Lighting For Dining Rooms
Dining and entertaining at home has become increasingly popular in recent years and a great deal of thought should be given to your dining area in terms of lighting…
Putting a sense of occasion to the dining area helps transform the space from a functional area, where the kids do their homework, to an opulent grown up zone for entertaining. Small kitchens or even a little pull out table in the lounge can still benefit from the ‘dining room’ treatment.
Lighting is crucial- that’s why swanky restaurants have ‘wow’ lighting, candles, lots of reflective surfaces, far too many glasses and super large plates per person. Well there you go; top tip! Lots of glasses, big plates and good lights. The good lighting is often the thing most people feel unsure about, but there really isn’t anything to difficult about good lighting – it’s simple, it’s using light to add to the occasion and impact to the dining area. The Lighting Company have some suggestions to help you whether you have a large formal dining room or a breakfast bar in the corner of the kitchen; there is a light to suit every situation.
Firstly, Just imagine as you and your guests walk into the dining area, a carefully selected ceiling fitment emitting a soft pool of light over an exquisitely set table. Best crockery and highly polished glasses, oh the anticipation a beautifully set scene for an enjoyable meal. Your guests already think it’s going to be a good meal – you could simply present the take away on your best china and you’re the hostess with the mostess! Most of us know what we’d like the scene to be like but achieving the look leaves many daunted.
The choice of light fittings is huge, so which one to choose depends largely on personal taste. Although there are some tried and tested styling tricks and combinations that may be useful as a source of inspiration. Crystal chandeliers are super for an impressive formal dining area, or for smaller areas, you could opt for an easy fit pendant chandelier from the range at ‘The Lighting Company’. For those of you who prefer a minimal style, a row of evenly spaced pendant lights or lighting on a long bar fitting may be the choice. In restaurants, the current lighting trend is for large oversized drum shaped pendant lights you’ll find a whole heap of coloured pendants lights to select from Bespoke silk lampshades in hot pink, green, taupe, marine or aqua blue the list goes on, try The Lighting Company’s large range of dinning room lights for further inspiration.
Modern pendant lights in a row or a cluster over kitchen tables and central islands also look wonderful. In practical terms, care should be taken to ensure that the light is positioned centrally above the dining area, so that none of the guests feel that they are in the ‘spotlight’ and also, that the light is bright enough to illuminate the entire table. Allow for plenty of light if the table is used for reading or homework at other times but do fit a dimmer for evenings entertaining. A dim light is better suited for a relaxed dinner party. You can have candles on the table too, as this will add to the ambience but used alone, candles can be just a little too romantic for a meal with friends (or the in-laws for that matter!).
A further consideration should be given to the hanging height of the pendant lights, we recommend that the light should be positioned approximately 60cm above the height of the table to ensure that all guests have a clear vision of each other and that they are not staring directly at a bulb. We’ve mentioned hanging lights ‘centrally’ above the table but if you simply cannot re-position your light, what can you do?
- Why not have a light with extra long chain and put a large hook above the table -you can then hang your light where you want it without moving the electrical point.
- Or maybe you could opt for a spot light and point the light towards a large decorative globe or hanging crystals above the table.
- Tall buffet lamps* are also a nice option and can be as attractive with lots of pools of light.
- String lights* or Christmas tree lights* can also be used to drape along the table -make sure the cables are not positioned where wine glasses are to be placed. It may be wise to consider using outdoor Christmas lights as these are water proof.
- Finally consider a large floor standing lamp* floor lamps in an arching style are best.
As the meal ends and conversation comes to the fore, a different type of light may be beneficial. Uplighters, table lamps and accent lighting around the room’s perimeter can be utilised to create an relaxed, cosy feel. For those of you have a lounge diners it’s suggested that you dim the table lights down very low as you and your guests move to the seating area and have some little table lamps dotted around to retain the ambience. The ‘Dimmer Switches’ we touched upon earlier are a great idea in dining rooms; not only do they facilitate the lowering of light to create atmosphere for entertaining, they can also be turned up to maximum to illuminate the room for preparation and after party cleaning! And turned to fully on stark bright if it really is time for the guests to go home, “but do come again”!
*PLEASE NOTE Always take care to ensure cables are careful managed and secured (often where there is wine present; common sense is not!)
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