Top Tips For Practical and Beautiful Dining Room Lighting

The dining room or dining area of your home can have multiple purposes and therefore the lighting requires special attention. It may be that you use the space only to eat meals, but in many cases the dining room also serves as a study or crafts and hobby workspace, and is also used for hosting and entertaining guests.

You will therefore want lighting that is both practical and also creates the right atmosphere for social gatherings, or simply to create a pleasant ambience while you dine on darker winter evenings. Here are some top tips to help you light your dining room to perfection. 

Assess the amount of natural light

As a starting point, take a look at the space to assess how much natural light it benefits from. For example, if you have patio doors or a large bay window, place the table close to the light source so that you can benefit from natural daylight as much as possible. This will also allow you to enjoy pleasant views of the garden while dining. 

Work with the size of the room

The next point to consider is the dimensions of the space. Larger rooms with high ceilings are excellent opportunities for making a statement with a designer ceiling light. If you have a round or square shaped table, choose one central pendant light or a cluster of pendants to provide overhead lighting.

If you have a longer rectangular table, then linear lighting or a trio of pendant lights will provide a more evenly balanced light source. There is no need to have matching styles of pendant if you want to create some interest and make the lighting a focal point of the room. Experiment with different heights, shapes, colours, and so on.

Consider how the room is used

If the dining room is also used as a study area or a crafts room, then you will need to have adequate task lighting as well as ambient lighting. This can be easily achieved by fitting a dimmer switch on the overhead ceiling light source, to allow for a gentle glow for relaxed evening meals and more formal occasions, and a brighter everyday light source.

Add layers of lighting

Some additional accent lighting will help to prevent the room from feeling too gloomy on dark winter evenings, and provide a pleasant background light at dusk. Wall sconces and table lamps can provide a balance to offset the central lighting of the room. 

Highlight features with directional lighting

If you have a particular architectural feature or artwork that you want to show off at its best, highlight them with directional lighting or recessed downlights.


Last but not least, the gentle glow of candlelight can perfectly enhance the atmosphere of a special occasion. It’s warm and flattering, helping everyone to feel at ease. Opt for decorative T-light holders for a smaller dining table, or elegant tapered candles for a long rectangular table.