Dining Room FAQs and Lighting Tips
Q) Why is dining room lighting important?
A) Proper lighting is necessary for adding excitement and character to your dining room. Excellent lighting in your dining room adds depth and enhances the overall mood. Proper lighting will also bring out the dramatic colors in your dining room.
Q) How do I provide general lighting in my dining room?
A) General lighting in a dining room, or the level of brightness adequate to perform activities in a space, is normally provided by a chandelier or a pendant light hung over the dining room table.
Q) What is the best place to position a chandelier in my dining room?
A) As the focal point of the dining room, the chandelier should be hung approximately 30 inches above the tabletop. Additionally, the chandelier should be at least 6 inches narrower than each side of the table.
Q) What is the best place to position a pendant light in my dining room?
A) If you choose to use a pendant light instead of a chandelier, hang it 30 inches above the tabletop. Additionally, the pendant light should be approximately 12 inches narrower than each side of the table.
Q) Do I need any other light sources in my dining room other than a chandelier or a pendant light?
A) Yes. To properly and effectively light any room in your home you should use three basic types of lighting: general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. A good lighting plan combines all three based on the function and style of the room and provides "layers of light".
Q) How does accent lighting enhance my dining room?
A) Accent lighting can add drama to your dining room by adding visual interest. Whether spotlighting sculpture, houseplants, drapery, or other decorative items with recessed downlights or highlighting a painting or picture with a picture light, well-placed accent lighting will further enhance an attractive dining room.
Q) How does indirect lighting enhance my dining room?
A) Indirect lighting provides soft, appealing, glare-free illumination that improves the mood in a space. Coves, soffits, and other concealed locations can be used with low profile xenon light sources or T5 or T8 fluorescent fixtures to provide pleasant and effective indirect lighting.
Q) How can I use wall washing effectively in my dining room?
A) Wall washers, or special recessed downlights in the ceiling that direct light down uniformly over most of the height of the wall, minimize the apparent texture of the wall surface and eliminate light "scallops" and their alternating shadows that are associated with standard downlights. Place wall washers no more than 36 inches apart. For the smoothest lighting effect, keep them 24 inches from the wall and 24 inches apart. Try to avoid placing wall washers near doors where they can glare into the eyes of people entering the dining room.
Q) How can I use wall grazing effectively in my dining room?
A) Wall grazing provides dramatic illumination by lighting polished surfaces, such as marble, without distracting reflections and revealing textures of special materials, such as the brick and stone used in fireplaces. Generally speaking, wall grazing is uneven, bright, and scalloped at the top of the wall. To create the most dramatic effects, try using PAR halogen lamps in small aperture downlights, with the downlights located no more than 12 inches from the wall and separated by the same distance.
Q) Where should I mount cabinet lights?
A) In general, cabinet lights should be mounted somewhere between two imaginary lines representing the front one-fourth of the depth and one-half of the depth of the cabinet. This allows the light to easily illuminate objects below.
Q) Why do I need a dimming system in my dining room?
A) A dimming system is essential to create the perfect ambiance in your dining room. Dimmers not only conserve energy and increase lamp life, but they allow you to vary the mood of the dining room and adjust the level of light to suit different activities. With a dimming system, your dining room can quickly change from a romantic, intimate setting to an inviting setting for a large family meal.
Q) What type of lamps should I use in my dining room?
A) We do not recommend using fluorescent lighting in your dining room, except when used as dimmable indirect light. Instead, low voltage halogen or xenon lighting will produce crisp, white light with excellent color rendering capabilities. Low voltage halogen lamps will make crystal, cut glass, polished surfaces, and jewelry sparkle.