Most homeowners underestimate the importance of measurements when choosing ceiling light fixtures. Unfortunately, one wrong measurement can be enough to disrupt the whole look of a space in your Carmel home. A skilled interior designer will look for the sweet spot between too big and too small, this way, the ceiling fixture is neither overpowering nor inadequate for the floor area and ceiling height of the room.
Choosing between ceiling lights such as flushmount fixtures, pendants, and chandeliers doesn’t have to be a painful and confusing undertaking. Prepare your tape measure and read the following tips.
1. Scale (Diameter and Height)
To find the right diameter of a light fixture for a given space, measure the room’s floor area and find the sum of the width and length.
- For example, if your room measures 12 feet by 14 feet, you will have 26 feet.
- Next, turn that value into inches. So, 26 feet becomes 26 inches.
This number shall be your guide for choosing the ideal diameter of ceiling light.
To get the right height or of a light fixture, take the height of the room and multiply it by 2.5 to 3 inches per foot.
- For example, if your ceiling is 8 feet tall, multiply that number with 2.5 inches or 3 inches to get 20 and 24 feet, respectively.
- Next, turn that value into inches. In this case, you would have 20 and 24 inches. This figure is your ideal ceiling light height.
2. Clearance (How Low Light Fixtures Can Hang)
Depending on the placement of the ceiling light and the room’s size, a fixture’s hanging length can be just as important as its actual dimensions. If you’re lucky to have high ceilings, you can choose low-hanging ceiling lights such as pendant lights and chandeliers. For 8-foot ceilings, however, you should consider a low-profile fixture like a flushmount light to maintain a safe clearance.
Remember, the rule of thumb is to provide at least a 7-foot clearance from the floor to the bottom of the light fixture.
3. Spacing (Hang Lighting Fixtures Over Things)
The spacing between and around light fixtures is also important, especially when you factor in furniture and other details in the room, such as tables, kitchen islands, and appliances among others.
If you want to hang your ceiling lights over a table, consider the table’s size and shape.
- Oval tables and long rectangular tables work great with multi-light pendants or linear suspensions.
- Round and square tables can blend with chandeliers and single pendant that are placed over the middle of the table. A round canopy multi-light is another great option for drama.
Hang the fixture between 28 and 36 inches from the bottom of the fixture to the tabletop. The width or length of the table should also be at least 1 foot (or 6 inches smaller) than the total length of the table.
For lights above kitchen islands, mini pendants, and pendants are perfect for the job. Just be sure to have equal spacing between each pendant when using multiple fixtures. Keep the fixtures inside the island—avoid spacing them too far that they hang outside the island.
Keep these tips in mind when choosing your ceiling lights. When in doubt, talk to a lighting designer to get the best results.