Sizing Your Fixtures – The Light Hangar Company

Sizing Your Fixtures

Simple, Not Plain
March 26, 2019

By Laura Davis, Owner of The Light Hangar Company

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. So how do you determine what is the appropriate sized fixture to buy?


There is a general rule of thumb for sizing the appropriate diameter for fixtures. I certainly caution this as a guideline and not a hardfast rule.

Step 1: Measure the length and width of the room (in feet).

Step 2: Add those numbers together.

Step 3: Use the total in inches to determine the appropriate diameter of the fixture.

(Example: 10.5 by 12 foot room = 10.5+12= 22.5 inches)

Light fixtures come in a wide variety of materials, styles and colors so the design of the light may actually affect how large or small it appears. Fixtures with complex designs can appear larger than they really are. This needs to be taken into consideration as well as the size.


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 length of the chandelier. Based on a standard 8-foot ceiling, your fixture should hang at least 30 inches above the table. For every additional foot of ceiling height, add 3 inches to the height from the table.

A popular style in the dining room these days is to use multiple chandeliers or pendants to style a longer table. The same spatial rules apply as above to the total width of the fixtures. To position the fixtures, always start from the center point and measure outwards with even spacing in between. 

For bedrooms, hallways and other places that wall sconces are used, these fixtures 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.

While there are so many things to consider when selecting the right fixtures, size really does matter. Check back with us for next month’s article. It will detail guidelines for kitchen islands, foyers and bathrooms.

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