What’s The Right Chandelier Height Above A Table?

One of the most common questions when hanging a chandelier is ,what’s the right chandelier height above a table? Are you getting ready to add a new light fixture above your dining table. Before you get your electrician or handyman (or yourself) started on the job, follow these tips so your light fixture looks just right. The proper height when the bottom of the fixture is 30-36″ above the center of the dining table, but there are other factors to consider.

There are lots of different light fixtures that you can hang above a dining table. Read this post if you are looking for guidance about how to choose the right SIZE chandelier.

Let’s assume you already have your new light fixture. There are general guidelines to consider when you determine the height of the fixture including the height of your ceiling and the shape of your room.

chandelier height over table

Ceiling Height Affects Chandelier Height

Proportion is something that can make a room feel just right or a little off for some reason that you can’t quite put your finger on. How high you hang your chandelier is in part determined by whether you have low ceilings, tall ceilings or vaulted ceilings. As a general rule of thumb, If you have high ceilings (10 feet or more), hanging a chandelier 30 inches above your table surface makes it look out of proportion.

Adjust your fixture/chandelier height using this formula (the formula applies to pendant lights as well). For every additional foot of ceiling height over the standard 8-foot ceiling, add three inches to the height your chandelier hangs above the table.

chandelier or pendant height

For example, if your ceiling height is ten feet, you should have 36 inches between the bottom of your chandelier and the table.

This rule applies whatever your chandelier size is and whether you have a round or a rectangular table. It doesn’t apply in a living room where the chandelier is NOT over a table.

Why Does Chandelier Height Matter?

When your light is hung at the right height it can make your dining table have a much more intimate feeling. If you hang your crystal chandelier too high, it can feel like the table doesn’t belong where it is.

Where to hang a chandelier if your table is not in the center of the room?

It seems that more often than not a dining table is NOT in the center of the room. This could be because you need space on one side to get into the room or if you have a large room it may be too large to have the table smack dab in the middle.

Wherever the table is, the chandelier should be centered over the table and not in the center of the room. A chandelier is like jewelry for your dining table and can be a focal point. It needs to light up that space and not provide light for an entire room. You can add enough light in other areas of the room by using other lighting fixtures such as floor lamps, table lamps or recessed lights..

How Far Should a Chandelier be from the Ceiling?

This is a common question for people who have just purchased a new chandelier. But it’s not the right way to look at where to hang your chandelier. If your chandelier is OVER A TABLE, you shouldn’t focus on how far it hangs from the ceiling, but rather how high it is above the dining room table.

Ceiling height is only a factor if your ceilings are over eight feet. But the formula is always based on the height above the table.

What’s Next?

When in doubt, hang your chandelier in the middle of your table with the lowest point at 30 inches above the table. Once your fixture is hung, you can make it the correct height by adjusting the chain length. You can simply take links out of the chain or cut the hanging rod.

If you find that the height feels off, you’re probably right. Your eye tells you things about proportion even when you don’t realize that’s what it is saying. Trust your gut and make adjustments.

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  1. I needed this blog post a long time ago! I never really thought about the measurements when hanging a chandelier. I’d like to share this on my weekly wrap-up, Andrea. Thanks for the tips.

  2. janet brunell says:

    I have a dining room we are converting to a sitting area. Room is 11.9X14 with a tray ceiling of 13′.
    I feel a 26″ wide fixture is too diminutive. How big can I go?

    1. Janet,

      If you aren’t going to have a table there any longer, you can definitely go bigger. The high ceilings dictate that you should probably go bigger than the formula. I would look for a fixture that has visual height and not just width. The main thing is that you really LOVE the fixture. There is no limit, except that the really large fixtures are pricy. I would look for something 36 to 42 inches. It really helps to narrow down the options when you search by size and finish. I hope this helps.


  3. I have a round Rotunda in the foyer entry I loved a 50″ long x 30 wide chandelier my ceiling is 12 foot high would that be the right size or would it look good in my Rotunda? There is no table underneath.

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    1. Mariola,

      Since you have 12 foot ceilings you have lots of height. As long as the 50″ is the full height including any drop or chain you should be fine. It will hang down to 7′ 10″. This is a safe height so that no one feels they have to duck to walk under it. If you want to send a picture, that’s always helpful.

      If the rotunda is even higher than 12 feet because it’s in a stairway, you have no issue.


  4. Under what conditions would you hang three chandeliers over a dining table?

    1. Barbara,

      Probably not three chandeliers, but three pendants. It it was a very long table and they could be spaced out correctly.


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