Guide to choosing a dining table lamp

Choosing the right dining table lamp can be a difficult task. Are you in doubt about which lamp shape will be right for you and what height the dining table lamp should hang? Don't worry, at Lumega Home we have in-depth knowledge and experience with the lighting of e.g., private homes. To help you on your way, we have compiled a visual guide with our best tips for when you're choosing your next dining table lamp.

This guide will help you and guides you through different lamp shapes, their importance for the use of the dining table, and at what height the dining table lamp should be hung.

In many families, the dining table is the meeting point for the whole family and the place where friends are invited for good food or other social activities. In addition, many people also use their dining table as an office space, for reading newspapers, writing assignments and other creative activities. That is why it is important to make clear what you are using your dining table for before you go out and buy a new dining table lamp.

Find out more about your next lamp with this ultimate guide to dining table lamps:

  • Lamp type - choose the right one
  • How many lamps do you need?
  • The suspension height of the dining table lamp

Lamp type:

It is particularly important to know how much light is needed both on the dining table and around the dining table. What do you use your dining table for? The answer to this question will make it easier for you to choose the right lamp that supports your needs and your activity/use of the dining table.

The design of the lamp is decisive for how the light comes out of the lamp and how the light spreads in the room. The design also has an impact on how high the dining table lamp must hang above the dining table.

 Image 1, 2 & 3: Lamp shapes - 360-degree pendant, direct pendant, and open pendant


360-degree pendant (diffused light): If you choose a pendant / lamp where the light comes out 360 degrees around the lamp (see picture 1), then you have chosen a lamp with diffused light. This means that the light spreads throughout the room and the light source will most often be hidden by the material the lamp is made of - not to say that no light comes out - this simply means that you are not blinded by the light source itself. A lamp with an exposed/visible light source can also provide a diffused light that spreads throughout the room. The advantage of this type of lamp is that light comes both on the dining table and in the ceiling - this way the room does not feel so dark. However, with this lamp shape, you will not get a focused and direct light - which is problematic if you are going to use it for the office, reading homework, creative pursuits, or something completely different.

Lumega Home's take on a good '360-degree pendant': Dagny, Drop


Direct pendant (direct light): A pendant with direct light is a lamp shape where the light only falls directly on your dining table (see picture 2). This is an ideal lamp type if you also want to use the dining table as a workplace, reading homework, etc. The light is concentrated around the dining table and therefore does not illuminate the rest of the room unless you have placed other light sources around the dining table area. This form of lamp usually has an exposed/visible light source, which means that it must be hung closer to the dining table than, for example, a '360-degree pendant' - if a 'direct pendant' is hung too high, the light source may blind you.

Lumega Home's offer for a good 'direct pendant': WinthersAlvildaMarble serien


Open pendant (direct and indirect light): An open pendant is a lamp with opaque sides, which means that the light is projected up onto the ceiling (indirectly) and down onto your dining table (directly) (see picture 3). With this lamp shape, you will both illuminate the ceiling, which means that the room will appear brighter, as well as focused light on the dining table. The shielding of the light source means that you avoid glare and have the option of placing the dining table lamp relatively high above the dining table and still avoid seeing the light source.

Number of lamps:

It is a good idea to choose the number of lamps that harmonize best with the size of the dining table. If you choose a single lamp for a large table, there will naturally be a lack of light on parts of the table. If you choose several lamps for a small table, it can easily look messy and inharmonious. 

One lamp: If you have a dining table that measures around 120-180 cm in length, it is usually enough to have one lamp hanging above the dining table. The light will be able to spread over the entire dining table surface and provide enough light for various tasks (depending on the lamp type). If you have a round table, it is usually enough to have one beautiful lamp above the table.

Two or more lamps: If you have a dining table that measures around 180-300 cm in length, it is a good idea to choose two or more lamps. If you choose a relatively large lamp, it is usually enough to use two to get the optimal light on the table. If you choose a smaller lamp, there may be a need to choose more lamps. If you go with the small lamps, be aware that the suspension height will be lower, they will have to be placed closer to the tabletop, so they don't hurt your eyes.

Suspension height:

It is important that the lamps are placed at the right height above the dining table. It is important for:

  • the visual expression
  • the light distribution (and thus the function of the light)
  • the glare (visible light source can bother the eyes)
  • the view of the person on the other side of the table (too bad to invite guests you can't see)


Lamp type: 360-degree pendant – as mentioned earlier, this type of lamp gives a diffused light, it illuminates the whole room. You can therefore place this lamp type higher than the previously described lamp types. This type of lamp provides a beautiful and atmospheric light in the room due to the hidden light source (light bulb). The light source is most often covered by either opal glass, rice paper or another material that lets the light through. You therefore don't have to look directly into the light source - unless this is part of the lamp's design. If the light source is visible through clear or colored glass - then the light source is most often selected to be visible, which means that it will not blind you and possibly also has a dimmable function. All lamp types can have a dimmable function - which gives you the option to adjust how much light comes out of the lamp.

Open pendant and direct pendant – both lamp types provide light directly onto the tabletop. The design of the lamp is decisive for how high the lamp can be placed above the dining table. Notice whether the light source is visible, or the design hides the lamp's light source. A good rule is that the lamp must be placed so that the light source is not visible. Most often 60-75 cm above the tabletop - if the lamps are "large", 55-65 cm above the tabletop is preferable. Test it by having one person hold the lamp while the other sits at the dining table and checks whether the height is correct, and the light does not bother the person's eyes. It is recommended to hang dining table lamps approximately 60-70 cm above the tabletop with an "open pendant" and a "direct pendant". If the light source is 'hidden' by a diffuser, which means that the light can still come through, but not directly visible - then the suspension height can go up to 70 cm above the table.


Image 4: Visualization of the example below

Example: (see picture 4) The table is 230 cm long and two "direct pendants" have been chosen to illuminate the table. They are placed 60-80 cm apart from each other and thereby also 60-80 cm to each end of the table. They hang higher than the recommended 70 cm – they are placed at a height of 76 cm above the tabletop. This is because the lamp type allows it. We know there are many things to keep track of, which is why we are always ready to advise and guide you through the lamp jungle, so that you can choose the lamp that suits you and your needs.

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