From medieval times, chandeliers have graced the homes of the wealthy and distinguished places of grandeur from common areas. While the styles, designs, and lighting sources have evolved with the passing of time, one thing remains the same: Nothing can make a home feel more defined or sophisticated than a well-placed chandelier (or two).
Chandeliers tend to prosper most in the dining room, where they can pull all the different elements together and serve as a stunning focal point for guests to enjoy throughout the meal. To give you a better idea of how to choose the best modern dining room chandelier, we’ve done the research for you and put together this practical buying guide. At the end, you’ll also find a list of our top picks to get you started. Speaking of, here’s a brief look…
Best Overall: Coralie 4-Light Unique / Statement Geometric Chandelier
The Coralie 4-Light Unique / Statement Geometric Chandelier is our pick for Best Overall due to its median price range, stellar frame and shade design, and its energy-efficient LED bulbs (which are included with your purchase, by the way). Gorgeous, functional, and affordable: all the things a modern chandelier should be.
Best for Price: David Rembert 12-Light Sputnik Sphere Chandelier
The David Rembert 12-Light Sputnik Sphere Chandelier almost made Best Overall, but due to its high-voltage bulbs we decided to rank it Best for Price. This chandelier boasts a clean, sleek metal frame and frosted glass bulbs, while its incandescent lighting lends any room a hint of warmth.
Most Versatile: Boyette 3-Light Unique / Statement Sphere Chandelier
Our pick for Most Versatile is the Boyette 3-Light Unique / Statement Sphere Chandelier. This is due to the sheer simplicity of its design, and the fact that its materials and colors are well-suited for just about any environment. Whatever you have going on in your dining room right now, this chandelier will look amazing there!
How to Choose a Dining Room Chandelier
There are quite a few to things to consider when looking for your ideal dining room chandelier. The following factors will help you narrow down your options and choose a piece that will look delightful above your dining table.
You have seven basic types of chandelier to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and design.
- This type is very popular, featuring “shades” of either glass or fabric that keep the light from the chandelier somewhat subdued so that it’s not overwhelming.
- A tiered chandelier is one that has two or more tiers of arms or lights.
- A candle chandelier is one that’s shaped similarly to a candelabra and is designed to hold candles (either real or fake).
- A crystal chandelier is one that features crystal pieces. This type is quite popular, and can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs.
- Beaded chandeliers are cute. They feature several beads, which can be of just about any material—crystal, shells, metal, and the list goes on.
- This type is just what it sounds like: You can reverse the direction of the bulb-bearing arms to face either up (perfect for a well-lit dinner with the family) or down (ideal for game night or getting your tax docs in order).
This really only scratches the surface, though—you can find all kinds of chandeliers out there, and even the types we mentioned here have subtypes.
Once you have your favorite types narrowed down, you should consider style. This refers more to the aesthetic of the piece than its form or function. There are a few styles you might want to consider.
Traditional chandeliers are reminiscent of those created from the mid-18th to 19th century. They boast a sophisticated, sleek construction without sacrificing on the glam factor.
Transitional chandeliers represent the middle ground between traditional and modern. This style incorporates the best of both, without letting either side overwhelm the other.
Modern chandeliers are known for their minimalistic design, sleek lines, understated curves, and use of energy-efficient bulbs. This is the type we’re looking at today!
The average industrial chandelier may put you in mind of the steampunk aesthetic. This style makes use of materials such as iron and reclaimed wood, and normally features a unique design you won’t find it other chandelier styles.
A rustic chandelier is any type of chandelier that makes use of natural-looking materials or elements, such as wood or iron.
Materials modern chandeliers can be made
We talked a bit about materials in the previous section, so you already know that the types of materials used largely depends on the chandelier style. That said, here’s a brief overview of common chandelier materials:
- Metal (Iron, Steel, Bronze)
When it comes to the material of your chandelier, the best type really depends on your personal preferences and the look you’re hoping to achieve.
You’ll find chandeliers that are low-voltage and others that are high-voltage. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between the two:
A low-voltage chandelier runs on 10V, 12V, or 24V. This lower voltage is typically found in modern chandelier designs and does require the use of special low-voltage equipment. While this type is a bit fussier and costs more up-front, it’s also safer and more energy-efficient (which means it will save you money in the long run).
A high-voltage chandelier runs on 120V. This type is less hassle to set up and use than the low-voltage variety, and it’s much more affordable up-front. That said, it’s not very energy-efficient and you can only use certain types of bulbs with it.
The energy-efficiency of your chandelier will depend partly on the type you opt for and partly on how much you’re willing to spend on electricity each month.
When it comes to the bulb type, there are a few options for you to consider. The most popular types are:
- Incandescent bulbs
- CFL bulbs
- LED bulbs
- Fluorescent bulbs
I’ll briefly discuss each type of bulb later in the article.
A related factor to consider is the number of lumens the bulb produces; the more lumens a bulb produces, the brighter it will be. Keep in mind that more lumens aren’t always the best way to go. Lighting for a cordial dinner, for instance, will likely be less bright than lighting for everyday living room activities.
A lot of people underestimate the importance of size when choosing a chandelier, and this has often has less-than-stellar consequences. Purchasing a chandelier that’s disproportionately large compared to its surrounding furniture pieces will look tacky, and in an area like the dining room, this would increase the chances of someone bumping into the chandelier while getting up from their chair. If the chandelier is too small, it may fail to draw attention to itself or simply look out of place.
You can find chandeliers that are large, medium, small, or even “miniature,” so you’re bound to find one that will complement your space well. But how do you know which size to go for?
There’s a simple rule that many experts agree on:
Room’s Length (in feet) + Room’s Width (in feet) = Chandelier Width (in inches)
If a room is 12 feet by 18 feet, you would add those numbers together to get 30. So, the chandelier you purchase should be about 30 inches wide for the best look.
Of course, because you’re looking for a dining room chandelier, you should consider the size of your dining table and the height of your ceiling. More on this later!
There are few more things you should look for before purchasing a chandelier:
- Height adjustability
- Whether it has shades
- Whether it comes with bulbs or if you’ll need to buy those separately
Different Types of Bulbs to Consider
As mentioned in the previous section, there are four main bulb types: incandescent, CFL, LED, and fluorescent. Here’s a little information on each type to help you make the best decision for you and your home.
Incandescent bulbs are known for the soft, charming glow they produce, and are a popular option (especially in traditional/transitional models). However, they tend to be more expensive to use than other bulb types.
CFL bulbs are the next step up the “energy-efficient” ladder, and they tend to last longer than incandescent bulbs do.
LED bulbs are popular in modern chandeliers due to their high level of energy-efficiency and their longevity. That said, this type is more expensive up-front than the previous two and it also produces a slightly “off” shade of light.
Fluorescent bulbs are quite similar to LED bulbs as far as energy-efficiency and longevity go. However, they’re more expensive to purchase up-front and do not produce the same soft, ambient lighting that other bulb types do.
General Pros and Cons About Chandelier
Okay, so now you know a bit more about this marvelous thing called a “chandelier.” But should you have one in your home? Taking a brief look at the pros and cons of having a chandelier should help you make that decision…
On a positive note, chandeliers
- add personality and dimension to any room.
- serve as a beautiful focal point.
- are sure to impress others.
- contribute to a room’s aesthetic or mood.
On a less-positive note, they
- are expensive (both upfront and over time).
- are hard to clean, maintain, and install.
- require some forethought and planning.
- do not accommodate for all tastes; some people just don’t like chandeliers!
Various Style Ideas to Consider
Are you dying to get your hands on a chandelier, but have no idea how to go about placing it or integrating it into your space? You don’t need a degree or certification in interior design to make your new chandelier a natural part of your home—all you need is a little inspiration and practical advice! Here are just a few considerations to get you started…
Buy a chandelier that suits the room’s existing furniture
When looking at your chandelier options, make sure you focus on pieces that match your personal tastes and the look you’re aiming for in terms of color, texture, and material.
For example, if your dining room table is crafted of a dark-colored solid wood, you may want to opt for a chandelier that also makes use of dark-colored wood. If your dining room has a light, airy feel, you may want a chandelier that makes use of glass, crystal, or a light-colored metal.
Feel free to buy additional décor items to enhance the chandelier’s presence
In addition to finding a chandelier that meshes with your current dining room composition, you can make the chandelier feel more natural by buying additional décor items. If you just had to have that Sputnik chandelier but realized after the fact it matches nothing in your dining room, you could purchase small decorations that employ similar features—long candlesticks, spherical table items (like salt and pepper shakers), or new window curtains of the same color could do wonders!
Don’t be afraid to be bold
Interior design is less about what you should do, and more about what you can do. To achieve a unique look or to make the most of limited decorations, experts recommend doing the unexpected. This might mean hanging the chandelier a bit off-kilter or hanging it someplace unassuming. And remember what I said about coalescing everything? You can scratch that if you want a bolder, more defined look.
The Best Modern Dining room Chandeliers
Already dreaming of your brand-spanking-new chandelier? Great! To give you a head start in your search, we’ve compiled a list of our personal favorites for you.
The Boyette 3-Light Unique / Statement Sphere Chandelier evokes a minimalistic vibe without sacrificing style or function. This single-tier lighting piece features three metal, brass-finished arms, each one holding a clear glass globe shade at the end. Each globe is made of hand-blown glass and is designed to hold a 60W candelabra bulb (not included). You’ll appreciate the highly adjustable rod that allows you to hang the chandelier as low as 13.5 inches above the table or as high as 70.38 inches, as well as its suitability for sloped ceilings and the dimmability of its ambient lighting. This product is UL-listed and so affordable for the quality and style—what are you waiting for?
As you’ll soon see from our list (if you haven’t gotten the clue from Pinterest yet), the Sputnik chandelier style is on-trend right now. One look at models like the Albany 12-Light Sputnik Sphere Chandelier is all you’ll need to see what’s so appealing about it—it’s simple yet elaborate, clean-looking yet a little bit “out there.” This chandelier may be just what you need to tie your dining room together and wow guests at once.
It features several arms going in different directions, with some arms capable of holding 60W bulbs (not included). But don’t worry! The arms are in no way chaotic, and are rather symmetrical to provide an appealing silhouette. You’ll also love its metal frame and brass finish, which can serve to complement existing kitchen décor or to draw further attention to the light itself. This model is height-adjustable (27.5” to 75.5”), dimmable, well-suited for sloped ceilings, and available in 3 color options and 4 size options.
The David Rembert 12-Light Sputnik Sphere Chandelier is a bit more understated than the one we just saw—perfect if you loved the concept, but weren’t too sure about the bold look. This one presents a clean appearance, characterized by a graceful steel frame with a chrome finish, frosted glass globe bulb shades, and a spherical body. This is one of the few chandeliers on our list that comes with bulbs (40W incandescent), and it’s also rated for use in damp locations (so you needn’t worry too much about keeping it dry). As for other features, this chandelier is height-adjustable, dimmable, can be used with a sloped ceiling and is ETL-listed. Trust me, this one is quite a steal!
The Boyd 4-Light Unique / Statement Geometric Chandelier is a prime example of modern chandelier designs, featuring a metal geometric cage that houses a row of four 60W candelabra bulbs (not included). This piece is available in 2 finish options (black/natural brass and warm pewter), and the lights are dimmable when hooked up to a dimmer switch. Like the other chandeliers on our list, this one is good for use on sloped ceilings and is height-adjustable. For a chandelier with a clean geometric frame and an eye-catching design, look no further.
Clean, sleek, smooth, refined. These are all words that perfectly describe the Connors 7-Light Unique / Statement Geometric Chandelier. This model marries an elaborately designed metal geometric cage with a no-frills approach to lighting: LED bulbs (which are included, by the way!). These LED bulbs produce around 1260 Lumens for superior yet efficient lighting, and you’re sure to appreciate their ambient light day after day. This chandelier is height-adjustable (24.5” to 69”), good for use with sloped ceilings, and available in 4 color options (French gold, chrome, copper, and gun metal). This one is a bit on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for: a stunning focal piece for your modern dining room.
The Azuela 24-Light Sputnik Modern Linear Chandelier does something a little different from the other models on our list thus far: it goes vertical! This chandelier is composed of twelve vertical arms attached to a circular body, with each arm holding a 40W candelabra bulb (not included) on both ends. The arms and body are crafted of steel with a brass finish and do not include shades. The lights can be dimmed if hooked up to a dimmer switch, you can adjust the height of this chandelier from 21” to 68” to suit your needs, and it works well with sloped ceilings. Perhaps best of all, this gorgeous piece is UL-listed and has a Carbon Neutral / Reduced Carbon Certification—you can rest assured this beauty is both high-quality and eco-friendly!
The Cortes 8-Light Sputnik Modern Linear Chandelier may just be simplicity at its finest. Its steel arms are multi-directional yet still form a cohesive—and decisively simple—shape that adds just a touch of elegance to any dining room. Each of its four arms holds a 60W bulb (not included) on each end, which provides a unique ambient lighting experience. This model is height-adjustable (22.5” to 46.5”), dimmable, UL-listed, can be used with sloped ceilings, and suitable for use in damp environments. To top it all off, you can purchase this stunning chandelier in one of five finish options: satin brass, brushed nickel, polished brass, white, and Scandinavian. Pick your favorite and get ready to fall in love with your dining area again.
If you’ve liked the other geometric items on our list, something tells me you’ll fall head over heels for the Coralie 4-Light Unique / Statement Geometric Chandelier. This one features a tripod design, in which each leg and the middle is adorned with a transparent glass shade and a 4W LED 420-Lumen candelabra bulb (included, by the way!). Its double-tiered designed provides ambient lighting from multiple directions, while its iron frame boasts an attractive gold finish that will surely catch some “oohs” and “aahs” from guests. This unit is height-adjustable (27” to 57”), ETL- and UL-listed, and boasts an easy 30-minute installation process. What’s that? Do you think you’re in love?
The Bayboro 5-Light Sputnik Modern Linear Chandelier takes no-frills multi-directional lighting to a whole new realm. From its downrod sprout five metal arms, each one pointing in a different direction and holding a clear glass globe shade at the end to house a 60W bulb (not included). The design is literally so simple it’s revolutionary! This chandelier is height-adjustable (35” to 55”), dimmable, UL-listed, and can be used in damp locations. Order yours today in one of 3 finish options (black, gold, brass) and one of 4 shade color options (ovate, clear, cognac, smokey).
I definitely get steampunk vibes when I examine the fascinating design of the Janson 3-Light Sputnik Modern Linear Chandelier. Multi-directional hinged joints and arms lend this model a mechanical look, while the iron construction and brass finish of the frame put one in mind of a futuristic industrial world. Each of its three arms is adjustable and holds a clear glass bulb at the end, designed to house 60W bulbs (not included). The unit comes with two rods, and it’s height-adjustable (30” to 50”), dimmable, and UL-listed. For a high-quality, one-of-a-kind chandelier at a great price, look no further!
Frequently Asked Questions
A chandelier is a major purchase, so it’s normal to have plenty of questions before taking the plunge. To give you a hand, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.
Where is the best place to get a chandelier?
When looking for a chandelier, there are two main routes you can go: brick-and-mortar or online shopping (or a combination of both!).
As for brick-and-mortar stores, there are quite a few where you can expect to find a quality chandelier at a good price point. These include (but are not limited to) Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, Home Depot, IKEA, and World Market.
If you prefer online shopping, there are endless options. In addition to checking out the websites of the stores mentioned above, you can visit other popular furniture, home, and lightings sites such as:
- Shades of Light
- Lamps Plus
- Schoolhouse Electric
How big should a chandelier be in a dining room?
For the average dining table, you’ll want to purchase a medium-sized chandelier (or two medium-sized chandeliers for a particularly long table). This normally translates to a chandelier diameter of 28 inches, but keep in mind that its diameter should be about a foot narrower than the table’s width. Also remember that the chandelier, no matter its size, should be hung 30 to 36 inches above the table.
What is the best lighting for a dining room?
Many people long for the sophisticated warmth and elegance a chandelier can bring their dining room, but a chandelier is not for everyone or every home. Luckily, there are other lighting options available that can add just as much flair or opulence to your dining room.
Pendant lights are a well-loved alternative, also hung from the ceiling and available in similar styles. The main difference is that while chandeliers tend to be large, elaborate pieces, pendants are on the smaller side, composed of a single unit that’s often used in conjunction with additional pendant lights.
If you have a low ceiling or want a more minimalistic lighting element, you might want to check out flush and semi-flush mount lights. These are probably what you think of when you hear “lighting,” because they’re quite popular in modern homes. They are installed either completely flush or partially flush, so they don’t take up as much vertical space. You can find these in a variety of designs, so take your pick!
Track lighting and dining room lamps are two more popular lighting solutions, especially if you need your kitchen a little brighter than your current lighting solution can accommodate.
The Bottom Line
The right chandelier can really work wonders for your dining environment, so we hope we’ve given you the information and advice you need to make the best possible purchase. Remember that the best modern dining room chandelier for you is the one that matches your personal tastes, meshes with your existing décor and furnishings, and fits within your budget range.