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How To Size A Chandelier
Find The Right Size Chandelier For Your Needs

How to figure out the size of your chandelier?

Now that you have decided what type of fixture best reveals your personality, you need to calculate the size your light fixture should be to best compliment the target room.  This is the time to use restraint.  That ten-foot diameter behemoth you saw in the Aragon Ballroom will not fit anywhere in your house unless you have the room that measures 60 feet × 60 feet.

Chandeliers add class to any location, but the last thing you want to do is overwhelm everything else in sight.  There is a very specific formula for calculating the size of a chandelier for a given room, and it’s dead simple.  It relies entirely on the room’s exterior dimensions.  For example, a dining room measuring 12 feet by 12 feet requires a 24-inch chandelier.  And how do we know this?  Simply by adding the length and width of the room (12 + 12) and stating the total as the number of inches (24”).   In the case of a living room that was 30 × 10 feet, you could either have a centrally located 40-inch chandelier or for a more balanced design, two 25 inch chandeliers one-third of the way from each end of the room.  The latter number is derived by treating each half of the room as a 15 × 10 foot area.

How high to hang your chandelier from your table?

In all locations try to have at least 7 feet of clearance where people will be walking.  Something over the dining room table, or a kitchen island, can be lower but something in the foyer ought to be high enough that someone won’t walk into it, nor hit it while trying to put on their coat.

The higher your ceiling, the higher your fixture should be placed.  For every foot your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, raise it by another 3 inches.  It’s worthwhile to consider that with very high ceilings you can consider multi-tiered chandeliers.  If you have space, they are very dramatic and make a powerful statement

While chandeliers over dining room tables should be one half to two-thirds of the table width, remember they should clear the surface by 30 to 36 inches.  This provides adequate light without being directly in anybody’s line of vision.

If your room is particularly large, centrally located fixtures may not illuminate distant walls or corners.  This is the time to consider adding some sconces.  They should be placed 60 inches from the floor at 6 to 8-foot intervals.

To learn the difference between a chandelier and a pendant, and how to choose the right one for your home check out our blog post Chandelier VS. Pendant: The Difference.