Space Matters: How to select the right-sized fixture

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting, remodeling.

You may know the exact style, finish and place for a light fixture to complete your remodel or adorn your new home – but let’s face it, size can be a real challenge. And when it comes to selecting the right lighting, size matters.

If you’re purchasing fixtures online, sometimes knowing the dimensions just doesn’t cut it. And if you see the fixture you love in a store or showroom, it can be hard to imagine that exact fixture above your dining room table.

So how do you determine what is the appropriate sized fixture to buy? Well, we’ve broken it down for you with a few rules to serve as your guide. Read on to learn how size and scale play a role in lighting your home.

Bath + Vanities

For single bowl vanities, positioning fixtures on both sides of the mirror is the best way to provide shadow-free lighting for your face. The ideal width is at least 28 inches apart, and centered at 60 inches above the floor. If you choose to place your lights above the mirror, the width of your fixture should be at least 1/3 the width of the vanity mirror, but should never exceed its total width. In bathrooms with two sinks, another great option is to mount two separate fixtures, one above each sink.

Image courtesy of Stephen Alexander Homes | StephenAlexanderHomes.com

Chandeliers

Width Guidelines

The table under the chandelier should serve as a guide for selecting the right sized fixture for your space. To calculate the correct width for your chandelier, start with the width of your table and subtract 12 inches. This number will give you an idea of the right width of the chandelier. For example, if your table is 42 inches wide, the width of your chandelier should not be more than 30 inches.

It is also important to consider the size of the room in relation to the chandelier. Measure the size of your room from corner to corner, diagonally. That number in feet should equal the diameter in inches of your chandelier. For example, if the room is 30 feet diagonally, then the chandelier should not exceed 30 inches in diameter.

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Inspire chandelier

Hanging Height Guidelines

Based on an 8-foot ceiling, your fixture should hang at least 32 inches above the table. For every additional foot of ceiling height, add 3 inches. For foyer fixtures, ensure your chandelier is not lower than 84 inches from the floor as to not interfere with the door or people passing underneath. For two story floors, consider centering the fixture in the window when looking in from the outside.

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Wisten chandelier

Wall Sconces + Brackets

For bedrooms and hallways, wall sconces and brackets should be positioned at least 74 inches from the floor. These fixtures should be placed high enough so that the tallest resident (or visitor) would not be able to see down into the top of the fixture.

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Noir collection

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