4 rules for the perfect dining room lighting

By Lorena Fulgini
23 October 2019


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When it comes to choosing the light fixtures for your room, we often think that browsing through a catalogue will be sufficient to choose the lamp we like best. It’s not always that easy. Often, the lamp we like in a magazine or in a store, does not match the room we are furnishing at all.

Furthermore, dining room lightning requires certain features that must be known before choosing the light fixtures, to prevent errors that can affect the overall look.

In this article, you’ll find four rules to observe when choosing your dining room lamps and ceiling lamps.

  1. Choose the right style
  2. Pay attention to the lamp-table ratio
  3. Add light fixtures
  4. Dining room lighting: choose the best light

4 rules for the perfect dining room lighting

1. Choose the right style

Lamps are an integral part of the room furniture. However, more often than not, when we design a room, we don’t choose the lamps that match the furniture, and we often opt for clashing styles that ruin the overall design.

Finding the right solution is not impossible, even if you choose your furniture a long time ago. However, you need to keep some aspects in mind, and style in particular.

If you have a good idea of how you want your dining room to look, choose lamps and ceiling lamps in line with that style. For instance, you can’t choose the ceiling lamp that doesn’t match the style of the table below it.

If your dining room is a classy and elegant environment, opt for a chandelier. Or opt for a ceiling lamp with dangling or precious details that create light effects and make the room elegant and refined.

2. Pay attention to the lamp-table ratio

When furnishing your dining room, the table is the main element. If you are choosing the light fixtures for your dining room, you already have in mind the style of the room your are going to place them in. Hence, you already know what kind of table will be the star of your dining room.

The table-lamp ratio is governed by three simple aspects, detailed below.


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Shape and size

The first thing you need to keep in mind to choose your ceiling lamp is the table shape and size. Concerning its shape, the general rule you need to consider is to try and match the table shape as much as possible. In other words, if the table is round, we suggest you opt for a single round ceiling lamp; if your table is rectangular, go for a ceiling lamp with several light spots developed horizontally along the table.

Clearly, if you have a very big table, you should also opt for a big ceiling lamp. Otherwise, opt for a smaller one.

Even when it comes to size, it is important that the ceiling lamp-table ratio remains well balanced.

How many light fixtures

While keeping in mind what we just said about balancing the table and the ceiling lamp size and shape, ask yourself: would you rather have a single central element that fills the room, or several matching ceiling lamps?

If the room you are furnishing is not very big, we suggest you opt for a single ceiling lamp. You can focus on its style and size, and place it in a prime position.

If, on the other hand, you have a big room, you can opt for more than one light fixture, rather than a single central lamp. If you choose a combination of ceiling lamps to go with your table, we suggest you go for an odd number. The odd number provides balance, by ensuring that the layout is always focused in the middle. For your interior design layout to be well balanced and smooth at first glance, you need a central focal element. Therefore, if you want to install more than one ceiling lamp - maybe because you have a big room and a long table - place three or five. This way, the overall layout will be clean and classy.


In what position and at what distance

There is no general rule to indicate the precise distance between the ceiling lamp and the table surface. Let’s just say that, on average, the ceiling lamp should be placed between 60 and 90 cm from the table. However, it really depends on the room size and on the ceiling height. In any case, when calculating the distance from the table, always take into account the general room balance. Also, according to the ceiling lamp style, you may decide to install it closer to the table.

3. Add light fixtures

A dining room is much more than a table and some chairs. While it’s true that the focus of this room is the table, and the lamp chosen for the table will surely be the central lighting fixture in the room. You can still enrich the room with additional light fixtures.

Today, floor lamps are experiencing a comeback. With curvy or straight vertical lines, there are hundreds of types of floor lamps, with interesting design ideas. Apart from making the room brighter - maybe by enhancing a dark corner - they can further embellish our dining room.

The rule, when choosing additional light fixtures, apart from the ceiling lamp above the table, is always to preserve the room balance, both in terms of style and quantity. Do not overdo it by burdening small rooms with excessive furniture: it could create confusion. It’s best to follow the rule of the overall balance.


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4. Dining room lighting: choose the best light

Once you selected your favourite ceiling lamp, and after assessing its style, size and the position it will take in the room, you have to choose what kind of light you want. Indeed, the lamps available on the market can emit a warm or cold light, and it is not always easy to choose which one is best. Similarly, choosing the light intensity emitted by our nice ceiling lamp can be hard. Even though secondary, these aspects may significantly affect the final result. The atmosphere of a room does not depend only on how beautiful and unique a ceiling lamp is, but also on the type of light selected.

Here you will find some indications and suggestions to choose the best light for your dining room:

Warm or cold light?

A classy dining room does not pair well with a cold and direct light. No one wants to be in a seemingly cold room, while comfortably eating dinner with their guests. A warm light is surely ideal to illuminate the dining room, if there is no need of functional lights (such as kitchen LEDs), and if you simply wish to create a comfortable and familiar environment.

Intense or dimmed lighting?

On the other hand, when it comes to intensity, keep in mind that if the light is too dimmed, it could be annoying for anyone spending some time around the dining table to share a meal with their family or friends.

Sure, a dimmed light can remind us of an elegant and refined environment - just think about luxury restaurants, where the purpose is often recreating an intimate and cocooned environment, where customers can dine with privacy. Don’t forget, though, that the dining room is part of the living area, and it would be best to use a more intense light. In some cases, you could opt for dimmable lights, so that you can adjust their intensity depending on the time of the day.

We suggest you opt for a warm light with a medium intensity for your dining room: chatting and sharing meals and dinners with your guests will be pleasant in a space designed and illuminated in such way.

Illuminating the dining room requires a sound style and conscious choices. Keep this advice in mind to avoid making any mistake. You can be sure you'll obtain a balanced and harmonious result.

Lorena Fulgini

Co-founder, Marketing Manager and Sales manager, Lorena loves the elegant design of furniture and precious details.
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