4 Tips for Buying Chandeliers

So you’ve decided you need a new chandelier. What now? Read this helpful article to find a few tips to keep in mind as you shop for chandeliers.

Getting the Right Size Chandelier

For starters, remember that lighting from a chandelier, no matter what the setting, should make a room, people, home furnishings and prized possessions look their very best.

So it’s important to hang the chandelier in the right spot and at the proper height for maximum impact.

A chandelier in a dining room setting should be positioned in the center of the dining table and room proportions.

Avoid purchasing chandeliers that are larger than the width of your table, as people may bump into it when getting up.

Modern Chandelier Dining Room
Picture of a Mid-Century modern chandelier in a dining room.

A handy rule of thumb is that a chandelier should be 12 inches narrower than a table and have at least 48 inches of space from each of the room walls or edges.

Hang a chandelier approximately 30 to 34 inches over a table with an 8 foot ceiling height.

If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, mount the chandelier an additional 3 inches higher for each foot of ceiling.

Chandelier Size Guide – How To Choose The Right Size Chandelier

Tips for Chandelier Bulbs

Keep in mind that lighting from a chandelier that beams directly onto a person from above can cast unflattering facial shadows. The heat from bulbs directly overhead can also be uncomfortable.

Avoid high wattage chandelier light bulbs. They will increase the heat and cause excessive table glare.

Try adding shades to chandelier candelabra bulbs or a wall dimmer to help you control the light and set a more flattering mood.

When a chandelier has no central downlight, you can enhance the dining room table setting and centerpiece by using recessed adjustable fixtures with narrow beam bulbs.

Aim these bulbs at a dining table centerpiece to create additional visual interest in conjunction with the chandelier.

Entryway Chandeliers for the Foyer

In an open lobby or larger foyer setting, an entryway chandelier can provide an important transition from outdoor to interior spaces and set the mood for your entire home.

Hang the chandelier high enough to illuminate stairways or side passages; about knee-level of the upstairs landing is a good standard.

Chandeliers in a lobby setting can be wider or taller than dining room pieces so that they comfortably fill a space without appearing too small. You should also allow for at least 6 1/2 feet of clearance from the floor.

More Chandelier Tips

Pendant chandeliers for kitchen islands and dinette tables demand a little different approach. Depending on their arrangement and number, position the pendant 30″ to 34″ inches up from the table surface.

Dress up the hanging wire or chain of a chandelier by covering it in a narrow sleeve of fabric.

Fabric should be three times longer than the chain to achieve a gathered appearance. This is a great idea for holiday looks!

Finally, consider adding decorative ceiling medallions to dress up the area directly above your table or around the fixture’s ceiling canopy.

These medallions are lightweight and easy to install, and come in a wide range of styles and looks.

Chandelier Video Inspiration

Check out this YouTube video for more advice on how to select the perfect dining room chandelier:

How-to Select the Perfect Dining Room Chandelier


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

Need help selecting a product? 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 in choosing the right chandelier.

More Chandeliers Ideas and Advice:

How to Buy a Chandelier

How to Clean a Chandelier

A Guide to Crystal Chandelier Glass