Space Matters: How to Select the Right-Sized Indoor Light Fixture

When selecting the right lighting, size matters. Progress Lighting offers a few rules to serve as your guide to how size and scale play a role in lighting your home.

indoor light sizing

This post was originally posted on August 15, 2014 and updated on May 19, 2022.

You may know the exact style, finish, and place for an indoor 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. If you're purchasing fixtures online, sometimes knowing the dimensions just doesn't cut it. And if you see the fixture you love in a store or showroom, it can be hard to imagine that exact light above your dining room table. So, how do you determine what is the appropriately sized fixture to buy? We've broken it down for you with a few rules to serve as your guide. Read on to learn how size and scale play a role in lighting your home.

Sizing for Bath and Vanity Lighting

For single bowl vanities, positioning wall lights on both sides of the mirror is the best way to provide shadow-free lighting for your face. The ideal width is at least 28 inches apart and centered at 60 inches above the floor. To select the perfect size, choose a light that measures about three-quarters the mirror's width. Another great option for bathrooms with two sinks is to mount two separate vanity lights one above each sink, or one large 4 – 6 light vanity fixture above one big mirror.

Gilmour Bath Vanity Light

Featuring: Gilmour

Width Guidelines for Chandeliers

The table under the chandelier should serve as a guide for selecting the correct sized fixture for your space. To calculate the width of your chandelier, start with the width of your table and subtract 12 inches. This number will give you an idea of the correct width of the chandelier. For example, if your table is 42 inches wide, the width of your chandelier should not be more than 30 inches. It is also important to consider the size of the room in relation to the chandelier. Measure the size of your room from corner to corner, diagonally. That number in feet should equal the diameter in inches of your chandelier. For example, if the room is 30 feet diagonally, the chandelier's diameter should not exceed 30 inches.
Leyden Atwell Chandeliers

Featuring Leyden and Atwell

Hanging Guidelines for Chandeliers

Based on an 8-foot ceiling, your fixture should hang at least 32 inches above the table. For every additional foot of ceiling height, add 3 inches. For foyer lights, ensure your chandelier is not lower than 84 inches from the floor to not interfere with the door or people passing underneath.Cumberland Foyer Light

Featuring Cumberland

Sizing for Wall Sconces and Bracket Lights

Wall sconces and brackets should be positioned at least 74 inches from the floor for bedrooms and hallways. Make sure to place these fixtures high enough so that the tallest resident or visitor would not be able to see down into the top of the light.

Williamston Wall Lantern

Featuring Williamston

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