Chandelier and Pendant Heights

Proper Chandelier and Pendant Heights
This is an important consideration when selecting and ordering a chandelier or pendant light. This issue comes up frequently with our customers and can potentially confuse to the point of frustration. We'll try and make it simple in the following.

Chandelier and pendant heights will vary greatly depending upon installation location as well as pendant or chandelier type. Some chandelier or pendant designs are an up-light design with an open top (inverted).  Some are designed with an open bottom or closed top and bottom.

Open Top Chandeliers And Pendants (inverted):

Most people will prefer not to view into the open top of an inverted chandelier or pendant. This may be true for two reasons.  Many people may not want to see the actual light bulb(s) or light source. Some may also prefer not to view the construction aspects of the light fixture. You may want to install your inverted light fixture at a height where an above averaged height person cannot view into the open top of the fixture design. This can be a challenge in an architectural environment where there may be a stairwell, balcony, or cat walk within the vicinity of the installation location. Consider this when selecting a light fixture design.

Open Bottom Chandeliers And Pendants:

Again, some people prefer not to view the actual light source or construction of a light fixture. In this case, a chandelier or pendant should not be installed too high. For example, for a foyer installation, you may want to consider a light fixture design that has a closed bottom. For a chandelier to be installed above a dining table, consider the vantage point from a seated position. It should be mentioned that many folks are not bothered at all by the interior view of a light fixture and appreciate the added downward brightness that an open bottom light fixture can provide.

Note:  Many chandelier and pendant designs are available with optional loose fitting bottom glass panels. Please inquire whether this option is available.

Chandeliers For A Dining Room Table Application:

There are general guidelines in determining a proper overall height (extension) of a dining table chandelier. The same applies to a pendant for a breakfast nook or table. Generally speaking, you will want the very bottom of the chandelier or pendant to be from 30" to 35" from the surface of the table. Much depends upon the design of the chandelier or pendant, as well as personal preferences. Since ceiling heights will vary greatly, this overall height will vary.

The following is the recipe for calculating a proper height...
Ceiling height minus (-) your table height minus (-) your desired distance from the table surface (30 to 35 inches).

Ceiling height of: 120 inches
Table height of: 30 inches
= 90 inches
Subtract 30 to 35 inches (lets use 32 inches)
= 58" (this is the desired overall height or extension of your chandelier or pendant)

Many of our chandeliers are made with a stem and can be made to any overall height or extension. With a stem construction design, connecting to the ceiling plate or canopy, the overall height cannot be modified after being made. Most chandeliers or pendant designs are designed with some length of chain or chain links allowing the end user to adjust the overall height or extension at the time of installation. Make sure that you are ordering your light fixture with enough stem and chain links for your ceiling height.

Proper Chandelier Height

Pendants Above A Kitchen Island:
An island pendant should be installed at a height that is also from 30-35 inches from the counter surface but does not greatly obstruct any valued view. An important factor is the width of the island. For example, with an island that is quite wide (30 inches or more), a low hanging pendant may not get in the way of any functional activity such as food preparation. Low hanging pendants over a narrow island or an island where seating is present, may present a problem. We always suggest hanging some string from the ceiling or taping a tape measure to the ceiling and playing with varying heights in determining a comfortable pendant height. Very often, we will email an actual scale drawing of a pendant to our customers and they will print it out, cut it out and play with the height. This is a fool proof method.

Chandeliers And Pendants For General Room Installations (not above a table):
This one is a common sense approach. Make sure that the bottom of the light fixture is well above the head of a tall individual (at least 80 or more from the floor).  This one is mostly an aesthetic judgment based upon the light fixture design and ceiling height.

Foyer Pendants:
Very often,  a foyer may have an important feature such as a unique window. You may want to consider hanging a pendant at a height where it can be viewed within the window area from the exterior. Generally, a foyer pendant should be installed about 1/3 down from the ceiling to the bottom of the fixture so that the light can be dispersed evenly within the foyer space. Light dispersion will vary greatly depending upon glass type (diffuser type), quantity of light sockets, bulb type, and wattage. Many foyer pendant fixture designs can also be adjusted in height, on site. It is important that you be present at the time of installation to assist in determining a height. Do not leave this decision solely in the hands of an Electrician or Contractor. They would typically prefer that you make this decision. many foyer pendant designs may also be available with a closed bottom option.  Please inquire.

We certainly hope this information has been helpful. Please do not hesitate in contacting us if you have any questions or would like some height customization to your lighting order with us.