Measuring Guide Tips and How-To’s

The first step we will take you through for this Fixture and Measuring Guide is to determine the space you want to light. The most important consideration in selecting the right fixture, will be the size of the space. While you are going to take style into consideration, the fixture type will be determined by the height and width of the space.

Below you will find general rules of thumb based on fixture type and also room type.  Please use our contact us form to submit any additional questions.



A chandelier is the focal point of any room, creating visual interest in your space as well as overall light, that is why the size of your chandelier for any room you plan to hang one is vital; you don’t want it too small or too big. Proportion plays a huge part in designing the light for your space, larger chandeliers can overpower a small-scale room, but a smaller chandelier can feel lost in the sweep of an expansive ceiling; a good rule of thumb is to go more substantial than petite.

  • Above a dining room table, the chandelier should be no larger than 3/4 the table’s width and extend no closer than 6 inches to the table’s edge. The bottom of your chandelier should sit approximately 30 to 32 inches above the table top.
  • For a bedroom, if your ceiling is 9 feet or higher a chandelier can be used.
  • In a foyer or entry, your chandelier should be at least 7 feet from the floor. For two-story foyers, if there is a window above the front door, center the chandelier so it can be seen from the outside.
  • The perfect chandelier will completely elevate the perception of a space and can improve the most basic of spaces so make sure to put in the time for researching the varieties in design, materials and sizes available to you.



Pendants are very functional and versatile additions to the home. They can be equally as important as a chandelier when trying to make a statement for your home lighting scheme or as subtle and understated to bring forth a more simple style.

quoizel pendant

Quoizel GRT2814IS Grant Imperial Silver Pendant

Pendants can add a lot of depth to a space as their lean and often compact profile allows for greater pairing and clustering positions. For kitchen islands, leave approximately 30 to 32 inches from the countertop to the fixture base and from a designers perspective, it’s typical to see pendants hung together in odd numbers; 3, 5, 7 etc.  For example, over a 6 foot island, I would hang 3 pendants spread evenly across, leaving space between the end of the island counter and where the first starts. Refer to the kitchen island in the diagram below for a visual example.

  • In place of portable lamps, hang pendants so the light can be cast from the same height, about 42 inches off the floor.
  • Pendant light fixtures regularly have an adjustable stem so you can alter the distance from the area you are trying to illuminate.
  • In foyers or entryways, pendants should not hang lower than 7 feet from the floor.


Wall Sconces & Vanity Lights:

Used as accent lighting in a living room, next to a fireplace or artwork, bedrooms, hallways or staircases wall sconces are great light resources to add depth to a room and balance any overhead lights for more dimension to the room’s decor.

The most flattering and efficient lighting for a vanity mirror is at about 5 feet 6 inches off the ground or approximately eye level and the wall sconces should be about 3 feet apart n either side of the mirror in order to spread light evenly throughout

kichler vanity light

Kichler Lighting 45138NI Metro Park Brushed Nickel 2 Light Vanity

your space.

  • A wall sconce’s light source should sit approximately 60 inches from the floor, while spacing across a room is appropriate every 6 to 8 inches.
  • For bathroom vanity lights, well-diffused light is necessary to avoid shadowing or glare while grooming.
  • Side mounted sconces (vertically-oriented) should be placed no less than 28 inches apart and if your mirror is centered above the sink, mount fixtures just a few inches to the left and right of the mirror.
  • Above the mirror fixtures can be mounted horizontally at a height of 75 to 80 inches and typically range in width from 24 to 48 inches.
  • Choose a fixture whose width is approximately 75% of the mirror’s width; no part of the fixture should extend beyond the mirror’s width.
  • Consider using 2 smaller fixtures above an especially wide mirror.


Flush & Semi-Flush Mounts:

Flush and semi-flush mounted fixtures are a great source of ambient lighting and are especially practical in high activity areas with standard ceilings; foyers, bathrooms, laundry rooms, hallways are all high activity areas with lower ceilings and would be great areas to install flush mounts as they do not have tables to hang fixtures over.

  • In hallways, flush and semi-flush mounts should be placed approximately every 10 feet.
  • Be sure there is at least 7 feet of space between the floor and the base of the semi-flush mount if there will be foot traffic beneath; a fixture close to the ceiling, like a flush mount, is often necessary so as not to impede on the people traveling below.
  • Flush mounts and semi-flush mounts are generally used in bedrooms with 8-foot ceilings.



TIP: Add the length and width of the room (feet) to find a suitable diameter or width (inches) of a fixture for any space.

Outdoor Lighting:

  • Outdoor wall sconces are commonly found to the left and right of the front entrance. If you decide to place only once sconce to the left of the door, the sconce should measure 1/3 of the height of your door.  For two sconces on either side of your door, they should measure about ¼ of the height of your door.
  • Entryway hanging lantern: The height of your lantern or outdoor fixture should be based on the height of the door or opening. If only a side lantern is used, make sure it is approximately one third the height of the door. If two sconces are used on either side of a door, they may be slightly smaller, about one quarter the height of the entryway. These fixtures should also be hung so that they are just above eye-level. On a typical door this measures out to about 66 inches above the threshold of the door. Be sure not to under size your fixtures. Outdoor lanterns will appear to be about half the size from 50 feet away.


Dining Room:

Size the Chandelier relative to the table and choose a fixture that will make the room comfortable.  The bottom of the chandelier should hang roughly 36in above the table.  Additionally, determine the amount of light output the room requires.  If there is no additional sources of illumination – i.e. recessed lighting – select a fixture with significant light output.

Hinkley Lighting 101 Layout Guide