If you live in a small house or apartment, you likely don’t have room for big, traditional dining room lights. Luckily, there are several ways to improve the lighting in your small dining room without using actual ceiling lights. Here are best Small dining room lighting ideas that will help brighten up your small dining room while also adding style and personality to the space.
20+ Small dining room lighting ideas
Start With Your Centerpiece: the Chandelier
There are many different types of lighting that can be used for dining rooms, but a chandelier is usually an eye-catching centerpiece and a nice way to draw people’s attention to your table. If you already have a chandelier or plan on purchasing one, see if it can be put up closer so that it will hang just above your table. This way, everyone who sits at your table will have plenty of light shining down on them and giving off soft shadows under their eyes.
Candles are a cheap and easy way to add light and ambiance to any space. In small dining rooms, candles can make even one bright lamp unnecessary. For larger rooms, candles provide an intimate atmosphere that even bolder lighting doesn’t quite create.
Get Hung Up
All dining lights should hang about 30 inches above the surface of the table (no need for face-to-light contact with a tall uncle). You’ll want keep in mind suspension length when choosing a fixture.
Create an Atmosphere
For a darker, moodier tone in your dining room lighting, consider a dual-function light fixture. Look for one that provides soft, diffuse ambient light with enough glow that the room is functionally lit, but also enough direct down light so that the table is illuminated for eating.
Keep it in the Family
In a small space, a tight grouping of pendants from the same design family, but in slightly different shapes, gives an appealing visual impact while not taking up a lot of room. By hanging them close together they appear as one fixture, rather than a series of varying ones. Look for metal tones or other features that complement your existing decor, but don’t overwhelm it.
Simple and Stylish
Modern minimalistic dining rooms match up well with similarly streamlined lighting fixtures. A simple globe pendant lamp provides a wide swath of glowing light without adding extra detail and fuss. Complement that circular shape with a similarly round table and curved chairs.
Create a point of focus with a captivating pendant
Hanging a single statement pendant light centrally over the dining table helps to create a point of focus, to draw the eye to the main area within the room – the table. This works well in both large and small dining rooms.
Whether you use that table for mealtimes, homework or your day job, a main overhead light will be your friend. Having a central source of light helps to anchor the room around it and it will determine furniture placement.
Add floor standing and table lamps on sideboards to add accents to create ambience, to be flicked on as and when needed
Keep it simple with spotlights
By day, this table benefits from the rays of natural daylight streaming in from the skylight above and bouncing off the walls in this white kitchen.
At night, spotlights installed around the roof lantern will make it bright enough to dine at. Choose dimmable spotlights to have further control of the light levels to determine the kind of atmosphere you want for the dinner setting.
Suspend a run of pendants
Take a tip from many a gastropub and get your electrician to install a series of pendant lights along the length of your table. It will give even lighting, and is a good way to go if you regularly host dinner parties.
For a contemporary look, opt for colourful flex cords and bare industrial-style bulbs.
Change the mood with rise-and-fall lighting
No space for table lamps? You can switch the atmosphere using a rise-and-fall light. As the name suggests, it can be lowered and raised on a whim. Keep it low to the table for intimacy and high up for a brighter feel. Installing a smart design, like the one in this white dining room, will give you the flexibility you need to adapt the space to suit multiple purposes in an instant.
Add accent lighting with lamps
In a living room, you wouldn’t think twice about adding a couple of table or floor lamps. Turn the ‘big light’ off and you can use them to create a more relaxing mood when you’re watching a movie or curling up with your Kindle. So why not do the same in your dining room?
A pair of lamps – one on a sideboard and perhaps one on a tall lamp table – will create just the right ambience for a romantic dinner for two, or relaxed after-dinner chat amongst friends
Position a floor lamp for directional light
If you don’t have a sideboard to place a lamp on why not choose a floor lamp instead? One like this arched design to spill a pool of light directly onto the dining table.
A floor standing lamp in the corner of the room can also add ambient lighting, allowing the overhead lights to be dimmed or turned off altogether for a more intimate dining occasion. Welcome candlelight to the table to enhance the atmosphere.
Add a pop of coordinating colour
You can really establish an existing colour scheme by hanging a pendant in a coordinating colour. Enamel designs like this come in all the shades of the rainbow, so you’re sure to find one that’s exactly right.
Up the ante with an Anglepoise-style lamp on a nearby sideboard. Though they’re typically used on a desk, they’ll work well in a dining room, since you can angle the bulb differently depending on the mood you’re trying to create.
Stagger heights and sizes to make a statement
Break with the norm and add a decorative twist to the design rule of three (using the uneven number for displays, to avoid stark symmetry).
Use three lights, use the same lights even, but add interest by choosing to stagger the display, with different heights and sizes. You can of course buy lights that welcome the look, but this idea allows you to be flexible with exactly where you place each one.
Captivate with a cascading cluster design
To create a real talking point choose a statement overhead light that is sure to start a conversation, such as this striking design with cascading lustrous glass droplets. Not only does the cluster provide a style statement for the overall aesthetic it also adds light on many different levels to create a central focus of interest. Be sure to position a show-stopper light in the middle of your your dining scheme to avoid it throwing the rest of the room off balance.
Pick an oversized pendant
Chandeliers are great for adding impact, but they’re not for everyone – or, indeed, every look. Another route is to choose an oversized pendant. Changing a pendant shade is an easy and affordable way to change the decor. No need for an electrician for this simple job!
This idea will create a more subtle statement, and you have more freedom to choose a material that works with the rest of the room.
Here, a woven design is the perfect match for a smart country scheme achieved with greyish oak furniture and a vintage-inspired dining room wallpaper idea.
Cast a glow with a coloured shade
Jazz up your existing lighting solution by simply changing the shade. Swap your standard drum shade for a coloured glass or acrylic design which will add a fun element to the decor when the light is on, omitting a glow of colour to the surround ceiling and walls.
Be daring and choose a shade in a strong colour that will dissipate the light further when it’s dark, and add colour by day
Mix and match pattern
A sociable dining area is a great place to have fun with pattern – and may encourage the family to sit at the table for dinner. Pick a colour, then clash patterns – as long as they’re the same tone, you’re guaranteed success. However, you may want to stick with a theme for your fabrics – like floral.
Buy a drum lampshade-making kit and you can make your own in a material you love. It’s a surprisingly easy budget dining room ideas
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What light is best for dining table?
The best light for a dining table depends on whether you’re looking for overhead lighting or task lighting. In most cases, a chandelier or ceiling fixture will provide better overhead light than a table lamp. Task lighting is usually best suited for tabletops; try using one of these six clever solutions
1- take a look at whether your dining room has a ceiling fan. Not only will you be able to turn off overhead lighting for large portions of your meal, but it also serves as great air circulation and mood lighting (ceiling fans are some of my favorite smart home additions). Just make sure you have a dimmer switch; otherwise, you can accidentally flash all your dinner guests when reaching for salt.
2- If you don’t have access to a ceiling fan, try using pendant lights. Pendants can act as both overhead lighting and task lighting; place them over your dining table or elsewhere in your room. They come in a variety of styles and materials, so you should find one that matches your decor (i.e., if you have an industrial vibe, you might want to opt for something raw and rustic). When it comes to buying new pendants, think about what kind of bulbs (and size) work best for your space. Although Edison bulbs look great in old converted factories, they likely won’t fit on most ceilings due to their size. For most small dining rooms, you’ll likely be able to use standard incandescent lightbulbs without any problems.
3- If you have limited space and no ceiling fan, try installing a strip of recessed lighting along your wall. In addition to adding task lighting, it also serves as ambient lighting that can help set a mood. For instance, if you’re having a candlelit dinner with someone special, you might want lower-powered lights so that guests don’t accidentally set their hair on fire.
4- If you’re lacking overhead lighting, try plugging in a lamp. A lamp can be used as both overhead and task lighting; make sure you get one with a dimmer switch.
5- If you’re looking for a creative solution, try placing mirrors on walls opposite your windows. This will create ambient light and make your room appear larger.
6- If you want some ambient lighting but don’t have enough plug sockets, consider using a string of Christmas lights. If you’re thinking about going down that route, I recommend getting LED lights; they’ll last longer and won’t cost as much to power as traditional bulbs.
How do you light up a dining room?
1- Install indirect lighting underneath your chandelier. This type of lighting will make your space seem larger, as well as provide ample lighting for those eating there. Or, place a mirror in front of an existing light source; it will bounce light around and add more brightness to your dining room. (This is a great tip for small bathrooms too!)
2- Another great tip for smaller dining rooms is to create an illusion of space by using a light color on your walls. Darker colors tend to make spaces look smaller, while lighter shades make them appear larger. (You can even paint your walls white!) 3- Bring more light into your dining room by choosing clear glass or tinted glass for light fixtures; other forms of lighting are best suited for ceiling lighting.
3- Bring more light into your dining room by choosing clear glass or tinted glass for light fixtures; other forms of lighting are best suited for ceiling lighting.
4- An easy way to brighten up a space is with mirrors! Even if you only have one small wall, a mirror can make it seem larger than it is.
5- If you have an open floor plan and want to separate your dining room from other areas of your home, use curtains instead of walls.
5- If you have an open floor plan and want to separate your dining room from other areas of your home, use curtains instead of walls.
6- Use lighting that emphasizes your favorite parts of a room. (You may not have space for a large chandelier, but you could place one over your table!)
7- Place lighting fixtures on or near windows so they provide illumination while still giving a sense of outside space.
How big should a light be over a dining room table?
When choosing a light fixture for your dining room, you have to take its size into account. It needs to be large enough so that it casts enough light on your table and brightens up your whole room. A good rule of thumb is that it should illuminate everything from at least one end of the table to another, which means having at least a 30 ceiling clearance above your table.
Do you need a light over a dining table?
A light fixture is one of those design features that can add a unique touch to your dining room, but it may not be necessary in a small space. If you’re working with an especially small dining room, consider lighting other elements in addition to or instead of overhead lighting. Table lamps or accent lighting can provide some ambient and task-based lighting without taking up too much space. You can also get creative with ceiling beams and chandeliers.
How bright should a dining room light be?
In order to get a more accurate picture of how much light you’ll need, take into account that fluorescent bulbs are generally brighter than incandescent bulbs. This means if you have an old fixture with incandescent bulbs, but want something brighter, a fixture with fluorescent bulbs may be a good fit. Alternatively, if you have an older fixture that doesn’t produce enough light for your dining room at night, upgrading it to new energy-efficient lights will provide ample illumination.
Should dining room lights point up or down?
To set a mood, look for fixtures that provide up-light. Down-lights are best used as task lighting and should be placed on each side of your table. Also, make sure your dining room is outfitted with at least three light sources—this ensures that no matter where you sit, you’ll be able to see.
Where do you put can lights in a dining room?
It’s easy to install a chandelier over your dining room table, but that fixture is going to drown out all other light in that room. If you put lights under your table and use a dimmer switch, you can create an intimate atmosphere without blinding anyone.
How many lumens do I need for a dining room table?
Unfortunately, there’s no cut-and-dry answer to that question. So what do you do? First of all, take a look at your table—the color of its wood and other materials, for example. This will tell you what sort of lighting is best for it. If your dining room table has a lot of dark wood or metal elements, consider halogen or incandescent light bulbs; both are capable of creating warm ambient light in a wide range of tones and temperatures.
What kind of lightbulb do I need for a dining room chandelier?
Before shopping for a lightbulb for your dining room chandelier, consider your bulb type: While incandescent bulbs were once considered standard, most experts recommend energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) instead. This small change can save you money while producing only 70 percent of the heat of an incandescent bulb.
How low should light be over dining?
When deciding where and how to add lighting fixtures, your dining room ceiling should be your guide. Most experts agree that lights in a dining room should be about 36 off of the tabletop—any lower, and people may bump their heads; any higher, and guests will have a hard time reading menus. This can be accomplished with either recessed lighting or uplights mounted on a chandelier or pendant light.
Does dining room table have to be centered under light?
Most dining room tables are centered under chandeliers or pendant lighting fixtures. However, you might want to explore other options like recessed lights or track lighting that can make your small space feel more spacious and bright. This is a good choice for homes with many windows. But if there are few windows around your table, hanging lights on walls will surely create a stunning effect—whether they’re hanging over the entire length of one wall or individual light fixtures per person.
Can you put a round chandelier over a rectangle table?
If you’re short on space, there’s no need to banish your dining room table from your small dining room. With a few creative solutions, you can make any space work—even if it has a specific design requirement like an unusual table shape. Of course, not all round tables will work with every type of chandelier; for example, a drum-style chandelier may not look right over a long rectangular table.
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