lets talk chandelier size

How to know what size chandelier to buy

Tricks to select the correct size chandelier

In last week’s blog, “Let’s talk about lighting,” I promised more mini-posts covering this all-important topic expressing it was my attempt at lighting up your life. Today I am focussing on chandelier size because this is an area where I see many design blunders.

Over the years, I have learned a few tricks which can help determine what size chandelier to purchase. I’ll share them, but I caution that they only provide a general guideline. There is a lot more to consider. But we will get to that.

Trick 1: To determine the size of a chandelier over a dining room table, divide the width of your dining room table in half. If your table is 42″ wide, the size of your chandelier should be 21″. This guideline is not limited to chandeliers but is also helpful for other types of table lighting.

Trick 2: To determine the chandelier’s size for a room, add the room’s width and length together. If the room is 12′ by 12′, the Chandelier size should be 24″.

These two “tricks” make specifying the size of a chandelier seem easy-peasy. Unfortunately, nothing in design is that straight forward or simple. There are so many other factors to consider! If you stick to guidelines, the good news is, they will prevent you from having an undersized lighting fixture. But this is where it can get sticky.

This chandelier adds elegance and drama.
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Consider the design statement you are making

The intended design statement has to be considered. There are times you may want to have the light over a table under-scaled. The under-scaled fixture in the photo below supports the minimalist design theme. The reverse is also true. It is easy to see how an over-sized chandelier or light fixture can support a theme of grandeur or opulence. But it also can be used to emphasize other themes or simply be an artful expression.

table with pendant lighting
Excellent example of how under-scaled lighting supports the design theme of minimalism

Consider the visual weight of the light fixture that you choose

Simple fixtures may not have high impact in a room unless they are over-sized. Elaborate lighting fixtures may steal all of the attention in the room if they are over-sized. Unless that is the intent, I would stay true to the guidelines.

Ceiling height also matters!

The above tricks are helpful but they do not take the cubic area of a room into consideration. If you have high ceilings, the fixture size needs to be bigger. Additionally, the higher it is hung, the bigger it should be.

Photo by Houzlook .com from Pexels
Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

Selecting the right size chandelier or light fixture is not a cut and dry process. The tricks I shared should give you a basic guideline to use as a starting point. Then, take all the other elements of the room, the fixture itself, as well as the design style you are trying to achieve into consideration before finalizing your selection.

In the next couple of upcoming posts, we will keep talking about lighting. I LOVE sharing the whole world of design with you. If you have not yet subscribed, enter your email below so you don’t miss anything.