Dining room lighting ideas should be soft and warm, making mealtime pleasant and inviting for family and guests. Harsh, bright lighting is better suited to a cafeteria than a comfortable home dining space. Match your fixture to your home’s design style and add sources of ambient light to provide an alluring glow. Don’t forget dimmers, which allow you to adjust lighting to the meal, whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a family dinner for 12.
Types of Dining Room Lighting Ideas
Chandeliers – Chandeliers offer a classic look for a dining room, hanging low over the table as both a design element and a light source. If your home has older charm, consider an antique chandelier with crystal or glass droplets. Brass chandeliers are generally considered outdated. More modern chandeliers are usually made of metal with various finishes, such as antique bronze, brushed nickel or black. If you have an older brass chandelier, you can paint it to give it a new look. Many metallic paints are available in spray cans, making the job easy and quick.
Choose a chandelier that masks the light bulbs so they do not shine directly onto the table. Bare bulbs create a harsh light and can even shine in diners’ faces. Pick a chandelier with shades that face the ceiling and not the table; if your chandelier is glass or crystal, make sure the bulbs will be pointed toward the ceiling or that their light will be diffused.
Sconces and Candles – Sconces add a soft glow to your walls and are a beautiful way to bring ambient light into your dining room. They are available in many different styles to suit your decor. The flickering light of candles is another welcome addition. Choose unscented candles so nothing competes with the enticing smell of your food. In households without small children, candles make a lovely centerpiece for the dining table; otherwise, they can occupy a space on a buffet or shelf in the room.
Lamps – Using lamps on a buffet or other piece of furniture in the dining room provides another opportunity for lighting that is also a design element. It’s important for the scale of the lamps to match the scale of the furniture they occupy. Lamps that are too tall or too short will look awkward. If your furniture is spare and streamlined, an elaborate lamp will look out of place; if it is delicate and elegant, a chunky lamp won’t do. Use a critical eye to decide whether the lamp you’ve chosen is appropriate. Place a lamp on each end of the serving piece for a classic, symmetrical look.
Rope Lighting – If your room has a tray ceiling or you have art niches or other display areas in your dining room, rope lighting is a subtle and interesting way to dress up those areas. Rope lights are flexible enough to go around an arch and can be cut to fit the space.
Dining room lighting ideas reflect your style and often the style of the architecture of the home. Proper placement of dining lighting is important as well, because it needs to provide ambiance without interfering with conversation.