Ideas & Advice > How High Should a Chandelier be Above a Table

How High to Hang a Chandelier Above a Dining Table

Chandeliers are a great focal point in any dining room, whether the style is regal and elegant or homey and casual. When placed properly, chandeliers accent the entire dining space as a pleasant place to share a meal and provide essential lighting over a wide area. There are multiple methods to choosing the proper chandelier to fit your room’s scale and ceiling height. In order to choose the method that is best for you, it is best to know what each method entails and how that method may work for your room.

Recommended Chandelier Height Over a Dining Table

The exact height will vary depending on how tall the room’s ceiling is, but a general rule is that the bottom of your chandelier should be at least 30-36 inches away from the top of your table. This rule applies to dining rooms with an 8-foot ceiling height. Within that placement, the chandelier should also be centered over the middle of the table itself so that it acts as a proper focal point and positively balances the room’s layout.

Modern chandeliers may not hang as low as traditional ones however, as many feature linear designs that run the same direction as the table. Likewise, round chandeliers may not have long draping decor to reach within 30-36 inches of the table. This is perfectly fine; the chandelier does not have to be within that set distance, but it definitely should not be much closer than 30 inches.

Adjusting for Ceiling Height

If your dining room has a vaulted ceiling or a ceiling taller than 8 feet, then you have the freedom to use a larger chandelier above your dining room. However, keeping the same rule of 30-36 inches above the table does not work well with these taller ceilings, since the chandelier will be too low in comparison to the highest point of the ceiling.

To help maintain that balance, there is a simple method: For every two feet of higher ceiling, your chandelier should hang 6 inches higher above the dining table. For example, if you have a 10 foot tall ceiling, your chandelier should be between 36 and 42 inches above the dining room table.

Adjusting for Size of the Room

The height of the ceiling can help you determine how high to hang a chandelier over a dining room table, but there is another common method as well. Since chandeliers are designed to cast light over the whole dining room, many designers base their chandelier’s height on the size of the room itself.

There are no formulas for this method; instead, there are some areas to consider. Take into account the decorative aspect of the chandelier, how the light looks as you enter the dining room, and how it looks at all the different angles in the room. By considering these visual aspects, you will be guided in choosing a light that fits the size of the room, its scale, and its layout.

Chandelier Size According to Size of Dining Table

Another method for determining your chandelier’s size is to balance it with the dining room table. This is the method recommended by lighting industries, and the general rule is that the chandelier should be one foot smaller than the width of the table (about 6 inches away from the table edges on each side).

For example, if the dining room table is 42 inches wide, the chandelier should not be more than 30 inches wide and should be 6 inches away from the sides/edges of the table. Like other recommendations, the chandelier should hang above the center of the table. These guidelines direct you towards that setup for good reason; if the chandelier is closer to the sides or ends, guests may risk bumping their heads on the chandelier when they rise and sit.

Since chandeliers and ceiling lights are such an essential part of defining dining spaces, it is vital to carefully consider the light’s proportions to the room’s height and size. The chandelier should also be balanced with the size and layout of the table itself to ensure that it balances well with the central furniture. While each of the methods listed above can be used as sole methods to placing a chandelier, processing through all three lenses can help you choose a chandelier that is the best fit for your room from all perspectives.


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