The dining room is THE place to create a wow experience with a light fixture. Make this center piece a strong focal point by splurging on the designer piece you are coveting or by finally displaying the crystal chandelier you hauled all the way back from the Paris flea market. Get it rewired and just do it! My advice to my clients who are on a budget (and who isn't?) is to save in other places in order to be able to get your favorite piece in this important location. Caution: You want the light fixture over your dining table to stand out and “make” the room, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the workhorse that does it all. It is important to add other light sources like buffet lamps, wall sconces indirect lighting and even candles to the illumination over your dining table.
Let your dining room pendant create a focal point
However, one light source by itself creates too harsh transitions between the areas of light and shadows. You want to create several layers of light throughout the area and you want to be able to dim all lights to fit the tasks or mood of the moment. Balance is key.
It is proven that the even, bland light of fast-food restaurants make people hurry up and leave sooner. High-end restaurants, on the other hand, use a variety of sophisticated subtle lighting schemes to create a comfortable atmosphere that make guests want to linger. We look and feel a whole lot better in good lighting and it’s usually so easy to achieve with a few simple tricks.
One way to take away from the harshness of the main light source in a dining area is to use additional lighting around the edge of the room. This reduces the strong contrasts between light and shadow in the room and makes it possible to dim the main fixture, usually the pendant light or chandelier over the dining table to a comfortable, more intimate level. Cabinets can be illuminated from within and light up collectibles or china. Want to add interest to a room, highlight your collectibles, and add ambient lighting: try lighting your cabinets or – like here – add illuminated niches.
Look for the color temperature of the bulbs you use for your display. In order to get the effect shown here you need to look for bulbs (lamps) close to 2700K (Kelvin.) Most quality halogen and fluorescent lamps give you the color temperature as well as the CRI (Color Rendering Index.) If there is a choice, look for a CRI as close to 100 as you can get.
Rule of thumb for mounting height of a pendant of chandelier : 30″ above the dining table.
Other useful tips:
A dining room chandelier generally should measure 6 -12″ less in diameter than the width of table. Makes sense: You don’t want to hit your head on it or feel crowded.
The diameter of the chandelier in inches should at least equal the room diameter in feet.