25 Best Dining Room Lighting Ideas

Choosing lighting options for your dining room area is one of the most important decisions, as it needs to be close to perfect. The dining room is where you gather to eat with family and guests, where you laugh and share, and the lighting needs to add to the experience, not detract from it.

There are thousands of lighting options to consider regarding dining room lights, with the trusted chandelier a typical choice and a favorite when consumers decide on a light to take home with them. There are many other inspiring dining room lighting ideas, and today we discuss some of the best ones.

1. The Classic Chandelier 

The brass, glass, or crystal chandelier is a dining room staple and a fixture that helps any room gain a sophisticated look. Traditionally, a formal-looking chandelier pairs well with dark hardwood dining sets but works well with a bold mix of furniture styles.

dining room two chandeliers

Accessories that tie in with the brass theme, such as a brass wall mirror, will complement the light fixture. The classic chandelier brings a certain formality to a dining space and can complement various furniture, materials, and accessory styles. 

2. The Modern Chandelier

The modern chandelier is more abstract in its design than its classical brother, and that’s a good thing. It looks like a ball of light energy that has exploded before being frozen in mid-air. Greenery enhances the beauty of the modern take on a chandelier.

modern chandelier lighting the dining table

3. Hang Multiple Chandeliers In The Dining Room Space 

There’s no design rule that states you can only hang one chandelier over your dining room set. Two chandeliers covering equal dining table space are a thing of beauty.

multiple chandeliers in the dining room space

Depending on the size of the dining room table and dining room, it may be best to go for minimalistic chandeliers. Two is better than one when it comes to beautiful chandeliers.

4. Choose Branch Chandeliers For A Chic Look

Branching chandeliers are less overpowering than classic ones and are perfect for a less-is-best approach. The minimalistic design is sleek and beautiful, allowing the room to come together without forcing itself on the occupants.

chandelier with branch lights over dining table

These chandeliers have brass limbs that spread out in different directions. You’ve hit the chic jackpot if you can find a branch chandelier with handblown globes. Eye-catching, yet understated, is what these types of chandeliers bring to the dining room party.

5. Be Adventurous When Choosing A Chandelier

Go for something other than the tried and trusted chandelier design, even though a classic glass or crystal chandelier looks beautiful and deserves to be a centerpiece in many homes.

different shapes of available chandeliers

With so many differently styled chandeliers available, be adventurous. Go for the cage, waterfall, beaded, or industrial chandeliers. Metallic chandeliers dressed in gold and silver ensure a striking centerpiece.

6. Hang A Apple Bubble Pendant

The Nelson Apple Bubble Pendant is a design from the 1950s and is still a popular light fixture design in a dining room today. These lights are constructed from a spray-coated soft plastic (used by the Military).

historic pendant light in bubble shape

The design comes from the stall of legendary designer George Nelson, and other lighting options in the bubble pendant range include:

  1. Nelson Ball Bubble Pendant
  2. Nelson Pear Bubble Pendant
  3. Nelson Saucer Bubble Pendant

7. Nostalgic Retro Warehouse Lights 

Old-school warehouse lighting work beautifully in a dining room, bringing a touch of nostalgia and light to the dinner party. Choosing a splash of color on the trim of the industrial lights will add warmth to a neutrally-themed room.

retro warehouse lighting for dining room table

The retro warehouse light setup works well in the place of a central chandelier, especially when set up with a rectangular dining room table. For an 8-seater, two of these vintage lights should do the trick.

8. Add A Ceiling Medallion To Your Light Piece

Whatever your choice of light fixture, the light’s trim will attach to the ceiling. So while many trims look good by themselves, a ceiling medallion can enhance the look if you’re looking to boost your light fixture’s trim aesthetics.

Ceiling medallions work well with contemporary light designs due to their typical contrasting nature. A ceiling medallion won’t look out of place, even when installing the most extravagant chandeliers below them. Do the right thing and crown your light piece with a medallion.

extravagant ceiling medallion light

9. Fit Arc Lights To The Wall 

An arched wall-mounted light could be the perfect solution if the space above your dining room table doesn’t justify a light piece due to space constraints or room layout. A minimalistic long-armed arc lamp that indiscreetly makes its way to hover over the table can work wonders.

If you don’t want to use an arc light, a single spotlight might be the right light installation type if you prefer a light source without a bulky installation.

10. Turn Back Time With A Midcentury Light Piece

You can’t go wrong with character-enhancing midcentury retro ceiling lights, revered for their unique shapes and inspired by legendary midcentury designers such as the late George Nelson, Paul Henningsson, and Arne Jacobsen.

Choose a modern-midcentury design such as Sputnik-inspired pendants, midcentury-inspired chandeliers, and nostalgic flush mount lights paired with a midcentury wall sconce.

retro ceiling light above dining table

With their mixture of spokes, globes, and antique brass, Sputnik pendants work well to create a futuristic dining space. A three-armed ceiling light is a classic midcentury style and is available in matte black, shiny brass, and several dazzling designs.

You can’t do wrong by adding midcentury modern furniture to complement the midcentury-inspired lighting options.

11. Light Fixtures Made From Rattan 

Strike up a rattan partnership in your dining room by inserting a rattan dining room set complimented by a rattan pendant light. The combination makes for a relaxed, ocean-vibes setting, and the light cast from the weaved wicker typically makes for lovely light patterns.

rattan pendant light in dining room

Wicker-inspired lighting pairs well with earthy tones, and adding a natural element will make the presentation pop. Feel free to play with sculptural elements in surrounding areas. A tiered-rattan pendant light is a popular choice.

Feel free to experiment with rattan light fixtures; some are abstract but fit beautifully in most settings.

12. Switch On The Sconces

Sconces complement a room’s primary light source from its position on the wall. In addition, sconces are small light sources that can emit light up or down, making them an ideal lighting choice when you want to light up artwork, contemporary pieces, or other displays.

A row of scones on the adjoining wall next to a dining room table will give the space a soft and warm glow, especially if the wall paint sports a cool color. If overhead space above the dining table is limited, you can ditch a central hanging primary light piece for decorative sconces.

13. Let Contemporary Mingle With Antique 

One of the simplest methods to create a beautiful contrast in your dining room area is to pair modern furniture with antique lighting and vice versa. A sleek, light design will contrast nicely with older furniture.

antique dining room

The more extreme the discrepancy in age or design of the furniture, accent pieces, and light fixtures, the more exaggerated the contrast. When you’re happy with the contrast, you can bring harmony by adding earthy elements such as houseplants and abstract paintings to create balance.

14. Combine Different Yet Similar Pendant Lights 

A pendant light by itself can be a striking piece when you choose the perfect one. However, a great way to multiply the effect of a unique pendant is to add a few more to the equation. Layering pendant lights is a surefire way to create a dynamic space.

different but similar pendant lights

The excellent idea is to use pendants that look relatively similar yet slightly different. Identical pendants also work together to create a harmonious light space.

Different-sized bare light bulb pendant lights create a beautiful visual contrast and a feeling of togetherness due to seeing the insides of the light.

15. Round Tables Pair Well With Organically Shaped Circular Lights

If you’re pondering how to bring light to your round dining room table, look no further than the light setup of the knights of old. A wagon wheel chandelier is the perfect shape to compliment a circular dining room table.

old round lighting above round dining table

With many designs featuring 20- light bulbs or more, you can be sure of ample light and a design that will attract your dining guests’ attention. For example, Old-school refurbished wheel chandeliers are perfect for a rusty look, whereas casted and painted ones are more modern.

Try to steer clear of rectangular designed fixtures when you have a round table, as it usually doesn’t work well together, stick with a similar form or an organically shaped light.

16. Let Lantern Lights Light Create The Mood

Lanterns are beautiful and the original mood setters of old. If your dining room theme is rustic, or you have an adjoining open-plan farm-style kitchen area, it makes sense to combine the aesthetics.

beautiful metal lantern lights

You can make lanterns hang at different lengths, with black metal lanterns being trendy. Purchasing lanterns that look old will add to a farmhouse style.

17. Track Lighting Can Light The Way

Track lighting is a popular option in a dining room, especially when an additional, prominent light source is already in play. For example, track lighting above a dining table allows you to create ambient lighting for the dining room area.

popular track lights for the dining room

Total control over the angle and positioning of the lights gives you a range of lighting options. For example, you can focus track lights on the table and others on the decorative piece on the wall or the display cabinet in the corner. With flexible track lighting, you’re in control.

18. Make A Big Statement With Huge Lights

A big lamp or light fixture can be the perfect fit, even in a small space with a small dining table. Don’t limit yourself by only considering lighting options that fit within the table space.

huge light fixture above the dining table

A big lamp or a linear crystal chandelier that’s as wide as your dining table will create contrast and makes a massive visual statement. Regarding dining room lighting, bigger is always better.

A too-small lighting fixture will instantly look out of place, whereas a too-big one can quickly grow on you.

19. Return To Your Roots With Organic Lights 

Bringing nature and organic materials into your home should be on everyone’s to-do list. Elements of nature are always beautiful, whether it be the wood dining room set, indoor plant displays, or a water feature.

light fixture of organic materials

Dining room lights made from sticks, twigs, and wood beads, blended with paints in a shape that makes sense to the room it’s applied in, will add a certain organic sparkle to the surroundings. DIY construction of such a piece is a fun and creative way of making your dining room design personal.

If you can’t find a light piece made from organic material, try getting your hands on one made from antler horns.

20. Recycled Metal Light Fixtures

Recycled metal, turned into artistic light pieces, is unique. By blending metal art and lights, you’re not only doing your part in the recycling department but also acquiring a light piece that isn’t in every second dining room.

metal light fixtures from recycled materials

Woven metal orbs can transform any light bulb into art and a visual delight.

21. Cluster The Globe Lights 

Globe lights give you the freedom to get creative. You can hang these lights at different lengths from different ceiling spots and easily create a deconstructed globe chandelier if you wish.

cluster of globe lights

You can adjust these lights into many hang patterns, and the layout becomes endless if you have a piece of draping hardware installed. Globe lights are less expensive than most dining room lighting options, yet it gives you a lot of room to get the creative juices flowing.

22. Turn Your Attention To A Candelabra 

A candelabra adds warmth and a rustic charm to any room, whether you prefer a classic setup or a more modern version. When going for the candelabra look, placing these candle holders directly on the table or hanging a candelabra-styled chandelier from the ceiling is a popular option.

classic candelabra on dining room ceiling

Typically, you can choose to have real candles in the ones positioned on the dining room tables, while the candles in a hanging fixture would be lights shaped as candles.

23. Unlock The Room With Cage Lights

Caged lights are lighting fixtures encased in a metal frame structure. For example, you can hang pendant lights in a metal structure, shape a chandelier from a cage-like box, and surround the light source in metal cubes.

lighting fixtures in metal frames

Visually cage-like light fixtures are beautiful and unique and won’t let any dining room down. Metal and lights are a perfect combination, and you will find many unique combinations of these elements.

Unlike recycled metal fixtures, the metal used with cage lights is often sprayed with black to give the finished product a sleek and new look.

24. Linear Lights Works With Rectangular Tables

If you have a rectangular table to light up, it’s a good idea to match the table’s shape with a similar, linear-shaped fixture. A group of lights covering the table’s size will bring scale to the room and not detract from it.

large extravagant rectangular light fixture

25. Less Is More

Less can be more when designing your dining room, which goes for more than the light fixtures you choose. The room should not feel as if elements are fighting with each other for attention. In certain instances, a minimalist approach can work better than an extravagant kick-in-the-face approach.

Maybe the giant crystal-dripping chandelier isn’t the right choice for the in-the-corner dining room space. In comparison, a couple of pendants might fit better. It’s all about finding the right balance.