Lighting Tips for your Dining Room

In the next of our series on lighting, Jill Connor of gives tips on lighting your dinning room.

The primary focus of dining room lighting is the table, and fixtures placed directly above the table may provide both ambient and task lighting for this room. Dimmers are particularly desirable as they provide flexibility in establishing a relaxing atmosphere when entertaining. An important consideration in a dining room that has French doors is to light something outside the doors so that people using the dining room at night have a focal point beyond their reflection in the glass doors. “Light one element outdoors and you have a simple solution to the problem of glass reflection in a room at night,” says lighting designer Lana Nathe.

Another consideration when lighting a dining room is to consider the wall treatment, as dining rooms often have decorative paint treatments or wallpapers. A darker color paint on the walls will reflect less light, so more lumens may be required in the room’s light fixtures.

A traditional lighting plan for a dining room consists of a chandelier above the table, plus a pair of wall sconces flanking a prominent breakfront or sideboard, with all lighting on a dimmer. An upgraded lighting plan might include cove lighting on two opposing walls and a dimmable chandelier over the table.

Lumens: Ambient and task lighting combined in a dining room should be 3,000-6,000 lumens.