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Lighting Guide: The Dining Room

Creating an inviting and functional dining room is all about finding the right balance between style and practicality, with lighting playing a key role in setting the perfect atmosphere. We’ve broken down some tips to help you light up your dining room just right.

1. Establishing the Focal Point

The dining table is the heart of the room, and so it should be the primary focus. To achieve this, base your lighting around your dining table, rather than the room as a whole. Consider placing a central pendant light or a cluster of pendants directly above the table, depending on its shape and size.

2. Height Configuration

As a general guideline, the bottom of the light fixture should hang 30-36 inches above the standard 30 inch high table top. This height is ideal for two reasons:

  • Functionality: It lights the tabletop effectively without overwhelming the room with light, keeping the focus on the dining area.
  • Visibility: At this height, pendants will be at just the right level to let everyone at the table see each other easily, making conversations flow comfortably.

3. Shape Alignment

Depending on its shape and size, here are some guidelines for choosing the right lighting for your dining table:

  • Round & Square Tables: Choose either a single pendant or an odd-numbered cluster, hung at differing heights, to match your table’s shape. This creates a seamless, balanced look that’s both stylish and cohesive.
  • Rectangle Tables: Opt for a linear pendant or a series of pendants stretched out along the table's length. This ensures an even distribution of light, avoiding any dark spots on the table. As an unwritten rule, you can determine what distance you should have between pendants by using the diameter of the pendant lamp as the distance that is recommended. So if your lamp has a diameter of 40cm, then leave a space between your lamps of 40cm.

4. Layer with Ambient Lighting

Complement the overhead lighting with table lamps sideboards or wall lights strategically placed beside the fireplace or evenly around the room. These extra touches not only add to the room's ambiance but also spotlight artwork, architectural details, or any other standout elements.

5. Dimming Capability

Make sure all your light fixtures have dimmable switches. It is key for setting the perfect mood, whether you're hosting lively social gatherings that need bright lights or planning cosy, intimate dinner parties that call for a softer, more ambient glow.


6. Bulb Selection

When choosing bulbs for your dining room, aim for ones that emit a warm light at a colour temperature of 2700 kelvins. This warm white glow is ideal for creating a welcoming and intimate dining atmosphere.

Remember, the key to successful lighting design is in the details. Each element, from the choice of fixtures to the quality of light, should be selected to create a dining experience that feels both cohesive and inviting.