Building Tips

How High to Hang Pendant Lights and Chandeliers

As if choosing the perfect pendant light and chandelier isn’t hard enough, then you have to decide on how high (or low) to hang it. Do you know how long it took us to determine the length of our dining room chandelier? It’s the one in the picture above. Well, let’s just say the poor electrician got his arm workout in for that day.

As I always say, I don’t believe there are rules set in stone for design, but in desperate times like this, we kind of wish there was some book of rules…at least for things like this.

Here are a few suggestions I found along the way that may help you out. These tips will depend on the location of the fixture, how much light you need, and how large the actual pendant or chandelier may be. I have broken this down by room as I am touching on a few points to keep in mind.

Dining Room

The basic rule that I found for a chandelier above a dining table was to hang 30 to 36 inches above the dining table. Keep in mind this was referring to a room with 8-foot ceilings. In a room with higher ceilings, you would go up an additional 3 inches higher for every added foot of height. This hanging of the light fixture requires some math skills!

What did we do? Well, we took the rule into consideration and it definitely gave us a starting point. Then we ultimately did what we thought looked best. Considering how large our light was, we ended up settling at 6.5 feet off the floor or 3.5 feet above the table.

Over the Island or Bar Area

So, the same rule applies here, 30 to 36 inches above the island for an 8-foot ceiling. Always keep in mind you want the lights to be low enough to allow you to see when preparing food. You have to tinker with them some in order to get them to a height you feel comfortable enough at seeing, but yet not too low.

If you are like us, we gather around the island to eat, prepare food, or just chat and you do not want a light fixture hanging in the middle of a conversation. Can we say very annoying!

Living Room/Bedroom

The standard height for hanging a chandelier in the middle of a bedroom is seven feet high. I’m glad I’m just now finding this one out. Not to say I followed this rule even on our new build, but again, it was a good starting place. Keep in mind, if hanging directly over a bed, you can go a little lower.

Another place in the bedroom where pendant lights are sometimes hung is above the nightstands. Stylish little pendants look great hung from the ceiling. Always try and hang at least 28 to 32 inches above the table to allow some room for decor items or your favorite book.

Foyer

Hanging a chandelier in a foyer area depends upon the ceiling height. For a normal one floor story that is 9-12 feet high, the bottom of the chandelier should be no closer than 7 ft 6 inches from the floor.

In a two-story foyer area, the bottom of the light fixture should be in line with the second story. I also think this will depend on how large the light fixture is. In my opinion, if the fixture is large, you can go somewhat higher on the hanging height.

Hallway

Hanging pendant lights in the hallway is one of my favorite looks. Too bad we didn’t incorporate this into our new home. It’s just so hard to plan out every area in such detail. For hanging pendant lights in a hallway, I would follow the same as the foyer if it is a 9-foot ceiling. Adjusting accordingly depending upon the lower or higher ceiling height. Keep in mind the hallway is a high traffic area that will need to be usable and not hitting our heads on lighting fixtures.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Anita

    I’m so excited to see your new house and all your wonderful ideas. Can you tell me what type of wood was used on the beams and the stain used.

    February 14, 2020 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply Brooke

    Hello Anita!
    We used red oak and driftwood stain by Olympic. I hope this helps.

    February 17, 2020 at 3:04 pm
  • Reply Kattya Lynch

    Your house is stunning – what ceiling height did you go with in the kitchen?

    April 17, 2020 at 11:36 pm
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