Dining room lighting should be both beautiful and functional. This requires a mix of general, task, and accent lighting that can set the mood for a number of functions, including a formal dinner, a family get-together, and more routine activities like homework, hobbies, or family bookkeeping. In this article, learn how to take advantage of the main types of light to create a truly blogworthy dining area in your home.

Mission-style dining room with wrought iron chandelier.


General Ambience: Dining Room Chandeliers

A dining room chandelier can act as a spectacular focal point of such an important space. Suspended over the dining table, it serves as a decorative style element that enhances the beauty of your fine furnishings. When the light is dimmed, a soft, glowing atmosphere similar to candlelight is created. If equipped with a downlight component, the chandelier provides task lighting for the table and accent lighting for a centerpiece.

Avoid using high wattage light bulbs in your chandelier. Higher wattage bulbs will increase the heat over the table and can cause unwanted glare. Add a wall dimmer to your fixture or chandelier for greater lighting control.

Dining Room Chandeliers


Accent Lighting: Recessed & Track Lighting in the Dining Room

Recessed lighting and dining room track lighting can provide general lighting, but the main benefit of these low-profile fixtures is that they enable homeowners to highlight (as accent, as the name suggests) prized or important possessions throughout the room.

Contemporary dining room with a six-light frosted glass chandelier.

A ring of recessed downlights around the dining table can supplement the light emitting from the chandelier while providing compelling accent lighting for your tableware or wall art

Recessed Lighting


Lighting a Buffet or Sideboard

A buffet or sideboard can be flanked with wall sconcesor buffet lights on either side. And, as an added benefit, energy-efficient LED sconces can be installed to lower energy consumption (and, in turn, utility bills). Most importantly, when selecting sconces, make sure to choose fixtures that complement the style and finish of your chandelier. 

Remember: The little things make a big difference!

Don't miss out on opportunities to install accent lighting that complements the dining room's general illumination.

At the end of the day, it's all in the details. If you are looking for accent lighting over your buffet, displayed objects can be highlighted with recessed downlights installed in the ceiling overhead.

Wall Sconces


Lighting Dining Room Artwork and Collectibles

A family portrait can be dramatically accentuated with recessed adjustable accent fixtures. For collectibles displayed in a china cabinet, breakfront, hutch, or wall niche, affix under cabinet lighting on the bottom of each shelf for an intriguing, warm glow. You might also be able to use picture lights on a hutch or shelf for a focused beam of illumination that gives a clean spotlight effect on desired objects or areas.

Under Cabinet Lights



Call 800-782-1967 to speak with one of our friendly, professional Lighting & Home Decor Consultants or visit a Lamps Plus location near you. Whether via phone or in person, we're happy to assist you light up your dining room. 

More to Explore

To get more inspiration, visit our Shop By Room pages where you can browse 1000's of designer rooms.

Looking for more information? Read our other helpful articles, handy tips, and how-to guides related to dining room lighting: 

Tips for Buying Chandeliers

How to Clean a Chandelier

A Guide to Crystal Chandelier Glass