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How to Light Your Dining Room with Louis Poulsen

by DAnny Robertson

louis poulsen lighting

Lighting creates the mood, tone and atmosphere of a room.

There are many different types of lights that you can use in your dining room such as task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting. Task lighting is used for specific tasks such as reading or writing while ambient light is used to create a comfortable mood. Accent lights are mostly used to draw attention to a particular part of the room such as the wall art or the dining table centerpiece.

Louis Poulsen is one of the most well-known premium Danish lighting brands in the world. Sophistication, elegance, and functionality are all hallmarks of the brand.

There are a plethora of possibilities to pick from, with dozens of beautiful products of all varieties and designs.

Let’s look at some of the best choices for your dining room and answer some dining questions along the way.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about Louis Poulsen, feel free to read our Louis Poulsen Buyer’s Guide for a deeper dive on the brand and their products.

Why should I add a dimmer to my dining room lighting?

On a dimmer, dining room lighting is 100% under your control.

There will be moments when you require more light, such as while setting the table, or cutting the Thanksgiving turkey, and times when you prefer to keep the lighting dim to create a relaxing mood for an elegant or romantic dinner.

You may also adjust how your light is layered, from ceiling to wall to the room’s accent. Today's options include anything from traditional dimmer switches to high-end smart-home-compatible switches.

Louis Poulsen P5 Pendant in dining room

The PH 5 Pendant by Louis Poulsen is the perfect first choice to accompany your dining room dimmers.

Poul Henningsen designed the famous three-shade system of the PH series of lighting fixtures for a Paris show in 1925/1926.

The designer was adamant about providing glare-free lighting that was aimed where it was most required while also creating soft shadows. 

Because each shade suppresses light equally owing to its distance from the light source, the three-shade system generates a uniform and even dispersion of light.

How can I create a dining room focal point with an eye-catching pendant?

Hanging a single statement pendant light over the dining table creates a dramatic focal point and draws attention to the room's major feature — the table.

In both large and small dining rooms, this looks great.

A primary overhead light will be your friend whether you utilize that table for mealtimes, schoolwork, or your day job.

Having a focal source of light helps to anchor the area and determines where furniture should be placed.

Louis Poulsen PH Snowball Pendant in dining room

The PH Snowball Pendant was created by Poul Henningsen in 1958 for a show at the Danish Museum of Decorative Art, although it was not put into production until 1983.

The matte coating on the bottom of the spun metal shades contrasts with the high gloss finish on the top. This results in a light that is fully glare-free and has a symmetrical dispersion of light. The top of the fixture is lighted when it is turned on, but the bottom remains black - giving the room a unique atmosphere.

The Louis Poulsen PH Snowball pendant may be hung from a medium to low height, making it perfect for a dining table.

Should I add lamps for accent lighting in a dining room?

You wouldn't hesitate to add a couple of table or floor lights to a living room area. When you're watching a movie or cuddling up with your Kindle, turn off the main light and lamps will instantly create a more relaxed atmosphere.

So why not try it in your dining room as well?

A couple of lamps, one on a sideboard and maybe the other on a tall lamp table, would set the mood for a romantic meal for two or a casual after-dinner chat among friends.

louis poulsen ph5 table lamp in room

The Louis Poulsen PH 4/3 Table Lamp is perfect for this scenario. The light fixture is based on the reflecting three-shade system, which distributes the bulk of the light downwards.

To create a diffused, even (and beautiful) light distribution, the shades are composed of metal and painted white - making it a great addition to add accent lighting to your dining room.

Can I copy my kitchen’s lightning scheme to my dining room?

Yes, you can create a more coherent, open-plan atmosphere with coordinating décor, including lighting, if your dining area is right beside the kitchen.

To invite a fluid flow from one area to the next, mirror the kitchen’s lighting, making the journey from food prep to serving and dining seamless - for you and your guests.

How low should the dining room light hang?

The bottom of a hanging dining room pendant should dangle between 30 and 36 inches over the top of the table, according to standard recommendations.

Consider how the pendant looks not only while you're at the table, but also when you walk into the room or when you're sat elsewhere, such as in a chair distant from the table.

Consider too how the pendant appears from every regularly viewed angle if the dining area is part of an open floor design.

The type and size of the pendant might have an impact on the height from which it should be hung.

Louis Poulsen OE Quasi Pendant

If you have an elaborate modern pendant that takes up a lot of visual space, consider hanging it a few inches higher than the typical height.

How do I choose the right-sized light fixture?

To find the diameter of a light fixture that is appropriate for your room, use the following formula:

  • In feet, measure the length and breadth of the room.

  • Hypothetically, let's say it's 10 feet by 12 feet.

  • Add the two lengths together and convert to inches to obtain the total.

  • Substitute inches for feet (so 22 feet becomes 22 inches)

  • In this space, this is a good rule of thumb to get the optimal diameter for a light fixture.

Do wall lights and ceiling lights have to match?

When you use the same design of the lamp, ceiling lights, and wall lights, it might create a stifling, 'overdone' feeling.

Instead, limit yourself to no more than two versions of the same design in a compact room, and match ceiling and wall lights while contrasting with a different lamp design variety. Instead of matching, you can choose different lights that echo the same materials or shapes to create a coherent feel without too much matchy-matchy.

5 Questions To Help You Choose The Best Pendant For Your Dining Room

  • What kind of pendant do you require?

  • What is your preferred aesthetic and style?

  • What is the most appropriate shape for your pendant?

  • What size pendant should I use for the table?

  • What is the ideal height and location for the pendant in the room?

Wrapping up

The kitchen is said to be the heart of the modern home, but for people who enjoy spending time with friends and family over meals, the dining room takes second place—especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. With today’s homes open floor plans, dining rooms an kitchens often live in the same open space.

However, unlike a kitchen, which should be light and airy, a dining room can be slightly moodier and enchanting, and the lighting you choose directly over and around your dining table will help you achieve that.

Your table must be sturdy, practical and comfy, but you can get a bit more daring with your lighting fixtures since people won’t be touching  or spilling food on it.

It's the ideal chance to include a mood-setting beautiful feature to a room and Louis Poulsen Lighting products are the perfect choice for the modern dining room.

Louis Poulsen Dining Room Lighting products are designed and function to reflect and assist the natural rhythm of light in your dining room.

Every element of the design has a specific purpose and light is at the heart of every design.

The company is dedicated to producing high-quality lighting and design solutions that are attractive to the eye and help to add life to a space through light - this includes making your dining room look spectacular.

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