How to Light a Room

This decorating guide on how to light a room was last updated February of 2023.

One thing we can’t live without in the interior design world? Great light in every room of the home.

It’s one of the most important elements in design, and yet most homes are either drastically under-lit or so bright you could use their space as a landing strip for an airplane.

Today we want to make perfecting light in any room of your home easier than ever before: keep reading to learn some simple lighting tips to help you figure out how much light a room needs, what type of lighting you need, and how you can find the perfect balance of light in your own home!

Types of Lighting

To start, you’ll need to determine what the room you’re wanting to light is going to be used for.

There are four basic types of lighting in a home that we’ve broken down below, and this should help you understand the basics of how and why different lighting is used.

Keep in mind: Sometimes you can use more than one type of lighting in a room!

A dramatic light fixture creates a focal point in a room

1. Ambient Lighting

Ambient Lighting is considered any type of general lighting. This includes recessed lights, soffit lighting, track lighting, sconces, chandeliers, and pendant lights.

2. Task Lighting

Task Lighting is used for specific tasks such as cooking, office or school work, reading, grooming.

This type of lighting should make it easy to see the things you are working on. Some task lighting is in the form of table lamps, pendant lights or under-cabinet lighting.

3. Accent Lighting

Accent Lighting used to highlight an object or an area of architectural interest. Accent lighting is usually about three times brighter than ambient lighting.

4. Natural Lighting

This is the light that comes from the windows, doors or skylights. It can vary in brightness because of weather and time of day.

The Formula for Lighting a Room

As a general rule, there is a formula to calculate how much light you need in a room:

Room length X Room width x 1.5 = Amount of wattage to light a room

So, if you have an 18’ long room x 12’ wide room multiply times 1.5 = 324 watts, that’s how much wattage is needed to adequately light the room. You can divide that lighting into more than one source. 2 Lamps @ 150 watts each and 1 lamp @ 60 watt would be more than adequate light for the room.

Decorated Entryway

How to Light each Room of the Home

1. Add Light to a Foyer/Entry

  • Try hanging a Semi-Flush Ceiling Mount or a Chandelier in the foyer.
  • Measure the width and the depth of the foyer and add it together.
  • The diameter of the chandelier should not exceed the sum of the two numbers (10 + 15 = 25) so the Chandelier diameter should not be any wider than 25”.

We have given you the formula for figuring the wattage – so don’t forget to calculate it as well. If your foyer is small, try a pendant light, two wall sconces or even two buffet lamps on a side table for an inviting entrance.Long hallway

2. Add Light to a Hallway/Stairway

Hallways are great spots to create a special lighting moments. Use repetition in a hallway to create drama, interest, and personality.

  • Pendant lighting is a great lighting source in a stairwell. Dot several matching pendants down the hall to make a statement.
  • If a hallway is very long, be sure to have a fixture every 8 to 10 feet.
  • The most popular hallway lights are flush or semi-flush ceiling lights. Like pendants, use several down a hallway for more lighting but also dramatic effect
  • For a different look, try wall sconces that wash the walls with light for a dramatic effect. This is a great way to accent beautiful wallpaper or wall art

Lighting in the kitchen with overhead pendants and sconces

3. How to Light a Kitchen/Dining Room

Kitchens need bright general lighting as well as good task lighting. There are a lot of ways you could do this, so get ready to unleash your inner decorator!

  • If you are looking at pendants over an island, they should be about 36” above the surface of the island. Make sure the lights do no hang too close to the cabinet doors, otherwise, you may not be able to open them fully.
  • Let’s say your counter area is 60” long, and you want three pendants divide 60” by 3. So the center pendant should be at 30” then the end pendants should hang at 10” on one end and at 50″ on the opposite end.
  • For food prep try under-counter lighting. It is great task lighting.
  • If and when you install lights under your counter, make sure that you pull them forward to the front of the cabinet for maximum illumination.
  • If you have a table area or separate dining room, a chandelier (no more than ½ to ¾ the width of the table in diameter (with a maximum of 150 watt lighting capacity) should do the trick. The chandelier should be hung between 30 to 32 inches above the surface of the table. Always install a dimmer switch on high wattage chandeliers and pendants so that you can control the amount of light needed.

How to light a bathroom properly

4. How to add Light to a Bathroom or Vanity

Other than the kitchen, excellent lighting is essential for performing personal tasks in the bathroom. Whatever your style, lighting for the bathroom has become a primary part of bath design.

  • Your bath will probably require some form of overhead lighting.
  • The best way to light a vanity is with sconces above the mirror (1, 2, 3 or 4 light sconces are available). You can also mount them on either side of the mirror.
  • A good rule of thumb is to keep the size of the lighting in proportion to the size of the mirrors.
  • For that spa like quality, try a chandelier that coordinates with your vanity lighting. You can also use a ceiling mounted fixture.
  • Think about adding a dimmer switch for those times when you crave that special spa experience. It can really set the mood.

5. How to add Light to Living Areas (Living Room, Sitting Room, Etc.)

Red campaign chest in a neutral living room

Most living areas of the house require adequate lighting for reading or other tasks. In addition, some low level, glare-free lights will be needed for television viewing. To figure out how much lighting you will need in the space, follow this special lighting formula:

Room Length x Room Width x 1.5 = Amount of watts needed to light the space

This formula should help you determine how much lighting you will need in the area, but here are some other helpful decorating tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that you have adequate lighting for reading and other tasks.
  • You can use lamps that have a 3-way switch which will give you a wide range of illumination.
  • Try keeping lamps proportional to the tables they are sitting on.
  • The bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when you are seated.
  • Floor lamps are another option when table space is at a minimum.
  • There is usually some form of overhead lighting in a living area, so try keeping added lighting as a decorative accent and use a dimmer switch so you can change the mood of the room with ease.
  • If all of this seems complicated, a good rule of thumb is to have 4 lighting sources in a living room to produce adequate lighting!

6. How to add Light to a Home Office

Adequate task lighting is the key to a functional and productive office space. Here’s our favorite decorating tips for adding light to a home office:

  • Lamps are the best option to achieve good task lighting.
  • Desk lamps should be about 16” above the work surface to maximize efficiency and reduce glare.
  • If overhead lighting is needed there is recessed lighting or track lighting which will allow you to direct light in the areas that need illumination.
  • It is always a good idea to place overhead lighting on a dimmer to control the brightness, especially in a home office or work-from-home set up.

7. How to add Light to a Bedroom

Decorated Blue Bedroom

Although most of the time you spend in your bedroom will be with the lights off, it’s important to find a good balance of light to help wake up in the morning or get sleepy at night. Here’s our best bedroom lighting tips in no particular order:

  • When choosing a ceiling fixture, look for something decorative that fits the style of the bedroom. Chandeliers are very popular and look opulent in the bedroom. Don’t be afraid to go for it!
  • Whether you choose a chandelier, semi-flush or a flush mount fixture as an overhead lighting option, be sure you install a dimmer switch! It will give you options from bright light all the way to a soft, moody glow.
  • Bedside lighting is the most important choice in this room: It provides you with additional lighting for reading, moving out of bed, or searching for that lost tv remote in the middle of the night.
  • For the best illumination, bedside lamps should be no further than 12 inches away from the side of the bed.
  • Try choosing bedside lamps with three-way switches so you always have the level of light needed for reading, etc.
  • No room for a bedside lamp? Try wall mounted sconces. You can purchase either plug in or hard wire versions that look stylish and keep your bedside tables free for that stack of magazines you’ve been wanting to read.

Time to Light any Room in Your Home!

Animal Print Lampshades

As you can see, lighting is a critical and sometimes complicated part of decorating your home—but 100% worth the time it takes to find a perfect lighting balance! A few last-minute tips we didn’t include above:

  • If you choose new lighting, try to be consistent with the style and finish of the lighting.
  • If you love traditional lighting in antique bronze finish, then try to keep all fixtures traditional in style with an antique bronze finish.
  • As with any electrical changes, make sure you have a licensed electrician do the installations. Safety always comes first.

Lighting can truly make or break a space. If you are feeling that your space just isn’t working for you, look at the lighting first. Not only will proper lighting give you the ability to create a welcoming beacon, it can also create many different levels of light compatible with your lifestyle.

So, take a good look at your home, make a few small lighting changes and see what happens!

Looking for more lighting and living room inspiration? We think you’ll like these related articles:

To stay up to date with all things How to Decorate, sign up for our monthly newsletter.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Figari Group

    March 22, 2023

    Thank you for sharing me an idea about how to light a room, this is a great help to improve productivity in the office.

  2. Reply

    Karen Quealy

    May 23, 2021

    Hi, I have a 2o x 12 living area that has 2 / 52 inch ceiling fans in it currently. We are remodeling an making the space into a living space with a couch an a small round table with 2 tables. We’d like to center the 2 new fixtures over the 2 spaces. Do u have any suggestions as to what size light fixture we could use. Our ceilings are 8 foot 2. Thank you.

    • Reply

      Abbey Nolte

      June 9, 2021

      It’s hard to make a suggestion without seeing your space. We have a team of free interior designers who would love to help you figure out your decorating dilemma. Simply upload images of your room and your question here.
      Happy Decorating,

  3. Reply


    July 29, 2019

    Hello, hope you are doing well. I have a living room and bedroom with no ceiling lights at all. I am renting this place. What type of lights do you recommend? I have a fire place in my living room (that I wont be using at all), so anything to go with this style? Also, my bedroom has my study table too so anything specific that you recommend?

    Thanks in advance

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      August 20, 2019

      Since you’re renting, I’d suggest just add in lots of table lamps! Same thing for your office. A good task light is important for a workspace, but lots of table lamps and floor lamps will help the room feel bright and comfortable.
      Good luck!

  4. Reply

    Doris A Baker

    June 18, 2019

    I have a dining room and kitchen island very close together. What kind of lights would look great and not overcrowd the area? Need lights for both areas.

  5. Reply

    Zahra Jafri

    October 28, 2018

    Hi 🙂
    Hope you are doing well.
    I need to ask something about my dining room, it has a ceiling fan in the middle so what should be the light arrangement? I really want to use pandant lights but unable to manage it with ceiling fan, please guide me how to arrange lights in an attractive and different way.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 6, 2018

      I would definitely suggest replacing the ceiling fan with a chandelier or pendant light. In more rooms, we suggest a combination of task and ambient lighting. A chandelier or pendant will make a great focal point, but you might want to add canned lights and lamps around the room too.
      Good luck.

  6. Reply


    September 9, 2018

    Hi! I just bought a house and i have a living room and dining room together. Problem is, i dont know how to light the room! I dont want to put chandelier because the ceiling looks great and i want to illimunate the beauty of my ceiling. Any tips?

  7. Reply

    Deborah Adams

    April 4, 2018

    It was really helpful to know that it’s ideal to add a desk lamp on your office space which must be about 16” above the work surface to make sure that your office space will have an adequate task lighting. My husband told me that he wanted to use our library so he can still work even he’s at home. I want him to have a functional and comfortable office area in our library, so I’ll make sure to shop for a desk lamp and consider your tips on placing it on our office table. Thanks!

  8. Reply


    September 12, 2017

    Thank you so much for such a great article on lighting! You covered every room for me and now I know exactly how much lighting I need in every space. Please when you can do a lighting article on the outside of the home as well for I am struggling, there as well. Especially, when it comes to lighting the back of the house?

    Thanks again Ballard

  9. Reply

    Joan Medbery

    January 10, 2017

    Please help ! Our dining area is 14×45 with dark ceiling that peak ! First light we bought gives no light at all even adding led bulbs. How go I figure the high ceilings.

    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      June 8, 2017

      We would love to help you light your dining room! We offer a free design service in which our interior designers pick out furniture, fabric, and accessories. Just send in your question along with a picture of the space here, and a designer will reach out to you with your design solution!

  10. Reply


    October 24, 2016

    I know this is about lighting, but I want to ask about the bedroom wall finish on the photo that looks like painted wood that has been sanded. How was this look actually accomplished?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 11, 2016

      This is a salvaged wood, but you should be able to create a similar look by painting the natural wood, then removing the paint with a sander.
      Best of luck!

  11. Reply


    September 10, 2016

    What size semi-mount fixtures should I hang in my 19 x 23 living room? I want to hang two to replace exisiting ceiling fans. Thank you.

    • Reply

      How to Decorate

      September 12, 2016

      As a general rule of thumb, you can add the width and length of your room together to get the width of an appropriately sized light fixture. In your case, you’re using two flush mounts, so we would suggest 2 20″ wide fixtures since the combined width and length of your room is 40″.
      Does that make sense?

  12. Reply


    September 7, 2016

    I have a corner breakfast nook that we like to read at and work from. The table is 6’x7′. Ceiling is sloped- low end is 9′ to high of 12′. What size chandelier or lighting should I go with that is dimmable (so can turn up to read and turn down to dine) ? Thank you for your help.

    • Reply

      How to Decorate

      September 15, 2016

      The rule of thumb is to choose a light fixture that is one half to three quarters the width of your dining table. It sounds like you have a pretty large table if it’s 6 feet wide so a light fixture anywhere from 36-54 inches wide would work in your space!

  13. Reply


    September 3, 2016

    Hello, I am looking at the Hadley 4-light pendant for our foyer. Not sure which size to purchase. The foyer is 8ft X 8ft with a 9 ft ceiling. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply

      How to Decorate

      September 15, 2016

      Since your ceiling is 9 feet tall, we would suggest the small version. The larger pendant would have to be hung right up to the ceiling to leave enough clearance for your head, so you would have to remove most of the chain. Use the smaller version and leave about 6-8 inches of chain.
      Best of luck!

  14. Reply


    July 16, 2016

    Hello, I have an 11 x 11 dining room with 8ft ceiling. I have 59.75 round table w chairs that is the only piece of furniture in the room. I really like the orb style fixtures so I was wondering if you thought 27.75 x 30 fixture with 6 lights is okay or too big. Thank you.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 25, 2016

      It’s definitely not too big! We very often hang our Orb Chandelier over our Andrews Dining Table which is 60″ and it’s a perfect fit.
      Happy Decorating!

  15. Reply


    April 9, 2016

    Yes, they would be matching chandeliers. The one in the living room would partially go over a piano and the one in the dining room would be over a table. It would look odd if one is higher than the other since it’s one big room.

    Thanks for your advice!

  16. Reply


    April 7, 2016

    Hi! I have one big room that includes a dining room and living room with 10′ high ceilings. I want to put two chandeliers – one in the dining area and the other in the living room. Do I hang the chandeliers at equal height?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      April 8, 2016

      Are you wanting to put the same chandelier in each rooom? In other words, will they be matching? If so, we would suggest hanging them at equal heights, assuming the one in your living room won’t be hanging directly over something like a sofa. In general, we would suggest to hang light fixtures at the appropriate height for that room, but since it sounds like you are wanting matching chandeliers, that might be a little odd.
      Best of luck!

  17. Reply


    January 31, 2015

    I want to hang two pendant lights over my dining table which is 40 by 72. what size pendants should I buy

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      March 25, 2015

      Hi Phyllis,
      Depending on how visually heavy the pendant you’re interested are, we would suggest something 10-15 inches in diameter. If the pendants are glass and a little lighter, you could probably go larger, but if they’re opaque or dark in color, you might air on the smaller side.
      We hope this helps!
      The How to Decorate Team

  18. Reply


    January 13, 2015

    I am trying to select lighting for reading. It needs to be ceiling mounted, as I have no outlets near my seating. I was considering track lighting. I have 12 foot ceilings. What do you suggest for adequate reading light for aging eyes?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      March 3, 2015

      Hi Karen,
      It’s very difficult to suggest lighting options without seeing your room. Track lighting could be a good option, but you could also look into a wall-mounted swing arm sconce that you have hard-wired by an electrician. This would make it possible for you to place a reading light right where you need it, and a swing arm sconce allows you to control the direction of the light.
      Hope this helps!
      The How to Decorate Team

  19. Reply


    December 9, 2014

    Hello- I am wondering if there are any good guides for determining how big a flushmont fixture should be? My room is about 11 x 11?


    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      December 17, 2014

      Hi Meghan,
      Unfortunately, we don’t have any guides for determining the proper size of a flush mount light, but we will look into creating one. Great suggestion! As long as you have enough room for height clearance in your space, you should be fine on installing whatever height fixture you like. A good rule of thumb for any light fixture is to add the length and width of the space and that should equal the chandelier’s diameter in inches. So the diameter of your flush mount fixture could handle a fixture up to 22 inches in diameter!
      Hope that helps,
      The How to Decorate Team

  20. Reply


    June 11, 2014

    Love all your help! my room is 13 by 10 with 8 1/2 foot ceilings. it is fair to say the light needs to be at least 23 inches in width ? What it is a drum light ? I assume that means the width of the shade.

    Also sounds like the wattage should at at least be 195 total? (13 by 10 by 1.5?) Am i on the right track?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 27, 2014

      Hi Meredith,

      We would love to help you pick the right size light fixture for your space. In fact, we have an entire team dedicated to helping customers solve decorating problems in their home. If you go to this page and complete the form, someone from our Design Solutions team can get back to you with a answer to your question!

      Looking forward to helping you with your space,
      The How to Decorate Team

  21. Reply


    May 31, 2014

    Where do I place my sconces? I have a large mirror centered on my wall (it takes up one third of the wall), how far off of the mirror should my sconces be placed?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 6, 2014

      Hi Alice,

      Thanks for your comment. We would love to give you some guidance in regards to hanging your sconces. Our design services team actually does just that, so they can create a full plan for you. You’ll need to submit your questions using this form and our team can get working on it. Usually there’s about a week turn around!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  22. Reply


    May 19, 2014

    my office length is 4.5 inch and breadth is 11 inches that means 4.5×11″. i want to fit led ceiling lights in my office, so how many Watt of light will be fit in the office.? please give me the right suggestion as soon as possible..!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 28, 2014

      Hi Ashpreet,

      Hi Debra,

      Thanks for your comment. We actually have a free service for our customers called Design Solutions where offer problem solving and design plans. We’d be happy to make a suggestions for lighting in your space. Simply complete this form, and our Design Solutions team will create a plan for you!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  23. Reply


    May 17, 2014

    Hi, I’m considering the Elkridge Rectangular Chandelier for my kitchen. Our kitchen is 21.8×13, but the actual “dining” portion is around 10.5×13. We have a farmhouse table (72″x36″). Do you think the Elkridge would work or is it too big? I’m looking for something on the more modern / industrial type style. WE also have an island in the kitchen area that I’m wanting to get pendants for that would complement our kitchen fixture. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 6, 2014

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks for your comment. We would love to help you decide on a chandelier for your kitchen. We love the Eldridge Chandelier and think that’s a great choice, but if you are worried about the size, our design services team can create a full plan for you. You’ll need to submit your questions using this form and our team can get working on it. Usually there’s about a week turn around!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  24. Reply


    May 13, 2014

    I am trying to choose lighting for a space that serves as both a living room and my formal dining room. It’s just 1 big room with a large dining room table (seating for 8) in one portion of the room and a sitting area w/ an apartment size sofa at the other end w/ a coffee table and some accent chairs. I got an idea to put a light fixture in each area – 1 over the dining room table and one over the sitting area. My question is: Do they need to be the same chandelier? Even if they’re different sizes, should they be the exact same chandelier?

    Thanks for any insight!


    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 6, 2014

      Hi Nicolle,

      Thanks for your comment. We totally understand that sometimes lighting can feel overwhelming. Our design services team would love to give you guidance in regards to a lighting plan! You’ll need to submit your questions using this form and our team can get working on it. Usually there’s about a week turn around!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  25. Reply


    April 29, 2014

    My bedroom is 18 feet by 12 feet and the ceiling height is 9.5 feet. I am looking at a drum shade pendant to hang in the centre of the room, which is over the bed. My options are either a 22 inch or a 30 inch diameter drum shade, which have a total minimum hanging height of 18 inches. Which diameter would you choose.

    Many thanks

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 28, 2014

      Hi Diana,

      Hi Debra,

      Thanks for your comment. We actually have a free service for our customers called Design Solutions where offer problem solving and design plans. We’d be happy to help you pick a pendant for your bedroom. Simply complete this form, and our Design Solutions team will create a plan for you!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  26. Reply

    Patricia A

    April 6, 2014

    Hi, I am looking for pendants for a family type restaurant, with high ceilings. Is there any special formula that should be used for determining lighting? Thanks.

    • Reply

      How to Decorate Team

      April 7, 2014

      Hi Patricia,

      We would love to help you with your decorating dilemma. If you submit your question to our design services team using this form, someone from our team will create a design plan for you!

      We look forwarding to answering your questions!
      The How to Decorate Team

  27. Reply


    February 23, 2014

    My great room is 24 x 26 with coffered ceilings. But if you minus the walkway it is 22 x 24 area. What size chandelier would be good?

    • Reply

      How to Decorate Team

      March 6, 2014

      Hi Mary!

      It sounds like a grand room with lots of potential! Our general rule of thumb for selecting a chandelier is to add the length and width measurements of the room together, and your chandelier should be about that diameter. We have a few options that might work for your space:

      Our Cosette 10-Light Chandelier, our Extra Large Orb Chandelier, or our Laurenza 12-Light Chandelier.

      Hope that helps.

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  28. Reply

    Christy Johnson

    November 8, 2013


  29. Reply

    Terri Tackett

    September 15, 2013

    Hi — Need help deciding which Ballard chandeliers to purchase. The living room has 20 foot high ceilings and is soon to have a 12 foot high stone fireplace at one end with rustic mantle. The entry way also has a 20 foot high ceiling. The dining room, however, while very open to the other two rooms, only has an 8 foot ceiling. I want to buy lighting for all 3 rooms, in an elegant rustic style. I am thinking of the Lourdes 12-light chandelier for the living room and the entry way, and then using the Tallia 6-light chandelier for the dining room. (Complicating things still more is that the kitchen is also open to these rooms and has an existing chandelier that I like that is very similar to the Tallia.) Will the Lourdes and the Tallia look good within view of each other? Or is there a better combination? Thanks so much!

  30. Reply


    October 3, 2011

    Hi, My master bedroom is only 8′ in height. I had wanted to use the six arm claire but was told by my electrician that it would be too long so I have to go with a shorter fixture. With an 8′ ceiling, what is the appropriate length for a chandelier? My husband and I are short and we are the only ones using our room….thanks much.

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      October 4, 2011

      Carmen: We agree with your electrician – safety first! Have you looked at our Ceiling Mounted Lights? The Anastasia Ceiling Mount is 11 3/4″ in height and may be okay, our Claire Ceiling Mount is 10 1/2″in height – although the bottom of the light should be at 7 1/2′ – either of these lights are a bit longer – so the choice is yours. Let us know how things work out.
      The Style Studio Team

  31. Reply


    September 25, 2011

    A couple more questions, please! How high should my chandelier hang from a my kitchen island? Is it also 36 inches? And where do you position 2-light wall sconces on either side of a fireplace mantle?

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      September 26, 2011

      Emmie: The chandelier should hang about 36″ from the top of the island – just make sure that it clears any cabinet doors, etc. Nothing is etched in stone, so if you feel it needs to be a bit higher make that decision. As far as sconces on either side of the fireplace – the standard for a wall sconce is about 5 feet from the floor to the middle of the sconce – however hanging depends on the height of the mantel as well as the height of the ceiling. There really are no hard-fast rules as each fireplace is different. One thing to make sure of is the size of the sconces should be in harmony with the size of the space. We wish we could give you a concrete answer, but your best bet is to get an electrician to help you make the determination.
      The Style Studio Team

  32. Reply


    September 7, 2011

    our dining room is 15 x 15 with a large hutch along one wall. The dining table extends to 148″. It’s a tight fit, but during the holidays we need every inch. (one end opens into the foyer so there is some breathing room) I saw the formula for chandelier size and hanging height, but i’m wondering should I be hanging two chandeliers instead of one. Thanks so much

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      September 8, 2011

      You certainly could hang two chandeliers if you wanted. But without the dimensions of the table, we are at a loss as to what size you should choose.
      The Style Studio Team

  33. Reply


    September 6, 2011

    Dear Style Studio Team.
    I redecorating my Formal office. I have dark hand scraped wood floors without a in floor source of electricity. How would I float a Bourdonnais desk in the center of my room and be able to rest task lighting on the desk and minimize the visual of a cord?

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      September 6, 2011

      Dear Lori: You can get a Floor Cable Protector at your local Home Improvement Store which will protect the cord and keep it flat to the floor. Short of having a plug installed in the floor – this seems to be the best alternative.
      The Style Studio Team

  34. Reply


    September 3, 2011

    My living room is 20×16 and has a 12 foot A-shaped ceiling. I purchased the 9-arm Grand Claire gold chandelier. How many feet from the floor should it hang?

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      September 6, 2011

      Dear Emmie: The chandelier should hang at least 8′ from the floor.
      The Style Studio Team

  35. Reply


    August 21, 2011

    I am looking for a lamp for a console behind a living room sofa. The room is large-24 X 14, with 12 foot ceilings. The sofa sits in the middle of the room. The console table height is 38W X 15.25D X 28H. Should I get the 23-inch or 27-inch Suzanne Kasler Gourd lamp or the Madison?

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      August 22, 2011

      Dear LKN: Due to the size of the rooom, you should go with the taller Gourd Lamp. The Madison is the same height as the large Gourd Lamp – so it is just a matter of personal taste. Another option available are the Chartres Buffet Lamps which could be placed on either end. They have a smaller profile but are taller at 30″. Hope this information helps.
      The Style Studio Team

  36. Reply


    August 16, 2011

    I also have a question about the chandelier size I need for my dining room. The room is 11 x 13, with 9 foot ceilings. I have a dining room table that is 42 inches wide. I am looking at the Lourdes Chandelier. Do I choose the 8-arm or the 12-arm? Thanks!!

    • Reply

      Ballard Designs

      August 17, 2011

      Dear Stephanie: The 12 arm Lourdes Chandelier is the correct size for your dining room as well as your dining room table.
      The Style Studio Team

  37. Reply


    August 10, 2011

    My son is becoming an electrician – and I am sending him this website to read! What great information!!! I love the formulas to help…as always, Ballard’s Style Studio ROCKS!!!

  38. Reply


    August 5, 2011

    Is there any rule of thumb for size and height of lamps on a nightstand next to a king-sized bed? I think my lamps may be too small. Thanks!

  39. Reply

    Ballard Designs

    February 2, 2011

    Dear Chitchatcat: Sometimes overhead lighting can be harsh. If you find a terrific semi-flush mount like our Anatasia Light, you may fall in love with your foyer light! Look for a light that covers the bulbs rather than one that exposes them as this will soften the light source. We also love the idea of a small console with a lamp. Because it is ambient (mood) lighting it has a softer effect on the space. So the choice is up to you. We hope these suggestions help with your decision.
    Happy Decorating!
    The Style Studio Team

  40. Reply


    January 30, 2011

    My front door enters into the living room of my very tiny apartment. There is a garish harsh flush mount fixture on the ceiling right at the doorway. Should I just scrap the overhead light – will it end up looking harsh no matter the style of fixture – in favor of a sconce or a console with a table lamp?

  41. Reply

    Ballard Designs

    January 20, 2011

    Carol: Your chandelier should be between 24 and 32″ in diameter for the size of the table. The bottom of the chandelier should be between 32 and 36″ above the table top so as not to be in your eye line. Hope this info helps!
    The Style Studio Team

  42. Reply

    Carol Kirschner

    January 20, 2011

    Your room examples and tips are invaluable. Please tell me if I am ok with a 6 arm chandelier of glass and metal over your 48 inch Rudolph round table. How high off the table should it hang? The ceilings are 8 feet. Thanks.

  43. Reply

    Ballard Designs

    November 10, 2010

    Karen: We feel that you should use the 13′ x 16′ dimensions of the room to determine what size chandelier you should have. If you add the two dimensions, the diameter of the chandelier should be no larger than 29″ in diameter. The 9 arm Talia is 28″ in diameter and the 6 arm Talia is 25″ in diameter. You can actually use either Talia Chandelier in this area. If you ceiling height is lower, the 6 arm would work but if you have tall ceilings (10′ or above) then you may want to consider the 9 arm Talia.
    The Style Studio Team

  44. Reply

    Karen Lee

    November 5, 2010

    How do I figure the right size chandelier for my dining room? My table is 45″w x 64″long (without leaves). The room is 13′ by 25′, but the dining area is a 13′ x 16′ section of that larger room.
    I’m thinking about the 6-arm Talia chandelier which apparently is 25″. Too big? Too small? Just right?

  45. Reply


    November 5, 2010

    How do I figure the right size chandelier for my dining room? My table is 45″w x 64″l (without leaves). The room is 13′ by 25′, but the dining area is a 13′ x 16′ section of that larger room.
    I’m thinking about the 6-arm Talia chandelier which apparently is 25″. Too big? Too small? Just right?

  46. Reply


    October 22, 2010

    catalog imagery looks great

  47. Reply

    Anne Murdoch

    October 14, 2010

    But how do you figure the correct size of a chandalier? Isn’t there a formula about the size of the room, the size of the table, etc. There is nothing worse than a fixture that is either too big or too small.

  48. Reply

    Ballard Designs

    September 21, 2010

    Dear Aung: As with any formula, you have to take into consideration your room size along with how you will be using the room. The formula we use is a basic general plan for lighting a room, but if you have an unusually high ceiling, you may need additional lighting for the room. The formula we use is for general lighting in a standard room with standard ceiling height. This is just a starting point for lighting a room, there are many factors that may increase or decrease the amount of lighting needed.
    The Style Studio Team

  49. Reply

    aung aung

    September 20, 2010

    can we considered room high in this formula(Room length X Room width x 1.5 = Amount of wattage to light a room) ?