Whether you’re an amateur decorator or a seasoned trade professional, choosing the right lighting fixture for your space and properly installing it in your home are very important elements to consider in order to achieve your interior design and home improvement goals. Our How-To Guides were created to answer some of our customers’ most frequently asked lighting questions and concerns. Through the help of our diagrams and lifestyle application shots, our team at Montreal Lighting & Hardware is here to support you every step of the way.
When choosing a fixture for any hanging application, always take into consideration the “overall height”. This is the measurement of the fixture not including the chain (stems) or canopy. When doing your calculation, always keep in mind the minimum height over the table, while allowing for at least of 12” of chain or stems.
1 – Over a Rectangular or Oval Dining Table
Chandeliers look best when they are approximately ¾ the width of the table they are hanging over. Allow for a minimum of 30” between the bottom of the fixture and the surface of the table.
2 – Over a Round Table
Choose a fixture that is 50% - 75% the diameter of your round table. You should allow 30” – 36” between the bottom of the fixture and the surface of the table.
3 – Linear Fixture Over a Table or Island
Always consider proportion when selecting a linear fixture. Your fixture should not exceed 2/3 the length of the surface it is hanging over. For extra long surfaces, sometimes 2 linear fixtures are required. Allow 30” – 36” between the bottom of the fixture and the surface it is over.
4 – Pendants Over an Island or Counter
Allow for 30” – 36” between the bottom of your pendant and the surface of your counter. When using multiple pendants, allow for a minimum of 30” spacing between the widest points of the fixtures.
5 – In a Hall or Vestibule
It is important that your fixture does not hang where it can interfere with any nearby doors. Allow for a minimum of 7’ from the bottom of the fixture to the floor. In a center hall, consider the height of the tallest person that will be walking under your fixture.
6 – Rooms with High Ceilings
In rooms with ceiling heights of 10’ or more, pay close attention to the proportion of the fixture to your space. Allow for a minimum of 8’ from the bottom of the fixture to the floor surface. The fixtures “overall height” measurement will play a large role when making your selection.
When choosing a wall fixture, be wary of the size of the mounting canopy. Most are meant to mount on a standard 4” round junction box. However, some have a smaller mounting plate and are to be mounted on 2” x 4” “switch” boxes. As well on these, be conscious of whether they are mounted horizontally or vertically.
1 – Hallways and Living Spaces
Multiple sconces in your hallway, living room, or dining room, will add beautiful accent lighting to your space. Adequate lighting for this purpose should be based on a minimum of 8’ between sconces.
2 – Bedside Sconces
These sconces have a dual purpose. While adding extra light to your bedroom when needed, they are also commonly used as reading lights. If the sconce is operated by a switch on the light, it is advisable that the switch is within easy reach. Swing-arm sconces are popular for this reason. If the sconce is controlled by a remote switch in your wall, install this switch close to your bed. Bedside sconces are typically mounted 55” – 60” from the top of the sconce to the floor surface.
3 – Above a Bathroom Mirror
Vanity lights to be installed over a bathroom mirror should be approximately ¾ the width of the mirror. NEVER should the sconce be wider than the mirror.
4 – Beside a Bathroom Mirror
Sconces installed beside a mirror should be mounted 60” – 66” high from the center of the back plate to the floor surface.
5 – Picture Lights
Picture lights should be approximately 50% the width of the picture frame. If size options are not available, you can go to 75% the width of the frame. NEVER surpass the total width of the frame. The light should be tilted at approximately 30 degrees to give optimum coverage of the artwork.
6 – Outdoor Lights Beside the Door
Exterior wall lanterns should be about 25% the height of the adjacent door including the door frame. They should be mounted about 60”- 66” from the ground so that the center of the fixture is about level with your eyes. If there is only one lantern, ideally it should be mounted on the door handle side of the door.
7 – Outdoor Light Above the Door
Center the sconce above the door. The lowest part of the sconce should be about 6” above the door frame. For a hanging lantern, the general rule is that the bottom of the fixture is no lower than the door frame.