Modern Dining Room Lighting

Learn More About Dining Room Lighting

Dining Room Lighting for the Home

Whether the dining room is elegant and formal or cozy and friendly, modern dining room lighting fixtures can be used to complete the ambiance. The dining room is where friends and family gather, making it a central hub in the home. Generally speaking, install linear suspension fixtures over rectangular tables and circular fixtures over the square and round tables. When it comes down to it, though, there’s so much more to consider. Ceiling lights are best for general, overhead lighting, while wall sconces and pendant lights are best for layering. Contemporary lighting design has no rules, and that rings just as true for dining room light fixtures as it does for kitchen and bathroom lights. For more ideas and advice for the dining room, check out our dining room lighting guide.

Popular Styles of Dining Room Light Fixtures

Transitional dining room lighting walks the fine, but timeless, line between traditional and modern decor, making it perfect for a variety of different home styles. Nautical dining room lighting takes advantage of all the comforting aspects of nautical decor, with ropes, vintage-looking metals and warm tones. Mid-Century Modern dining room lighting brings a simple touch to the room with a look that first emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. Conversely, if looking for a grander and more elaborate look, consider Art Deco dining room lighting, a signature style from the 1920s and 1930s.

Dining Room Lighting Options


A well-positioned chandelier over a dining room table will create a statement and command presence as it elevates the décor. Chandeliers are often larger, elaborate pieces not suitable for every room size, but if they can be used they are certain to be the focus of the room.

Pendant Lights

A pendant light takes a simpler approach to lighting displays that hang from the ceiling. Versatile as a single piece or in a linear arrangement, pendants can effectively light the length of a dining room table and other parts of the dining room as well.

Linear Suspension

A linear suspension is designed to span a length and work particular well over a dining room table. Typically containing a rectangular frame within which several lighting fixtures are mounted, linear suspensions are ideal for dining room lighting.

Flush and Semi-Flush Mounts

Designed to provide light while saving space, flush and semi-flush mounts attach directly to the ceiling and lower slightly, creating a bright indirect glow into the space below. This type of lighting is best when used as an accent light in dining rooms.

Wall Sconces

A versatile piece for a variety of rooms,wall sconces come in several shapes, styles and sizes and mount to the wall, bringing an array of warm accent light to the surrounding room.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dining Room Lighting Fixtures

Should Dining Room Lights Point Up or Down?

This will depend on exactly what dining room lighting fixture you’re discussing. Over-the-table lighting should always point down, but if you have a piece of artwork or interesting architectural feature that you want to show off, a wall sconce that directs light upwards is the best option.

How Far Above the Table Should a Dining Room Light be?

All dining lights should hang about 30 inches above the surface of the table. This is high enough to stay out of the way of conversations, but low enough to appreciate the style. Because of this, you'll want to keep in mind suspension length when choosing a fixture.

How Many Lumens do You Need for a Dining Room?

Dining room lighting can be tricky because you want the light to be bright enough to see your food and surrounding friendly faces, but you also don’t want a light that’s so bright that it feels like a school cafeteria rather than a cozy dinner. We recommend having somewhere between 3,500 and 4,500 total lumens in your dining room.