7 Best Tips For Lighting Over Round Dining Table

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So you’ve found the perfect dining table and now for the main focal point… the lighting. Lighting is always an important element in any room. At the dining table there are plenty of activities happening from morning till night. From a home office to hosting.

How to choose the lighting over a round table? The light fixture should complement the dining table and give plenty of light to those sitting around it. So how big does the light fixture need to be? Here is your guide to choosing your dining room lighting correctly for a round dining table. 

Tips For Choosing Lighting Over Round Dining Table

Key Points To Consider:

  • Size of the dining room or “dining area”
  • Size of your dining table
  • Ceiling height
  • Style of your dining room
  • Other light sources
  • Budget 

1. Style of Lighting 

The style of the light fixture determines the overall look and mood of your dining space. For a modern style, a single large pendant centered over the table is a great fit.

If you’d like an elegant and formal style, a crystal chandelier is a perfect option. There are lots of different options to choose from, drum lights, a modern branched statement chandelier, sculptural lighting and more.

Of course, the style of lighting is down to your personal preference and the design elements you already have in your space. 

Smaller pendants clustered together at different heights provide a nice design feature above a round table. It gives a unique and modern drama to the space. While large pendant lights make a simple but strong design statement. 

For rooms with lower ceilings, it’s best to choose light fixtures on a smaller scale. Also choosing a light fixture with a sense of openness would be ideal to make the most of the natural light in the daytime for small spaces. A beautiful flush mount light is a good option for small spaces with low ceilings too. 

2. Light Fixture Shape


For a round dining table, it makes sense for the round shape to be reflected in the lighting above it too. That creates symmetry and a perfect balance between the two decorative elements. A small square pendant would work well for a smaller dining table too.

My only recommendation would be to opt for an open and airy pendant so it doesn’t look odd over the round table. For an oval table, a rectangular or linear fixture would be fine but it doesn’t quite work for a round table. 

3. Sizing Guide For Width

Here are a few good guidelines you can use to size up your lighting:

  1. Measure the width of the room and add that to the length of the room. For example, a 10×12′ room with a light fixture of 22″ width would be ideal.
  2. A general rule of thumb is for your lighting to be 1/2 – 2/3 the diameter width of the table.
  3. For a chandelier take the size of your table (the diameter) and take 12 inches off that measurement. The chandelier shouldn’t extend beyond the width of the dining table. A 4-foot (48″) table can fit 4 to 6 chairs around it. For this table size, you would choose a chandelier around 36 inches.

It’s usually best to choose the size of your light fixture based on the size of the table. With this guideline, you shouldn’t have any problems with getting the lighting proportions right.

You don’t want the light fixture to be too small. It also shouldn’t be so big that it overtakes the size of the dining table. 

4. Sizing Guide For Height 


The taller your ceilings are the more height you’ll be able to use for your light pendant or chandelier. A good rule of thumb is 2-3 inches height for your light fixture for every foot of ceiling height.

The standard height for most rooms is an 8-foot ceiling. A good size height for your light fixture would be between 16 inches to 24 inches for one main light fixture over the dining table. If you have high ceilings you’ll be able to go for larger light fixtures. 

5. Above The Table

Always center your light fixture to the middle of your round dining table not to the room. When hanging your light fixture keep 2-3 feet of space between the bottom of the light and the tabletop.

You want the lighting close enough for a good spread of light. And the light isn’t so far away from the dining table that it feels disconnected. This guideline also gives you and your guests enough headspace when getting up from the table.

However, the height of the ceiling will be the deciding factor. A standard ceiling height of 8 feet, with 2-3 feet clearance is good. If your height is lower than that you’ll have to adjust the height above the table or opt for a semi-flush mount fixture instead. 

If your main light outlet is off-center from your table, you can use a swag hook that centers your light fixture over the table. 

6. Other Light Sources


The lighting scheme in the rest of the dining room is equally important. Accent lighting from wall sconces, floor lamps, and recessed spotlights all add to the ambiance and functionality of the entire room.

Layered lighting in a room gives plenty of options for evening time for all activities like eating and homework. If you have strong other light sources in the room you can decide to go with a soft glow to your lighting above the table.

Putting your lighting on dimmer switches provides the perfect lighting solution for all lighting moods.

If the rest of the light is limited it’s best to go for pendant lighting over the table. That will give you strong table lighting throughout different weather conditions outside. For example, if it’s a dark cloudy day or raining. With some task lighting and soft lighting, the space will easily accommodate everyone throughout the year. 

Also, think about the type of light bulbs that you’re using for the lights. Are they giving an ambient glow or do they need to be brighter?

It’s easy to switch out your bulbs to find the right color temperature you need to suit your room. Halogen light bulbs tend to have a warmer color than the LED lights. 

7. Budget 

How much are you looking to spend on your dining room lighting? Again this is a personal choice. The lighting may be the wow factor you want to finish your room. So in this case you’re willing to spend a little more money.

Whatever fixture design you’re after you’ll be able to find something that suits your style and affordability. 

Dining Table and Lighting Combo Guide

Here are some design combinations for lighting and dining tables that will help you.

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1 Remington Iron Pendant Light | 2. Owen Round Pedestal Table | 3. McCarthy 3 Light Glass Pendant | 4. Ellington Marble Round Table | 5. Mancini Chandelier | 6. Newbold Dining Table | 7. Etienne Glass Chandelier | 8. Onyx Stone Dining Table

Those are my top tips for lighting over a round table. If you’re looking for more design tips for your dining space check this guide out. 



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