What Size Chandelier Do I Need

Due to the fact that there is an enormous array of chandeliers ranging in size, finish and style, selecting the ideal fit can be a very tough task. Below you will find some information that will help you select the appropriate size chandelier for any room. The information is simply a guideline and each case is different. It is important that your ultimate decision shall be based on a combination of the guidelines provided as well as your personal style.

Our 3 Southern California showrooms located in Costa Mesa, Montclair, and Orange have hundreds of chandeliers on display. We have a variety of traditional, contemporary and transitional chandeliers on display.  Our lighting experts will be glad to help you select the perfect chandelier for your application.

Chandeliers Above Tables

Ceiling height and table size are the two most important factors to consider when installing chandeliers over a dining room table. The chandelier should look proportionate to the table and not overwhelm it. A chandelier that is too large may also obstruct the view across the table.

A solid guideline for selecting an appropriate size chandelier for a dining room is to select a fixture that has a diameter that is somewhere between half and three quarters the diameter (or width) of the tabletop. If the dining room table were a rectangle of 50” wide x 72” long, a chandelier that is 25” to 37.5” in diameter would be an appropriate size to compliment the table without overwhelming it. If you have a very long and narrow dining room table, you should select a fixture that is on the higher end of the range to ensure that fixture looks in proportion to the table.

The height of a chandelier should be determined by the ceiling height of the room. A good rule of thumb is to allow 2 ½” – 3” for each foot of a rooms height. Based on this rule, a room that has an 8’ ceiling can support a chandelier that is approximately 20” to 24” in height. It is important that a chandelier should be no fewer than 30 inches above the top of a table. A good exercise before purchasing a chandelier is to measure the distance from the ceiling to your tabletop. If you take this distance and subtract the minimum space of 30 inches as well as the height of the fixture, you will then be left with the distance that your fixture sits below the ceiling. It is a good idea to leave at least 1-2 feet of space between your fixture and the ceiling in case you need to make some adjustment to the height of the fixture. Keep in mind that the 30 inches above the table is simply a rule of thumb and will vary on a case-by-case basis.

Hallways, Living Rooms and Entry Ways

Chandeliers in a hallway or a large room can make an impressive statement as well as provide ambient lighting for the entire room. A good way to determine the correct size fixture is to add the length and width of the room measured in feet, then convert this number to inches. If your room measures 18' x 22', look for a chandelier with a diameter of 40 inches.

An important factor to keep in mind is that this rule of thumb assumes that you have a ceiling height proportional to the room’s dimensions. Hanging a large chandelier in a room with 8 foot ceiling will not work.

In an open walking area, the lowest point on the chandelier should be no lower than 78 inches (6 1/2 feet). Tall ceilings provide an opportunity to select a chandelier with multiple tiers/levels. If you have any questions regarding selecting the appropriate size chandelier, please don’t hesitate to contact a professional at Light Bulbs Etc. We have a selection of over 10,000 chandeliers in various styles from many different manufacturers.