or even a row of small pendant lights.

  1. Choose pendant light for central

What are the best dining room table pendant lights? This is a question we get asked a lot.

If you are looking for dining room table pendant lights, make sure the fixture you pick makes a good pair with your dining room. For example, those having square or round tables may want to opt for pendant that’s centrally positioned. Another option might be multiple small pendant light fixtures hanging at different heights. Such an arrangement could ensure adequate lighting besides making your dining room look very attractive.

  1. Making statement

Another question people often ask is: How to add a lighting fixture that both beautifies the dining space and helps make a strong statement?

The best way to add drama and opulence to your dining space is by using a chandelier or a low-hanging cluster of pendant lights. Both help create a focal point of attraction and drama and you can choose either.

If your dining room has high windows and ceilings, you can nicely fill up the space and add a healthy dash of drama by installing a statement light pendant.

Keep in mind that when it comes to chandelier, more is often more. Even the most banal-looking of spaces can be imbued with drama by hanging an oversized vintage-style or statement chandelier.  

  1. Bright Ideas

For sure, you may need dining room table with lights, but if you are lucky enough to have a dining room with a lot of natural light, make the most of it. One way to do so is by placing the table close to a big window, allowing natural light to enter the indoor space during the day while also helping you enjoy the views. In rooms that get a good amount of natural light, often only one pendant light above the dining table is sufficient.

  1. Use dimmer

If you want a multifunctional and versatile dining room, consider using a dimmer switch.

With a dimmer, you can create a specific mood depending on the occasion. For instance, for social dinners you may prefer bright, practical lighting, while for a romantic dinner, a dimmed central light offering a subtle glow of light might be just about perfect.

Most LED bulbs are dimmable. That said, not all dimmable LED bulbs dim in the same manner. At times LED bulbs work nicely with old dimmer switches; other times they don’t.

Which brings us to an important question: Do LED lights require a special dimmer?

To be honest, there’s no one fixed answer. The reason being dimmable LEDs usually work with the majority of old dimmers but they will not work seamlessly. That basically means, you can expect minor issues arising every now and then if you use an old dimmer switch.  This happens because LED bulbs use a very low wattage. Old dimmers are designed for incandescent bulbs which consume a lot of wattage. Because of this, you may encounter the following issues if you pair an LED light bulb with an old dimmer:

  • Smaller dimming rage (Typically 70-90% range compared to full range with incandescent bulbs)
  • LEDs may not switch off at lowest dim setting
  • Flickering

Don’t want to deal with such issues? If so, we recommend that you use dimmers designed for LED lights.


The dining room is where your family gathers to celebrate and make memories. It is the place where you have meals every day, the place where school projects and homework gets completed. Sometimes, it even serves as a home-office. However, your dining room can be all of these things only if the lighting is versatile. We are sure the tips discussed in this post would help you figure out the best lighting solution for your dining space.

If you have a question that we haven’t covered in this post, feel free to get in touch with us. Our lighting experts will take time to understand your concern or question and provide you with tailor-made solutions perfect for your dining space.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the proper height for a light fitting in a dining room?

When it comes to hanging a light fixture in a dining room, the recommended height is approximately 91cm above the table. This positioning allows the pendant light to provide focused illumination on the table itself rather than the entire room. Additionally, this height ensures that guests seated at the table will not have their view of the person sitting opposite them obstructed by the light fixture.

  • What is the trend for dining room lighting?

Generally speaking, the secret for smartly lighting a dining room has remained unchanged over the years. Go for a low-level dining table light hanging on a pendant or multiple pendants of either the same or varied heights. The light directly above the dining table should be dimmable to allow you to create different lighting effects for different occasions. Depending on the size of your dining room and personal preferences, you can complete the central light with table lamp lighting, wall lights, or candlelight. The focus should always be on creating a warm, cozy glow around your dining table itself. This would allow the room to feel sociable, welcoming, and convivial. At the same time, you would be able to avoid lighting up the ceiling or other parts of the dining space too brightly, which is a good thing as that takes all the focus away from the central table.