what height should light be over dining table

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What Height Should Light be Over Dining Table?

When it comes to lighting, especially over the dining table, it is essential to get it right. Proper lighting can make a significant difference in creating the right ambiance, making your dining experience more enjoyable. However, one of the first dilemmas you may face when considering dining table lighting is what height it should be set at. Here is a guide to help you determine the ideal height for your dining table lighting.

Factors to Consider

Before installing lighting over the dining table, several factors should be considered, including the shape, size, and height of the table, as well as the height of the ceiling. Ideally, the lighting should be positioned at a height that provides the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics. The lighting should be neither too high nor too low, as both can be a nuisance. Too high can make the room feel cold and uncomfortable, while too low can obstruct the view and hinder movement around the table.

The Ideal Height for Pendant Light

The most popular type of lighting for dining rooms is pendant lighting. Pendant lights are great as they provide focused light over the table, create the perfect ambiance to any space, and add a touch of elegance to the setup. When choosing the height of your pendant light over the table, consider the following:

  • The size of your dining table - for a small table, select a minimum of 30 inches from the table’s surface, while for a large table, you can hang the light between 36 to 40 inches from the table surface.
  • The height of the ceiling - for a low ceiling, choose a pendant light with minimum 12-14 inches above the table surface. For higher ceilings, you can increase the height accordingly.
  • Consider the style of the pendant light - Using a pendant light with adjustable height can be the best solution as it gives you full control of the height, ensuring that you can adjust it to suit your preferences.

Tips for Choosing the Right Dining Table Light

The ideal height for any dining table light will depend on many factors, as outlined above. However, here are a few tips to guide you as you shop for your dining table light:

  • Experiment with your lighting setup before you install it. You can use an adjustable light to check the appropriate height.
  • Ensure that the light dispersion is wide enough to illuminate the entire table adequately.
  • Choose a light fixture that complements your dining room theme and décor.
  • Get a dimmer switch for your dining table light. It will help you adjust the light according to your mood and create the perfect ambiance for the occasion.


In conclusion, the height of lighting over the dining table can make or break your dining experience. So, it is essential to choose the right height and light fixture that will complement your dining space and set the perfect mood for any occasion. Remember to consider the size of your table, the height of the ceiling, and the light fixture style when choosing the height of your dining table light. With these factors in mind, you can create a fabulous and functional lighting scheme for your dining room.


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