Ah, the dining room! This space tends to work overtime whenever it hosts family get-togethers, holiday feasts, dinner parties, romantic evenings for two, or even the kids when they're doing homework.
The right lighting can go a long way in helping to create the right vibe in your dining room (not to mention adding a bit of sparkle for special occasions).
How do you select the perfect fixture or fixtures for your dining room? To start, make sure you're familiar with different lighting types.
Ambient Lighting. This is the overall, general lighting in a room. Make sure there's enough of it.
- Pro Tip: This could mean using recessed lighting or wall sconces to supplement a main dining room fixture.
Task lighting. Task lighting helps focus light on a specific task. In the dining room, this most likely means the food on people's plates. You'll want to carefully consider what light will be shining on your tabletop.
- Pro Tip: If you’re going with LEDs, don't forget about CRI (Color Rendering Index). High CRI lamps or light fixtures render color more accurately, which can help make the delicious food look extra delicious.
Accent Lighting. As its name suggest, this lighting will accent and highlight certain aspects of your room. For example, do you have any intricate crown molding or a lovely china hutch in the corner? Consider using LED tape or small puck lights to add interest and draw the eye to noteworthy areas and features.
- Pro Tip: Wall sconces can also fall under this term, adding interest to either side of a fireplace, window, or sideboard.
The Big Statement Piece. We’re talking a gorgeous decorative pendant or chandelier that you use over the dining room table. Sure, it can provide added task lighting, but its main goal is to WOW.
When choosing a big statement piece, make sure you understand how it will integrate with your décor. Head to a lighting showroom like Wolfers and bring in a few photos of your furnishings. A good lighting consultant can help you narrow down options to a few manufacturers that fit your aesthetic.
- Pro Tip: Wondering what size chandelier (or pendant) will work for your dining room table? Use this quick rule of thumb: choose a chandelier that is 1/2 - 3/4 the width of your table. Choose a fixture on the larger side to add drama or if the design of the chandelier is open and airy. Choose a linear fixture or pair up multiple smaller fixtures for a longer table.
Now that you know lighting types, have some fun with layering your lighting. As the term implies, layered lighting means you combine—or "layer"—different light sources to achieve the desired effect while, at the same time, creating a well-lit, balanced space.
Consider dimming and multiple lighting zones. Dimming can allow you to perfectly tailor your lighting to the mood and feel of your event. Using a lighting control keypad to control multiple lighting zones can make setting the perfect light levels a breeze, with presets already selected.
Dining Room Showstoppers: Staff Picks
- Devin Pendant from Tech Lighting. With clean lines and a beautiful white glass shade, what's not to love? You can see this in Waltham with polished nickel.
- Darlana Large Linear Lantern from Visual Comfort. This dramatic lantern takes advantage of negative space within the fixture itself and would look fantastic over a long dining room table.
- Quoizel Gallery Foyer Lantern in Silver Leaf. Don't let the "gallery foyer" name fool you. This large lantern would also look fantastic over a dining room table. Or get two and pair them up!
- Hudson Valley Davis Chandelier. Talk about a conversation starter! The question is where to start the discussion. The overall design with the sleek, modern lines? The angled glass cups? No doubt, your guests will be talking about this one for days.
Do you need help choosing the perfect dining room fixture? Our lighting experts would be happy to assist! Stop by Wolfers in Waltham and let's chat.