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Chandelier Size Guide – How Big Should My Chandelier Be?

Do you want a chandelier for your table, bedroom or bathroom. It sounds so decadent in the bathroom. If you are in the market for a chandelier you might be wondering what size you should get.

Chandeliers can hang in so many places and they come in every style and finish. You don’t want your chandelier to look too puny or too large. There are a few guidelines that will help you choose the right size chandelier for your room.

The guidelines for size depend on where you will hang the chandelier. If it’s going to be in an open area or over a table. Believe it or not there’s a simple formula for how big your chandelier should be.

How Big of A Chandelier Do I Need In An Open Room?

Chandeliers are not just beautiful over a table. They can also make a bolder statement than a pendant light in an entry, a bathroom, bedroom or even a closet (if you are lucky enough to have a large one). If you have a two-story foyer or any room with tall ceilings, a chandelier is a natural focal point for your design whether it’s modern, traditional or anything in between.

Chandelier Size Guide

The rule of thumb for how large your lighting fixture or chandelier should be in an open room is pretty simple. Take the width of the room in feet and add that to the length of the room in feet. For example, my living room is 15 feet by 21 feet. The sum of those two is 36. The correct size chandelier for my living room should be 36 inches wide.

Similarly, if you are hanging a chandelier in a bathroom that is 5 feet by 10 feet your chandelier should be around 15 inches wide. You don’t have to use the exact measurement that the calculation dictates, but the general rule helps me to know that a 20-inch chandelier would look too small.

chandelier in a bedroom

Now that you know how wide your chandelier should be in an open room, let’s talk about the height.

Generally, the chandelier should be 2-3 inches per foot. A standard 8-foot ceiling would hold a 16 to 24-inch tall chandelier. However, if you have 8-foot ceilings, stick to the lower end of the range. You don’t want people to feel like they need to duck. If you have low ceilings, you can also consider flush mount chandeliers.

If you have 10-foot ceilings, you have more room to work with. If your chandelier will hang over a stairway, use the total height of the space to calculate the height of the light fixture.

How Big of a Chandelier Do I need Over a Table?

A dining room chandelier is a little different. First, let’s talk about width. You take the width of your table and subtract 12 inches. If your table is 36 inches wide the width of the perfect chandelier size would be 24 inches wide.

For the length of the table you want to make sure that the chandelier’s length is at least 12 inches less than the table.

For example, my table is 83 inches long, which would suggest I could use a chandelier up to 70 inches long. This is the rule that designers use. But if your table is really long, this might not be possible. It does help you to see that you need a pretty large fixture to have it look in proportion to your table. You can also consider hanging two small chandeliers over a single table.

For any table you will want to stick to this rule of thumb – keep the chandelier width 12 inches less than the width or length of the table. You don’t want people to bump into it when they stand up.

Does Table Shape Impact The Shape of Chandelier?

If your table is long and narrow, the width will limit how wide you should go (at least 12 inches less than the table). For a table that is greater than 60 inches in length, you should consider a chandelier that is similarly shaped – long and narrow.

Here’s an example with a rectangular table from Ballard Designs and a chandelier from Ballard Designs. The calculation above suggests a chandelier size of 52 inches (64-12). First, this is not really a size that you could find, but it does help you to see that something 24 inches will look way too small. For this type of table, something more linear will be a better fit.

chandelier size over rectangular table

The shape of your chandelier should complement the shape of the chandelier. A round kitchen table looks best with a chandelier that is either round or square. For long narrow tables, you may want to consider a chandelier that is more rectangular than round.

This is an example with a round table from France & Sons paired with this West Elm chandelier.

chandelier size

You may notice as you start shopping for your chandelier, that there is no fixture that perfectly matches the dimensions you are looking for. The key is to find a light that isn’t too small or too large. These measurement rules are guidelines to help make sure you get close to the right proportion.

How Low Should a Chandelier Hang Over A Table?

A chandelier hung over a table should be 30 to 34 inches above the bottom of the table. The height isn’t based on the height of your ceiling. Your chandelier height should be close enough to the table that it will light up the table more than a ceiling light would. But you also don’t want the light to be so close that people hit their heads when they stand up from the table.

If you have a fixture that hangs from a chain, it is easy to adjust the height of your chandelier after you live with it for a few days. If your chandelier appears to have a fixed height because it has a pole (like this one) it’s harder to adjust the length, but not impossible.

How To Lengthen A Chandelier (so it hangs lower)

If you need to make your chandelier longer so it will hang closer to your dining room table you probably need to add more wire.

The first step is to turn the breaker off to your light and disconnect the screws that hold the light fixture up. Sometimes there is extra wire wrapped up inside the fixture. If there isn’t, this post explains how to do extend the wires even if you aren’t very handy.

You can easily make the chain longer if it hangs on a chain. If it hangs on a pole you can usually buy a longer pole in a finish that matches your fixture. Here are some examples.

I choose every product you see. I may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of the product links, at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure.

How to Shorten a Chandelier (so it hangs Higher)

If you have the opposite problem it’s solved in basically the same way. To raise your chandelier so it hangs farther from the dining room table you might be able to pull the wires up inside the ceiling. If not, you will need to shorten the wires/chain or rod.

The method for shortening the wires is much the same as it is for lengthening it. You trim the wires after you have the breaker shut off. You can take links out of the chain if it hangs from a chain. You can also get a shorter rod if your chandelier doesn’t hang from a chain.

How to Hang Multiple Chandeliers/Pendants?

If you have a very long table you might want to consider hanging more than one light fixture. You can hang two smaller scale chandeliers or two pendant lights. Be sure to hang multiple fixtures at least 26 to 28 inches apart.

Also make sure that no fixture comes closer than 6 inches from the edges of the table.

Can a Chandelier Be Too Big?

A chandelier can be too large for a space, just like it can be too small. Most people make the mistake of putting a fixture that is too small rather than too large. If you stick close to the measurement guidelines above, the scale should be just right. Over a table use the length and width minus 12. Anything larger can look strange.

Should a chandelier be in the center of the room or the table?

If you are hanging a chandelier over a table that is NOT in the center of your dining room it should be hung centered over the table. If you hang it in the center of the room it can make your table feel like it’s in the wrong place.

Choosing the right size light for your room

If you are shopping for a chandelier, consider the size relative to the dimensions of your room. If you’re looking for a chandelier to hang above a table, focus more on the dimensions of your table. Use the formulas as a guide to help you look for something that will be proportional to your table.

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57 Comments

  1. What helpful information that I will definitely save for later. Happy Monday, sweet friend!?

  2. Whoa, where was this when we finally found something we liked for over our tavern room table? Fortunately, taking 3 years to find the right fixture, we ended up with one that was the correct size! This is such a great tool to keep in mind! I have pinned this for future reference! Thanks Andrea!!

  3. Mary from Life at Bella Terra says:

    Andrea, Another GREAT post! This is so informational. One of my friends just bought a very expensive chandelier and didn’t bother measuring her dining room table. Yep, the chandelier is oversized for the room and table. I wish I had seen your post as I would have sent it to her beforehand! This is a keeper!

  4. I have a table 120” x 39.5”. We have a vaulted ceiling. Would two round chandeliers 25.5” high, 35.5” wide be appropriate size?
    Thanks

    1. Yes that size would work. It can be hard to find the exact size you decide is right. If you find one you like and it’s not the exact right size, I recommend erring on the side of larger.

  5. Tamara K von Ouhl Kremer says:

    I have a living room that is sectioned into 3 rectangles by beams. I plan on putting the same chandelier in each section. 9×15 which is 24. If I like a 16″ square is that to small? Or do I go with the a 26 round? In order of preference 16″ but worried it will be to small in each section? There is a 26 which is 2″ bigger and will three of them be to much?

    1. Tamara,

      I would probably go for the larger one if it’s a fixture that can be a statement in the room. There is almost never exactly the right size with the formula, but that’s pretty close. Would you be interested in sending me a photo? I’ll email you as well.

      Andrea

  6. I have a home office that is 12′ x 12′ with an 11 ft ceiling for which I purchased a beautiful 40″ wide Casilda chandelier. But now I am afraid it may be too wide. What do you think?

    1. Faith,

      I think since you ordered it and you LOVE it you should use it. Here’s why. First, eleven-foot ceilings are high so they can accommodate a larger fixture. Second, I think we tend to err on the side of too small and not too big. Third, you don’t often find a fixture that fits the exact formula, they are either a little too small or a little too big. Hang it up and stand back and see what you think. If it feels too big once it’s in the room, then return it. If you love it, that’s what counts most.

      Andrea

  7. I want to put a 36″ wide wagon wheel chandelier over my 48″ x 72″ table. Is my table too long for this?

    1. Linda,

      Using a round chandelier over a rectangular table might require a different formula. I think 36″ is large enough not to look too small. I wouldn’t go larger because it will be in the way of people sitting on the side. If you’re going to go with round, this is probably a good size. The best way to judge is by hanging it up and seeing if you like it. I hope this helps.

      Andrea

  8. Joyce Lynn Pease says:

    Found a 30″ round drum chandelier for my entryway. I have 12′ ceiling, entryway opens to family room. Chandelier will hang in section 10′ long by 7ish’ wide. It’ll be between a wide opening to den and another opening to guest bedrooms and guest bath. So it appears open. Do you thing 30″ drum chandelier will work. Thank you.

    1. Joyce,

      Based on the formula that sounds a little large for the space. It should be closer to 20″ if they have a smaller size. BUT you should go with your gut. If you LOVE the fixture, get it. Do you want to share a photo? That would be great.

      Andrea

  9. Joanne Mitchener says:

    My living room is 20×20 with a 20’ cathedral ceiling . What size chandelier? Should I consider the height of the light fixture?

    1. Joanne,

      I would try to get a pretty sizeable chandelier, 40 inches or larger. Since the ceilings are so high you can err on the too big side vs too small. I’m not sure what you mean by considering the height of the fixture. I think it would look strange to hang the fixture too high unless it’s a vaulted entry. Otherwise, the fixture doesn’t really look like it’s part of the room. I hope this helps.

      Andrea

  10. I have a rectangular dining room table that is 90″ long x 42″ wide. Will a 48″ long chandelier work?
    The width of the chandelier is 9.25″

    1. Lori,

      It’s hard to find a fixture that meets the exact formula, but the one you have picked up sounds like it will work well. I’d love to see photos of your table and the fixture if you want to share. You can email me at [email protected]. Enjoy your new lighting.

      Sorry this took a few days.

      Andrea

  11. Ok, so here is one. I have a kitchen banquette at the end of an alley kitchen. The space is 7ft 11 in x 7ft 9 in and the kitchen table 42 inches. So, 30 inches diameter for the pendant or 15 inches?

    1. Kerri,

      If the light will hand over the table, use that as your guide instead of the size of the room. Is your table 42″ round? If so 30″ would be great.

      I am happy to loo at pictures if you want share send them to [email protected].

      Andrea

    2. I have a standard dark wood table 90 in long x 42 wide in a beach house. I would like to place two chandeliers over dining room table . The bottom of table has white washed legs w dk bronze metal scroll in the center between legs. Do you have suggestions for size or type. Wish I could send u picture.

      1. Gigi,
        Check your email. I sent you a list of chandeliers that work well with long tables. Watch for a post on that tomorrow.
        Andrea

  12. Pam Demoulas says:

    will 24 inch round chandelier look good over a 42 inch round table?

    1. Pam,

      In most cases I would say yes, but in your situation the chandelier you like is VERY tall and your ceilings are not that high. I sent you an email with concern a few similar options that are 24 inches around but LESS than 36 inches tall. I hope this helps.

      Anndrea

  13. Mary Sue Hooyman says:

    My table is 42×120 with 8.5‘ ceiling. Should I go with a rectangular chandelier? I would prefer only one chandelier and my style is colonial.
    Thanks for your help

    1. Mary,

      That’s a pretty long table so I would search for a rectangular one. If you search for “colonial rectangular chandelier” there are options at almost every price point. If you want help I’m happy send some your way if you reply with the finish (brass, black, etc) and what price you are trying to stay under.

      I hope this helps.

      Andrea

  14. Debra Affinito says:

    I have a 60” round table in an open concept space, the dining area is 14×15 and the ceilings are 9’6”. I have fallen in love with a 40” wide x 24” tall single tier round candle chandelier, it is airy rather than heavy. The sample fixture also comes 24”. Can I do the 40”, or is it too big? Does the fact that the space is open concept allow me to exceed the 14+15=29” chandelier rule and instead lean toward the table width – 12”?

    1. Debra,

      First, thanks for giving me so many details. Since you are IN LOVE with the fixture you should get it. It’s not too big for your table. The formula isn’t exact, and I think it’s better to go too big than too small. Also, your room IS large and your ceilings are pretty high. All these factors point to the size you chose.

      The 40″ size still leaves 10″ on each side so that no one will bump their head when they are standing up.

      I would love to see pictures if you are inclined to send them.

      Andrea

    2. Hi,

      I really enjoyed this detail post. But I need your insight. I am trying to hang a double wagon wheel chandelier in the great family room that has 19ft cathedral ceiling and the room is 20X17. However, I want this to be the statement of that area. I’m confused between 50inch diameter and 63 inch diameter. The one with 40 inch diameter looks really small. If you can help. Thank you

      1. Hello,

        The ceiling are so high that I would err on the side of larger. I think I would go with 50″. If someone in your family uses a hoola hoop you could measure that and hang it up in the space. I am a visual person, so that kind of thing helps me to see the proportions. Or use something similar, that has the same diameter. I hope this helps. Thanks for reading.

        Andrea

  15. I’ve been trying to figure out what size light fixture to get for our dining room. The problem is that my table is not centered to the dining room. If I center it, we can’t use the stools at the bar… the other part is we have two can (recessed lights) in the center of the room, our dining room is 13X15…. Idk what to do!!! Please help me….

    1. Patricia,

      This is a great question. My table is not in the center of my room either. The important thing is that the chandelier is in the center of the table, not the room. Is there a recessed light right in the middle of the table if you put the table where you want it to be? Feel free to send a picture. I hope this helps

      Andrea

  16. Hi,

    I’m planning on one of the below chandeliers with either 3 arms or 5 arms but I’m not sure about sizing. The ceilings are a little higher than 9ft and the living space is 12 feet long by 10 ft wide. It is a brooklyn apartment (and very narrow). The kitchen will be next to this space, making it open concept. I could probably have the etsy seller customize but would either of these work for this space?

    The 3 arm measurements: Height: 11 inches
    Width: 30 inches
    Depth: 30 inches

    The 5 arm measurements:
    Height: 11 inches
    Width: 32 inches
    Depth: 32 inches

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/932229561/stilnovo-style-5-arms-modern-brass?click_key=3d37010ab20b0bb90b64b4e1cb73373bd41d75fc%3A932229561&click_sum=5322c59d&ref=shop_home_recs_3&frs=1&crt=1

    1. Karly,

      If the formula gives you an answer that is in between sizes, I usually lean toward the larger one. This is really cut. The size of your room (including the kitchen?) makes it seem like the 5-arm one is perfect. The size difference is only two inches so I think either would work. If you need more light I would go for the 5-arm.

      I hope this helps.

      Andrea

  17. Hi!
    I need help picking the size of a chandelier for an open living room. The open space is 26’8” by
    26’ 8”. Half this space is the kitchen and the other half is the living room. So the actual
    Living room size is 13’ 4” by 26’8”. The ceilings are only 9 feet high. Really need you help!
    Thanks!

    1. Sharon,

      For a kitchen you really need lighting to be able to see what you’re doing. For that reason, I would light the kitchen and living room areas separately. Kitchens need task lighting, while living areas DON’T need to be as bright. For the living room area I would get something around 39 inches. It helps to see a photo if you want to send one.

      I hope this helps.

      Andrea

      I hope this helps,

      1. Thanks for your response. I like two different chandeliers – one is 34” in length and the other is 43” in length. Which would you choose based off of recommended 39”?

        1. How tall are your ceilings? If they are over 9 feet I would go with the taller one. If they are 8 feet, I might go with the shorter length.

          I hope this helps.

          Andrea

  18. Rachel Buerman says:

    Hello!

    I have a 2-story entry 16’ x 13.5’ (including stairs and balcony) with 17’ ceiling that visually opens to the living room which is 18’ x 21.5.’ I’m wondering if a 41”w x 48”h chandelier I found is too big for the foyer.

    1. Rachel,
      I would base the formula for the entry ONLY on the size of that space. Look at your living room as a separate room even though they are visually connected. The formula for your entry is 29 inches. Since the space has a lot of height you can get a fixture that is tall. I hope this helps. If you send a photo I am happy to send a few ideas that might match with your style.

      Andrea

      1. Andrea,

        With the formula, how much leeway can you give? I found another chandelier, but the width is 35” with a 40.5” height? Better to go taller than wider? I have a traditional/farmhouse decorating style, but also love some of the “staircase chandeliers” I’d consider more modern (Stair Crystal Chandelier LED Modern Pendant Light Raindrop Ceiling Light Crystal Ball Lighting Fixture 36 Lights for Staircase Living Room Hotel Hallway Foyer Entry Way (36-Light Square) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PBLFN6M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_1DTT73VS8M5HKSFAHBBK?psc=1) or overly ornate/crystal (APBEAM Contemporary Crystal Raindrop Staircase Chandelier, Pendant Lighting Suspension Light Fixtures for Stair Foyer Entryway 32″W x 96″H https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBWK2WR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_E7GNMTR7RB6YQYBJVPEA?psc=1) or (https://www.1800lighting.com/elegant-lighting-century-30-inch-large-pendant-CP27420.html)

        1. Rachel,

          The formula isn’t really for the height. It’s for the width. With your high ceilings in the entry you can really use a tall light. Taller is fine as long as your ceilings can handle it. I wonder though you said you like farmhouse/traditional, but these chandeliers are very glamorous. Have you looked at this site, there are some really gorgeous lights that are a little more traditional and less glam. Sophisticated Sophia, or parchment glass. Want to share a picture? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

  19. Genevieve says:

    My living room is 22 x 16 feet. Ideally a 38 inch would work. However, I’m considering a wagon wheel that is very light and airy. The diameter of the wheel base is 38, but the very thin, elegant arms extend out about 5 inches on both sides which makes the fixture 48″ diameter. The overall look is very airy, not a heavy Spanish style, more French. Do you think the fixture would be too large?

    1. I think you’re right, the fact that it’s light and airy makes it possible to go bigger because it takes up less visual space. It sounds lovely. How high are your ceilings? If your ceilings are higher than 8 feet, you can definitely go larger. Cam you send a link to the fixture?

  20. Hello,

    I am replacing (2) 48″ ceiling fans with 2 light fixtures in a large living room (21 ft long x 17 ft wide and 12 ft ceilings). How big (wide) should my light fixtures ideally be? Thank you!

    1. Christie,

      I’m assuming the fans were separated and in the middle of the space. Will the lights hang over different, divided areas like two seating areas? I’m going to assume the answer is yes. If it was one fixture in a room this size you would want something 38 inches. Since you are looking for two I would look for something smaller, but not half as big. Your ceilings are so high that you should look for larger 26-30 inches each.

      I hope this helps. Would love to see a picture.

      Andrea

  21. Maura Frauhiger says:

    Is it acceptable to hang a chandelier over a kitchen island?

  22. I want to put a chandelier over my desk in my office … my desk is 24 inches wide and 59 inches long. My office is a small room. The chandelier I fell in love with is round and is 26.5 inches wide would this be okay

    1. Janice,

      Thanks for your question. You inspired me to write something more thorough about chandeliers over a desk. I think anything that you LOVE can work. That’s what makes your home uniquely your own. I would recommend hanging your chandelier higher than you would over a table and in the center of your desk. There are a few examples in the post with large chandeliers over a desk. I hope this helps.

      Andrea

  23. Hi Andrea-
    Thanks for all this wonderful info. I have an oval dining room table, 4′ x 6′, in an open concept yet clearly defined dining/living space, with cathedral ceilings, whose height measures about 12″ above the dining table. The dining area measures 13′ x 15′. I found a beautiful 20″ capiz shell round pendant which I love but think it’s too small, and am having a hard time finding something larger, or something else I really like! Please confirm that it’s likely too small? And perhaps suggest a proper size? I would prefer a globe shape- hard to imagine another shape in here- but suppose larger is probably better? In need of serious advice. Going on 4 years that I’m looking at a hole in the ceiling- took out a fan to replace with a light fixture! Thank you!

    1. Tracy,

      Thanks for your question. Your comment about 4 years makes me laugh. I do the same. We wait for the perfect thing, and meanwhile live with something we hate for too long. 20″ could be on the small side because it’s an open area with vaulted ceilings. If you’re putting the chandelier over the middle of the table the room size is less important. I love globe shape. I would just find one a big bigger, 30-36 inches. Have you seen these? I don’t know your budget, but lighting makes such a big difference. Shades of Light Capiz Chandelier. or this one from CB2 is a little bigger. There are lots of options if you search for Capiz Chandelier. I hope this helps.

  24. Michelle L Linden says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I am trying to determine chandelier size for our 18 x 20 great room. My inspiration home (https://www.architecturaldesigns.com/house-plans/new-american-house-plan-with-amazing-views-to-the-rear-95058rw) appears to have used the 63″ version of the Restoration Hardware Camino 2 tier chandelier (https://rh.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod2111636) (based on counting the number of bulbs. By your calculator, that would be too large. Could the high vaulted ceilings be the reason for this? There is also a 50″ version of this light. Would that be better?

    1. Michelle,

      Thanks for the links that is super helpful. That is an amazing inspiration home. I would say you could easily use the 63″ one in this case because the ceilings are unusually high. The formula doesn’t really account for spaces with vaulted ceilings. You can get away with much larger fixtures because there is so much open space. I will try to write a post on this with images. I love your questions.

      Andrea

  25. Hi Andrea!

    I have a 78” long x 42” wide dining table. Dining room is 11’ x13’ 4”with 10’ ceiling open to kitchen and hallway with 10’ ceilings and also open to great room with 11’ ceiling. I found 2 open cage rectangle light fixtures one 42” and one 54” long. Both are 15” high x 12” deep. Which size would be recommended for my table size? I’ve never had a rectangle fixture and am at a loss! Thank you!

    1. Nancy,

      The larger 54″ one would definitely work in your room because you have high ceilings and it’s open to another room with really high ceilings. I would use that. I would only choose the 42″ one if I liked it a lot better. I hope this helps.

      Andrea

  26. My situation is similar to Nancy’s in that I have a dining room table 47″ wide and 87″ long (most of the time, unless the extra leaf is added). To accommodate that much length I will probably need to hang two rectangular chandeliers in tandem, but who can find one that is 35″ wide, if the rule-of-thumb is to be followed? That’s almost 3 feet! What does one do when we can’t find a fixture wide enough? Or is the width less important than the length?

    1. Terry,
      I would forget the width rule and just look for one that has plenty of heft to it. These rules are not exact, they are just guidelines. That’s a pretty wide table which is nice. For example, if you find one rectangular fixture that is large that you love you could do that. A trick I sometimes do is take a photo of my table and then I use the manufacturer’s photo of the light fixture and using Picmonkey, put it over the table. I can do that for you if you send me a photo of your table and a link to the fixture. It’s a fun way to get a preview. I hope this helps.

      Andrea

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