How to Choose the Right Size for a Chandelier or Pendant

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It used to be that chandeliers were a sign of luxury, reserved for dining rooms or elaborate entryways. Pendant lights -- more simple lights generally hanging from a central wire and often sporting a lampshade to focus or diffuse the glow -- were more common, especially for the middle-class. Today, a variety of affordable options exist in chandeliers, and pendant lights have transformed into stylish fixtures sometimes bordering on chandeliers.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Examine the room, visualizing where the light will hang and noting the room's features. Large rooms require large lights, and extremely high ceilings require either a larger light or a lower light such as a double-tier chandelier.

  • Measure the length and width of the room involved. For irregular-shaped rooms, mentally square off the room and measure the main area. For instance, in a large room with a small alcove, pretend the alcove is not there and measure the main part of the room.

  • Add the width measurement to the length to come up with a figure expressed in feet. A room 12 feet long by 10 feet wide would equal 22 feet.

  • Transfer the measurement in feet to inches. In a 12-by-10 room, the 22 feet becomes 22 inches. This rule of thumb provides a ballpark figure to determine the size of the chandelier or pendant.

  • When lighting an eating area, balance the chandelier or pendant size to the shape of your dining room table. Determine the diameter or width of the table and subtract one foot from the measurement to find the appropriate light size.

  • Increase the diameter of chandeliers or pendants hung from high ceilings such as two-story entryways, keeping in mind the design of the light. An elaborate light looks larger than simple lights. In long hall-shaped areas, rely more on the width of the area to find a chandelier or pendant that appears balanced in the area.

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