How to size a chandelier is always a big deal. How to  measure for a chandelier correctly that fits the space is important. After much soul searching, you have decided now is the time to buy a dining room chandelier.  Remember, it’s the focal point of the room.  In addition, it is an investment piece and you don’t want to buy the wrong size.  Many people are unsure what size chandelier or linear pendant works best for their dining room.  Our post on the Ultimate Crystal Chandelier Guide is a valuable read before starting on your search.

Does Chandelier Size Matter?

You don’t want to go too small or your chandelier looks insignificant.  On the other hand if the chandelier is too big then it overpowers the entire space.  Perhaps your dining table would be better suited to two smaller fixtures instead of one large chandelier.  There are many options and decisions that have to be made.  Your lighting choices have to be made with your heart as well as your head. Regardless of your end decision, keeping your chandelier sparkling clean is key.

How Do I Know The Right Size Chandelier?

A common question is what size chandelier do I buy? I don’t want to make a mistake!  The key element in choosing your chandelier is determining the correct dining room chandelier height and width. Regardless if you are using one or two light fixtures, the size of the table and room are key factors.  Generally speaking, the diameter of the light fixture for a dining room should be half the size of the table. There are a few simple formulas used by experts to establish how to choose a chandelier size that’s right for your dining room.

How to Measure for a Chandelier Correctly

First, add the length and width in measurements by feet of your room and your answer will amount to the size of your chandelier diameter in inches.  Lets look at some examples.

For instance, if your dining room is 10′ x 17′, a 27″ diameter chandelier would be the perfect chandelier size for the dining room. A table that seats 4-6 people requires a 20”-24” chandelier.  Furthermore, for tables that seat 6-8, than 25”-29” chandeliers are the norm. 30”-36” chandelier options are the best for tables that seat 8-10 people.  Another  example is, with a 72” table your chandelier size is a 44”.  This way your guests on either end of the table will not be sitting in the shadow.

A traditional empire chandelier is an exception to the rule. Because this crystal chandelier style has a longer neck and wide basket, you can actually go up to 2″ smaller in diameter. The full crystal basket and banding gives the illusion of width as well.

Is Ceiling Height A Factor?

The height of your ceiling is also of importance. When entertaining and having an evening of dining and conversation, you don’t want a chandelier to obstruct your guests sight lines.  Our guideline on how to measure for a chandelier comes into play yet again.

A common method is to calculate 2.5 to 3 inches (6.4 to 7.6 cm) for every foot of height for a room.  If your ceiling is 8 feet (2.4 m) high, the chandelier size for your dining room should be about 20 to 24 inches.  The chandelier height over the table is essential.  The chandelier height from the table should be 30 to 34 inches.

This brings us to the subject of illumination, the direction of the light, the glitter versus glare factor. Light bulbs are key.  Exposed bulbs may glare in your guest eyes and may cast a shadow you could consider using a dimmer switch.  Our blog series on the various types of crystal chandelier bulbs are of importance.

In Conclusion

Finally, whether you choose a fresh modern chandelier or an elegant traditional fixture, size matters.  By selecting the correct width and dining chandelier height, you’ll be thrilled with the result.

Hopefully our guidelines will help learn how to measure for a chandelier correctly and pick the perfect dining room chandelier that you will love forever.  

As always, we look forward to reading your comments and sharing your pictures.


Do hanging crystals change the height of a chandelier?

The crystal is included in the specifications of the chandelier. A crystal chandelier that is 38”h for example includes the longest crystal.

If a chandelier is 19″w x 24″h is the chain included in the height?

No. The fixture height is measured from the top of the frame to bottom of the crystal trim.  A 24”h chandelier for example does not include the chain length in that measurement.  Our dining room chandeliers come with 6’ of wire and 30” of chain. You add the necessary chain length to the 24” for the OAH (overall height) that is needed.

Do you use the same measurements for a modern and traditional crystal chandelier?

Yes. The style doesn’t matter when it comes to the sizing formulas. The empire chandelier is an exception.

Is the formula different for a chain or rod hung chandelier?

No. The height is the same regardless if the chandelier is chain hung or suspended from rods or wire.

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