By Nicole Maddox
Choosing the lighting type and style for your decor is hard enough, but making sure the size of your lighting fixture is right for your room is an important factor in bringing it all together.
Although there are some rules to determining size, they are not hard fast, stringent rules, as other factors apply to choosing the right size and height to hang your ceiling fixture.
One popular rule that designers and decorators use for hanging fixtures over tables is start by measuring the diameter or width of the table. Then select a fixture that measures half of the total diameter or width of the table top. For example, if you have a table that measures 64” in diameter, you will look for a fixture that is 32” in diameter.
The first thing to consider when selecting a ceiling fixture, however, is the visual heaviness or weight of your selected light fixture. For example, a crystal chandelier is visually heavy and therefore will lend itself to a smaller diameter or width, while a ceiling light with thin wrought iron branches can more easily fill a larger diameter with it’s lighter feel.
The size of a fixture that will be hung over a table depends on the table and not the room size. This is the case when it comes to the hanging height over a table as well. Lights hung over tables should be centered in the middle of the table (unless two fixtures are hung over an extremely long table) and the bottom of the fixture should hang at least 30” above the table.
When you are hanging a ceiling light and there is no table to help you determine the correct size, you must consider the size of the room as well as the ceiling height. The guideline to follow for hanging height is to allow 2 1/2 to 3” per foot of ceiling height. So, if you have a 12 foot ceiling, (12 ft x 2.5”) your light would hang approximately 30” from your ceiling. Lights should never hang lower than 7 feet from the floor for clearance purposes. To determine the correct width of your fixture, determine the room dimensions. Add the width of your room to the length of the room. For example, if your entry way is 8 feet wide and 14 feet long, this equals 22 feet. Convert this number to inches, and viola, this is the approximate width of the needed light fixture for this room; 22 inches.
So now that you know how to make sure the width and hanging height of a ceiling light are proportionate for your room, there is one more thing to consider when it comes to ceiling height. Understandably, if your ceiling is very high, although you may make sure that your width and hanging height are correct, if the light is too short, it will look silly. So, what to do...although common sense may be the simple answer, there is a formula or rule that is often followed in the design world for this too. The height of the actual fixture should be approximately 2 1/2” for every foot high the room is. If your room has 8 foot ceilings, the fixture height should be a minimum of 20” in height.
These tips should help you find the perfect ceiling light size for any room. For more helpful tips/information and/or to find the right lighting fixture for you, visit www.TiffanysLamps.com.