How to size a chandelier correctly is a concern for most people when buying a new light fixture. They are unsure what size round chandelier or rectangular pendant works best for their dining room; bedroom; kitchen or foyer.  Most importantly is figuring out how to measure for a chandelier that fits the space properly.  

After much deliberation, you have decided this is the right time to buy a shell; beaded or crystal chandelier. Do you choose a standard size light fixture or is Custom sizing and design the route to go. Room layout and ceiling height are a big part of the equation.  Keep in mind that a custom chandelier could be a great solution in the lighting plan.

 Remember, the light fixture is the focal point of the room.  In addition, a crystal chandelier is an investment piece and you don’t want to buy the wrong size.  Our post on the Ultimate Crystal Chandelier Guide is a valuable read before starting on your search. There are so many options and decisions that have to be looked at. 


Dining room crystal chandeliers Finishing Touches beaded chandelier with 2 rectangular shades2 rec

Dining room crystal chandeliers Finishing Touches beaded chandelier with 2 rectangular shades

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. Does a long rectangular or oval pendant chandelier suit the space as opposed to a smaller diameter round chandelier?  Furthermore, your lighting choices have to be made with your heart as well as your head. Now more than ever, choosing the right size matters.


How Do I Know What Size Chandelier I Need?

Let’s get down to the basics.  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 lighting experts to establish how to choose a chandelier size that’s right for your dining room.

How to Measure for a Chandelier Correctly

Here is the right way to measure for a chandelier. 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. This formula is the same for any room in your house.

However today we are concentrating on the dining room.  Let’s look at some dining room 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. Our post Empire Crystal Chandelier Designs explains all about this classic style.

How to Size a Chandelier blog customized black shade color crystal chandeliers for Dwayne Bergman Interiors

How to Size a Chandelier blog customized black shade color crystal chandeliers for Dwayne Bergman Interiors

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.  Additionally, our post Foyer Chandelier Hacks looks at sizing for entryway as well as high ceiling spaces.

This brings us to the subject of illumination, the direction of the light, the glitter versus glare factor.  The right light bulb choices are key factors.  Exposed bulbs may create glare in your guest eyes and cast a shadow.  We always recommend 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. Regardless of your end decision on the size, type or style, it’s important to keep your chandelier sparkling clean

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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