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Chandelier Lighting: Bright Light, Right Light

How To Measure For A Chandelier

Chandelier Drawing with hanging crystals

With the holiday closing in once again, perhaps you are thinking about your dining room decor. Does that old chandelier look wrong? Is it too small? Too large? Does Uncle Pete hit his head every time he stands up? It might be time to replace it with one that is the proper size. BONUS: When a chandelier is properly sized, it usually results in providing the right amount of light for the space.

Here are the quick and easy ways to pre-measure before you buy a new chandelier for your dining room. TIP: Always use the maximum wattage recommended by the manufacturer, then use a dimmer switch to simply adjust the brightness according to the occasion.

Option A:

Sparkle 1: Measure the Width + Length of the room in feet (for example, 11 ft. wide plus 14 ft long = 25 ft)

Sparkle 2: Take this measurement and change it into inches (there is no math to do, i.e., 25 ft becomes 25 inches) Voila! This is the correct width of the chandelier for the space. 

Tip for Option A: You can also use this method when not hanging a light over a table, but you must consider the ceiling height for head clearance. It would be embarrassing if cousin Patty's ponytail got caught on the hanging crystals and worse if a guest gets knocked out! If you are tight on height and want to use a chandelier, consider a semi-flush mounting instead of hanging from a chain -- this can save inches.

Option B:

Sparkle 1: Measure the width of the table

Sparkle 2: Subtract 6 inches from each side or a total of 12 inches (for example, a 48 inch table minus 12 inches = 36 inches) Voila! The perfect size for your dining room table.

Sparkle 3: Measure UP from the table to hang the 36 inch wide chandelier so that the arms of the bottom level of lights hang 30 - 33 inches above the table; do not use the center bottom drop/crystal or it will be hung too high. Note: The picture above depicts a typical chandelier shape with the candlestick arms as the bottom level, and the obvious lowest hanging center crystal. Sitting down as if at the table helps to judge the exact hanging height within the 3 inch allowance; remember to consider where the applied crystals (if any) will hang. Also, think about your centerpieces, candlesticks, etc., before deciding.

Good luck and happy chandelier hunting. Hope these tips help your holiday table sparkle bright light with the right light!

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Luci Weston

@Andrea: Good! Glad the formula worked for you. Soon I'll be covering "medallions."

Andrea Evans

Absolutely! This Chandelier light best suits my dining room and drawing room.

Luci Weston

@Joe F.: LOL! Oops, I wasn't thinking of you when I wrote that...

Ladies, I stand corrected. If Joe F. comes to your house, you can totally trust his suggestions!

Joe F.

Hey Luci, That hurts. I think You've taken advice from me from time to time. Joe F.

Luci Weston

@Sue S.: Thank you! We are trying every day to help our community of busy women.

LOL! Ladies, don't listen to workmen about design...they usually suggest what makes their job easiest! Tell them what you want.

@Staci: You, too! The Mom Squad offered quite a lot of popular tips this past year. Thanks!

@Rivergirl: Thx. Glad you can use it. Knowing the right size helps so much when you shop for the chandelier...especially if you are shopping on-line. It saves you a lot of time when you can narrow down the selection by size.


That's a fantastic tip...
I'm going to use option A as soon as I can convince my husband we need a new light. (o;


What great info, Luci!!! Thanks for all the great ideas that you share! I am going to measure my chandelier right now.

Sue S.

Congratulations on your first successful year with your new website. I have enjoyed reading all the interesting articles and ideas. Kudos to you for starting something new and being successful in such a short period of time!

This Chandelier entry is exactly what I am talking about, really useful info. I just measured mine and it is hung to high. That's the last time I listen to some electrician.

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