How to Hang a Light
At what height should you hang a ceiling light? This is a very common question we hear people asking all the time, so we have provided a quick guide on how high or low to hang certain types of lighting.
Did you know, for example, there are different basic ‘rules of thumb’ for hanging lights in different rooms? Here we will cover the basics to help you hang your light fittings at the perfect height for your rooms and needs.
How to Hang Dining Room Lights
Dining room lighting needs to be bright enough to eat by while not being too intrusive. The best way to light a dining room to achieve character and ambient lighting is to hang your light fittings at the optimum height directly above your dining table.
Based on an average UK ceiling height of 8 feet (2.43m), the basic rule to follow is to aim for a gap of 30-40 inches (76cm – 102cm) between the surface of your tabletop to the bottom of your light fitting. If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, simply add an extra 3 inches (8cm) to your gap for each additional foot of ceiling height.
If you don’t want to commit to a fixed height for your dining room light fittings, there is a great alternative. rise and fall lights are elegant pendant-style light fittings that can be adjusted at any time. Simply lower them to create more intimate dining experiences or raise them to cast a broader pool of light across the room.
How to Hang Kitchen Island Lights
Similar to the concept of low-hanging dining room lights, kitchen island lights traditionally hang lower than standard ceiling lights, creating concentrated, intimate lighting effects. The difference with kitchen island lights is that you will usually need more than one, which adds additional measurements to the task.
Using the standard example of an 8-foot (2.43m) ceiling and a minimum of two island lights, follow these basic rules for hanging your lights:
Find the centrepoint of your kitchen island and, measuring outwards, ensure that your lights are hung at least 30 inches (76cm) apart and equidistant from your centrepoint. Then, when choosing your hanging height, aim for a gap of 30-36 inches (76cm – 91cm) between the surface of your island countertop to the bottom of your light fitting.
Again, add an extra 3 inches (8cm) to your gap for each additional foot of ceiling height. And, if you want to be able to adjust your lights whenever you like, opt for a set of rise and fall lights to get maximum design and function flexibility.
How to Hang Living Room, Bedroom and Hallway Lights
The rules for ceiling lights in your living room, bedroom and hallway differ slightly from those of dining room and kitchen island lighting, as there is usually no call for overhead focal lighting points.
Based on an average ceiling height of 8 feet (2.4m), you want to hang your lights so that the bottom of the fitting sits around 7 feet (2.1m) above the floor. Pay close attention to the size of your light fittings and lamp shades and bear in mind that they will look larger when fitted lower, and smaller when they are hung higher.
If you are hanging pendant lights above beds, or if you have a lower than average ceiling, consider raising the fitting slightly if necessary as low-hanging light fittings over beds can cause difficulties when changing bedding.
If you do a lot of reading or tasks that require lots of light, consider hanging your lights higher and opting for brighter, higher-wattage bulbs to ensure you’re getting enough light in your room.
You can find an extensive range of dining room lights, bedroom lights and kitchen island pendants here at Moonlight Design, perfect if you need a little inspiration on styles.