How do I know what size ceiling fixtures to buy & at what height do I install them?
So you are ready to purchase and install a great new ceiling fixture, but you don’t know the proper size to buy and where to hang it! Here are some very general rules about ceiling lighting. While they are just basic guidelines, I find them super helpful.
Sizing–WIDTH of Ceiling Fixture
For ceiling fixtures in a room:
In general, take the width and the length of the room in feet, add those two lengths together and convert to inches. That is the basic size fixture you should purchase for the space. For example, a living room that is 15′-0″ x 12′-0″ = 27′-0″ So your ceiling fixture should be approximately 27″ in width. Of course, rules are meant to be broken as in several of the delightful examples below:
For ceiling fixtures above a table or island:
General rule for ONE fixture: 12″ narrower than the width of the table OR 1/2 the width of the table (or 1/2 the diameter). For example, a dining room table that is 4′-0″ in width (width being the SHORT side) means your light fixture could be between 24″-36″ wide and still look great! I think it is better for the fixture to be too big than too small, but that’s just my opinion!!
General rule for 2 fixtures: 1/3 the width of the table or island
Sizing–Height of fixture–How tall can/should my light fixture be?
Approximately 2 1/2″-3″ per foot of ceiling height. For example, an 11 foot ceiling could handle a light fixture with the length(height) of 22.5″-33″
How far from the table or finished floor do I hang aforementioned fixtures?
Above an eating surface: 25″-30″
Above the floor: 7′-0″ (84″) OR around 7′-6″ (90″) for taller ceilings
They say lighting is like the jewelry for a room–with that being said, these general rules along with a little eyeballing & guestimating, make for the perfectly dressed space!