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Select & Use Chandelier Pendant Light

Selecting the correct size chandelier or pendant light can be challenging. Keep these basic principles in mind and your task will be easy and enjoyable.

You may already know the general style and possibly the color of the light fixture you prefer so your biggest hurdle is the proper size to fit your space. First, think in terms of comparing your new light size to the room size where it will be used. Large rooms need larger lights and small rooms need smaller lights. Second, consider where the light will hang such as a dining table, bar, work desk, end table or night stand. Large tables require larger fixtures and small tables require smaller lights. If your new chandelier will not be hung over a table, then room size is your only consideration.

Next consider function. A person should easily walk under a chandelier without worrying about how close it is to their head. Accomplished this with a minimum 12" clearance, preferably more. A seated person should have the same 12" minimum head clearance and more. Hanging lights should always create an atmosphere that is welcoming and helpful. Chandeliers and pendants should be low enough to provide adequate lighting onto the table, bar or desk over which they hang and high enough to be conveniently out of the way.

Size & Hanging Height

Dining Room Chandelier

1) Select a dining room chandelier size in proportion to the table and the room
2) The chandelier width should be the room length + width in feet converted to inches
3) If living room size is 10 feet by 20 feet, 10+20=30 so chandelier width is 30 inches
4) The chandelier width should be about half the dining room table width
5) The chandelier hanging height should be 30 inches from table top for 8 foot ceiling or 36 inches from table for 10 foot ceiling

Living Room Chandelier

1) Select a living room chandelier size in proportion to the room
2) The chandelier width should be the room length + width in feet converted to inches
3) If living room size is 10 feet by 20 feet, 10+20=30 so chandelier width is 30 inches
4) The chandelier hanging height should be at least 7 feet for an 8 foot ceiling and higher for taller ceilings

Foyer Chandelier

1) Select a foyer chandelier size in proportion to the room size and ceiling height
2) Foyer chandelier width should be the foyer length + width in feet converted to inches
3) If Foyer size is 10 feet by 20 feet, 10+20=30 so foyer chandelier width can be up to 30 inches
4) Foyer chandeliers should hang at least 7 feet off the floor for an 8 foot ceiling, an additional foot off the floor for each additional 2 feet of ceiling height
5) Foyer chandeliers used near a stairway should hang about knee height off second floor
6) Very tall chandeliers work nicely in foyers with high ceilings but are not required

Pendant Light or Swag Lamp

1) Select a pendant light or swag lamp size in proportion to where it is being used
2) Use a pendant light over a dining table to reflect light downward
3) Over a game or work table for excellent task lighting
4) Over an office desk to replace a desk lamp and to free up the work space
5) Beside a chair for superior reading light
6) Over the kitchen island bar hang multiples 24 inches apart
7) Over the kitchen sink to direct light downward to the work area
8) Over a bedroom night stand to free up valuable space
9) Over a bathroom sink instead of a traditional vanity light
10) Over a stairway, landing or hallway use multiple pendant lights 36 inches apart at least 7 feet off the floor
11) Hang most pendant lights about 30-36 inches above where the light is needed

Island Light

1) Select an island light size about 1/3 to 1/2 the bar length
2) Use an island light over the kitchen island to directs light downward
3) Use one or more island lights over a pool table
4) Use an island light over a dining table or use two over longer tables
5) Hang island lights about 30-36 inches above where the light is needed

Bar Light

1) Selecting a bar light is simple as these are typically around 12" wide or less and can be used in many places in addition to the bar area.
2) Bar lights work great over end tables, night stands aover the kitchen or bathroom sinks and they free up space for other uses.
3) Hang bar lights about 30-36 inches above the surface where light is needed

Examples & Comments Below:

Chandelier is too big and wide for table Chandelier is the right size for the table but wrong color Chandelier is hung too high over table Chandelier is the correct size but hangs too high over table Chandelier is too big for table Chandelier hangs too low over table Chandelier is too big and not centered over table Chandelier is too big and hangs too high over table Chandelier is too big and hangs too low over table Chandelier is too big and hangs too low over table Chandelier hangs too high and is off center from table Chandelier is the correct size and hung at correct height over table Pendant light is hanging too high over the table Perfect chandelier size and hanging height for the table and the room