Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Dining Room

Good lighting in a dining room helps people to see their food and each other's faces with minimum glare. A dimmer adjusts the light level, allowing low levels for candlelight dinners and high levels for paperwork on the dining table. Pendant luminaires light the table and provide general illumination. Chandeliers can also be used as general illumination and as a decorative complement to the décor, although they can be a source of glare if the wattage is too high and it is not controlled by a dimmer. Accent lighting for artwork or other architectural features adds interest to the space.

Design features:

  • A pendant luminaire lights both the ceiling and the table. The pendant luminaire reflector is slightly translucent to minimize glare. Make sure no one can see the bare lamp when seated. This pendant luminaire uses two 75-W halogen incandescent lamps. Alternatively, two 23-W Energy Star labeled compact fluorescent lamps can be used if a dimmer does not control the pendant. If controlled by a dimmer, look specifically for a dimmable compact fluorescent lamp.
  • Wall sconces are mounted on each side of the buffet or sideboard. The translucent luminaires shield views of the lamps and provide some brightness on the walls and ceiling. Each is designed to use one 18-W compact fluorescent lamp with an electronic ballast.
  • Although not shown in the figure, displayed objects can be accented with a narrow beam of light from adjustable recessed downlights installed in the ceiling. Use grooved baffle trims to avoid glare. Use 50-W halogen PAR 20 or PAR 30 floodlights or narrow floodlights depending on the size of the objects being illuminated.

Lighting Tips
  • Avoid using clear-glass luminaires.
  • When using extra light on objects of special interest, such as pictures, vases, etc., aim the lighting at the object, away from your face.

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