What's the right length for a ceiling light?

02 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Choosing a chandelier or ceiling is a decision you only make a handful of times in your life so it's important that you get it right. Once you settle on style and scale, the next big decision is height.


How high off the table should my chandelier hang?


How low should my light hang?


Whats the right height for a dining room?


Everyone has different ceiling heights so there is no “standard” length for a fixture. Instead there are useful guidelines that will help you make an educated decision.


First things first.


Take your measurements.


Measure floor to ceiling to establish an overall height and write it down. Then measure you table, top to bottom. These two measurements are going to help establish the height you need to hang your chandelier. It's recommended that you hang your fixture 32-34” off the table. This allows you to see across the table while providing ample room light and a good look.


The formula to establish the right height is this:


Ceiling Height – Table Height – Off the Table Height = Chandelier Length


If your ceiling height is 9' ( 108”), your table is 30” and you want to hang it 32” off the table here's what it will look like


108”(ceiling height)- 30” (table height)- 32”(OTH) = 46” Total Length


1920s 4 light pan over a dining table



Hallway and Room


7' of clearance is the recommended clearance height with any hallway or ceiling light as you never know when your going to be hosting a cocktail party for retired NBA players. Kidding. Well about the cocktail party anyways. Seriously, 7' is the recommended clearance for the sole reason that it doesn't interfere with doorways and looks good in proportion to 9'-10' ceilings. If you have 8' ceilings, you can cheat it a bit by having 6'10” of clearance or a bit lower if there is no door or lumbering giants nearby.

Lantern hangs just above the door frame


With bedrooms or living rooms, you may find you have more play with the length if the light is anchored over a bed, sofa or there is no walk through traffic underneath. A couple of inches can make a big difference when it comes to more decorative lighting where form is just as valuable as function.


Kitchen Island and Pendant Lighting


Getting the right height for pendant lighting over an island is essential as it serves both form and function. Too low and your staring into them while trying to have a conversation. Too high and they are spotlights interrogating you and your meal choices.


We like to use 36” off the counter as the recommended island height as the pendants sit just above eye level and provide great light without seeing the light bulbs. There is always a 2-4” variance in the measurement depending on the light you choose but 36” is the benchmark. Much like the dining room light, you can use the following formula.


Ceiling Height – Kitchen Island Height – Off the Island Height = Pendant Length


Most islands are approximately 36” tall but its best to take your measurements so that everything is exact.

Pendants 36" off the counter top


Unlike “out of the box” lighting shops, all of our lighting can be altered and adjusted to suit your space. Whether its lengthening or shortening a dining room light, flush mounting a fixture for a hall or making pendant lighting over an island........we believe in getting it right so it looks perfect.











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