75 Dining Room Lighting Ideas
You don’t need to patronize a 5-star restaurant to enjoy a luxury meal!
The perfect dining experience is all about atmosphere. You can create that atmosphere at home if you have the right lighting.
Your dining room lighting plays a bigger role than you realize. But it’s not just about choosing the right light bulbs. The lighting fixture itself is just as important.
Check out these stylish dining room lighting ideas that will have you seeing home cooking in a new light — no pun intended!
Forget about owning a dining room that’s overly formal or stuffy. If you naturally gravitate toward relaxed, Bohemian decor, nothing is stopping you from adopting this same aesthetic for your dining room lighting.
Look for a chandelier or pendant light made of soft, organic materials like woven bamboo, wicker, linen, or even dried grass. These fixtures can come in all shapes and sizes, so you’re guaranteed to find a design that suits your dining area.
Another staple of Bohemian dining room lighting is exposed light bulbs. You can even give your ceiling light a vintage touch by swapping out traditional bulbs for eccentric Edison-style ones.
Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy the look of candles without the upkeep or inherent safety risk? Plenty of homeowners feel the same way, hence the emergence of light fixtures that mimic the appearance of real candles.
Chandeliers modeled after candle holders — or candelabras — come in nearly every style imaginable. You can choose from rustic dining room lighting made of cast iron or more elegant designs featuring polished metal or natural wood.
If you want your new light fixture to truly resemble real candles, be sure to invest in warm light bulbs. Install a dimmer switch in your dining room for the perfect ambient lighting.
Amateur designers often struggle to give their homes the “wow factor” they crave. But installing a jaw-dropping chandelier in your dining room is an excellent way to add drama to an otherwise simple space.
Simplicity really is the secret to pulling off a dramatic light fixture or another statement piece. Opt for minimal decor throughout the rest of your dining room. Use recessed lighting to supplement your main fixture as needed — nothing should compete with the main attraction!
Keep in mind that dramatic does not always equal big. Any of these lighting ideas can be scaled down to fit a small dining room without losing much (if any) visual impact.
Maintaining a formal dining room isn’t just about keeping up appearances. There’s truly no better place to welcome friends and family into your home for a nice meal and good company.
When putting together your elegant dining room design, take the time to step back and look at the big picture. Draw connections to your chandelier or ceiling lamp with coordinating details spread sparsely throughout the room.
Elegant lighting should be stylish and ornate but not draw attention away from the room as a whole. Look for light fixtures featuring clean shapes and neutral finishes like glass or metal. Complement large hanging fixtures with a filled vase or potted plant as a table centerpiece.
Over a dining table is the ideal place to install hanging light fixtures. You get all the beauty and intrigue of these classic fixtures without the risk of bumped heads or broken light bulbs.
Pendant lights can be hung alone or as a matching set. Some fixtures include several pendant lights suspended from a single outlet. Or you can design your own by installing a row of pendant lights over your dining room table or breakfast bar.
If your dining room features a lofted ceiling, hung lighting will help fill the visual space over your table and chairs. In the opposite scenario, the right pendant lamp can create the illusion of taller ceilings.
Industrial decor is largely defined by the use of raw or exposed materials like brick walls, visible ductwork, and structural beams. It often overlaps with rustic or urban interior decor.
You can evoke an industrial aesthetic in your own home by installing light fixtures with exposed wiring and naked bulbs. If you’re not sure where to start, look for inspiration in old converted factories and warehouses.
Avoid intricate fixtures in favor of streamlined pendant lighting. A Sputnik chandelier fitted with Edison bulbs will also give your dining room design an industrial edge without sacrificing all traces of elegance.
Modern decor is largely based on what people thought the future would look like in the 20th century. Today’s modern light fixtures feature clean lines and are typically made of materials like metal and glass.
Keep in mind that modern design is closely related to minimalism. Modern dining room lighting should be as simple as possible without sacrificing visual appeal. As long as it doesn’t interfere with the space’s usability, doing the unexpected is a great way to give your decor a modern twist.
If you’re attracted to the more avant-garde side of modernism, play around with dining room lighting ideas that “break the rules.” Hang multiple pendant lights at varying heights or mount a chandelier directly above your table.
The terms pendant and chandelier are often used interchangeably. While chandeliers feature multiple light bulbs as part of a single unit, pendant fixtures contain just one bulb each.
Despite only holding a single light bulb, a large pendant can be just as dramatic as a crystal chandelier. Don’t let the simplicity of this style of lighting fixture fool you!
With that said, you can absolutely hang more than one mini pendant light in a single room. Many dining rooms utilize two or three matching fixtures directly over the table. Multiple hanging fixtures can eliminate the need for additional accent lighting throughout the space.
Rustic design is one of the biggest home decor movements of the past decade. As such, there’s no shortage of contemporary dining room lighting trends with a rustic twist.
In rustic design, nothing is more important than the materials. Nearly any light fixture can look rustic if it’s made of cast iron, reclaimed wood, rope, or dried foliage. If you want a chandelier that will really turn heads, you can even hang a fixture made of shed antlers.
With that said, there are some lamp styles that are inherently rustic. Lantern-shaped pendant lights are a great option for any rustic dining space. The same is true for candle lights and Edison bulbs.
Vintage decor will never go out of style. No matter how great contemporary design is, there will always be something special about homes from the past. Swapping out your dining room light fixture is the perfect way to add a bit of antique charm to your living space.
If your entire dining room is inspired by a specific era, be sure to stick with this aesthetic in your light fixtures. But if your dining furniture is neutral, you can install any vintage lighting as an accent piece.
Replicating vintage dining room lighting ideas can be easier said than done. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to DIY your dream dining room chandelier if all else fails!
Dining Room Lighting FAQs
If your ceiling is 8 feet or lower, a hanging chandelier or pendant light fixture should be between 30 and 36 inches above the dining room table’s surface. Raise the fixture 3 inches for every extra foot of ceiling clearance.
Remember to measure the distance from the fixture’s lowest point to the tabletop below.
Dimmable lighting is extremely popular, especially in formal areas like the dining room. If you want to install a dimmer switch in your own dining room, it’s important to understand what specifications your new lighting must meet.
Fortunately, nearly all light fixtures are dimmable if they feature standard wiring. The key factor is the type of light bulb used. Invest in dimmable light bulbs to take advantage of this customizable mood lighting.