With the room painted and the dining set moved in we needed to find a light fixture. We couldn’t make a decision on what exactly we wanted. I love glitter and my thoughts were a long rectangular light with crystals dangling from it. We look around and couldn’t find one quite long enough. You are probably asking yourself, how do you know what long enough is?
Project 1B: Lighting
Generally, there are 2 ways you can come up with this measurement of a dining room light fixture.
1. Add the length and width of your room together, the resulting number is the diameter of your chandelier. We calculated our room like this:
10’9” (10.75’) + 16’4” (16.333’) = 27.083
We would be looking for a chandelier about 27” in diameter.
2. Select a chandelier that is ½ to ¾ the size of your dining room table, but it must be 24” shorter than the table (ie 12” on either side). Whoa that’s some heavy duty math…. For our table we calculated like this (our table is 75” x 45”):
75” x 0.75 = 56.25”
75” - 56.25” = 18.25”
18.25 / 2 = 9.125”
By this calculation, a 56” long chandelier is too long
75” x 0.5 = 37.5”
75” – 24” = 51”
Now that you have determined your approximate size, you should also take into consideration how much light the fixture is giving off. To determine the wattage, multiply the length and width of your room, then multiply the result by 1.5. The answer is the number of watts your room will need to be well lit.
Our room was calculated like this:
10’9” (10.75’) x 16’4” (16.333’) = 175.58 sq feet
175.58 x 1.5 = 263.37 watts
The Shopping List
The calculation you go with should be dependent on the configuration of your room and the shape of your dining room table. Since our dining room houses a main artery to the kitchen and we have a long rectangular table, we chose to go with calculation number 2 since it made the most sense to us and the use of our room.
We decided we were looking for a fixture between 37.5” and 51” long, about 21” wide and would let off about 263 watts of light. We chose to ignore the pot lights as both lights would probably never be on at the same time. The pot lights were there to highlight our wall art and the dining room fixture was there to create ambiance in the room.
With our list in hand, off to the store we go!
We went to a local specialty lighting store since we could not find anything that suited our (ok mostly my) vision for our dining room at the local big box hardware stores. It was at this store I found and fell in love with the fixture of my dreams. A beautiful, sparkly, rectangular shaped chandelier that fit our measurements. BUT it was like $1800. Agh. Hubby quickly stepped up and talked me out of it. His argument? Our dining room set was made in the early 1900’s and this fixture was way too modern for it. It made sense and for once he was right (he’ll tell you it doesn’t happen that often, but I will give credit where credit is due.)
In the end, we picked out a brushed nickel, 6 light fixture that is reminiscent of an antique chandelier where they used pillar candles instead of electric lights with glass coverings.
Its all good until we think it through…6 lights, with a max wattage of 100 watts each. Holy crap! That’s about 600 watts of light for a room that needs less that half of that. The guy at the store says not problem. Install a dimmer. It’s funny how everything snowballs eh?