It doesn’t matter if you are a DIY decorator or an experienced designer— choosing your perfect lighting fixture takes time. When looking for your lighting fixture or ceiling fan, it’s important to consider if it will actually fit your space. Plus, knowing how to install your fixture is another critical factor.
If you feel overwhelmed and have questions about installing your fixture, don’t worry— we have you covered. Our How-To Guides answer some of our customers' most common questions and concerns regarding lighting. Through our detailed lifestyle shots and diagrams, we simplify the installation process. Our Cleveland Lighting Team is more than happy to help as you navigate every step of the way.
For all hanging applications, you must consider its “overall height.” This measurement of the fixtures does not include the chain, aka the stems, or the canopy. When calculating its height, you must account for the minimum height over the table and allow for at least 12” of sterns or chains.
When hanging your chandelier over a rectangle or oval dining table, it’s crucial to find the right-sized table for your fixture. Chandeliers complement your room best when their size is approximately ¾ the width of the table they are hanging above. Before securing your fixture, allow a minimum of 30” between the fixture’s bottom and the table’s surface.
Round tables look best with fixtures that are 50%-75% the diameter of the table. You also should allow for 30” - 36” between the bottom of the fixture and the table’s surface.
Linear Fixture Over a Table or Island
Proportions are everything with linear fixtures, especially when it hangs over a table or island. It should not exceed ⅔ the overall length of the surface. Sometimes, two linear fixtures are necessary in cases of extremely long surfaces. Allowing 30”-36” between the bottom of the fixture and the surface it’s hanging over will also ensure it visually appears balanced.
Pendants Over an Island or Counter
Hanging pendants over an island or counter requires at least 30”-36” between the bottom of your pendant and your countertop’s surface. When using multiple pendants, you must allow for a minimum of 30” spacing between the widest points of the lighting fixtures.
It’s essential to ensure that your lighting fixture does not interfere with any nearby doors if it is hanging in a hallway. Always allow at least 7’ from the bottom of the fixture to the floor. Also, considering the height of people who frequently enter your hallway is also important when choosing the size of your fixture.
High ceilings require lighting fixtures that are proportional to the space. If your ceiling is 10’ or higher, you must allow for a minimum of 8’ from the fixture’s bottom to the floor's surface. The fixture’s “overall height” is also important when choosing your fixture.
When choosing a wall fixture, consider the mounting canopy size. Most are meant to mount a standard 4” round junction box. Some, however, have a smaller mounting plate and are to be positioned on 2” x 4” “switch” boxes. It’s also important to know whether they are mounted vertically or horizontally.
Hallways and Livings Spaces
Wall sconces instantly improve the look and feel of your space. If hanging multiple fixtures, you must allow for a minimum of 8’ between sconces.
Bedroom wall sconces add additional lighting and often double as reading lights. If a sconce is operated by a light switch, positioning the light within easy reach is ideal. In contrast, if a remote switch near your wall controls it, install it close to your bed. Wall sconces are typically mounted 55”-60” from the top of the sconce to the floor’s surface.
Vanity lights over a bathroom mirror should be around ¾ the width of the mirror. Sconces should never be wider than the mirror.
Picture lights should be around 50% of the width of a picture frame. If there are no additional size options, you can go to 75% of the frame’s width. The light should never surpass the total width of the frame, and you should titl the light approximately 30 degrees to give optimum artwork coverage.
Exterior Wall Lanterns By Door
Exterior wall lanterns should be around 25% of the adjacent door’s height, including the door frame. Mounting them about 60”-66” from the ground so that the fixture's center is around eye level is ideal. If you only have one lantern, it should be mounted on the door handle side of the door.
Outdoor Light Above the Door
When hanging outdoor lighting, center your sconce above the door. The lowest part of the sconce should be around 6” above the door frame. For hanging lanterns, the bottom of the fixture should be no lower than the door frame.
Determining the right ceiling fan size for your room comes down to its diameter. To find the diameter, measure one end of the blade to the opposite blade. Most fans range from 42”-55” in diameter. You should choose your ceiling based on the size of the room you plan to house it in.
Smaller Rooms: Smaller rooms require an appropriately sized ceiling fan. If a room is no larger than 8’ x 10’, the ceiling fan should be between 21” and 40” in diameter.
Medium-Sized Rooms: Medium-sized rooms like kitchens, dining rooms, and bedrooms require a fan that is 42" – 54" in diameter. A medium-sized room qualifies as anything that is 12' x 14.’
Larger Rooms: Larger rooms require fans that are 52” - 60” in diameter to fill the space appropriately. A large room measures up to 18’ x 20.’
Great Rooms: Great rooms are more than 18’ x 20’ and require a fan larger than 60” in diameter. These rooms typically have higher-than-average ceilings.
The mounting system you need depends on your ceiling height. Important factors to consider are the ceiling height and slope. Below outlines the three available mounting systems to accommodate your situation; the best height to mount your fans is between 7’ and 9’ to ensure optimal airflow.
Flush Mount (best suited for lower ceilings): Flush mounts have the ceiling fan connected directly to the ceiling. This mount type is recommended if your ceiling fan is below 8’ high.
Downrod Mount (best suited for higher and sloped ceilings): A downrod mount has a pole which connects the fan to the ceiling. Downrods are available in various lengths. Use the chart below to determine how long your fan’s downrod should be depending on your room’s ceiling height and angle. Canopies on this system are designed to accommodate angled ceiling heights.
Downrod Length Chart
For sloped ceilings, a sloped ceiling mount is the best option because they are designed to allow fans to hang straight, stopping their blades from hitting the ceiling or walls. Mounts consist of a regular downrod and a special sloped ceiling adapter that attaches firmly to your ceiling. A downwrod’s length will vary depending on your ceiling’s slope and fan blade size. Always factor in at least 18” from your wall when installing your fixture.
Rise & Run
To calculate the slope of you ceiling, you need to divide the rise by the run. The rise is the difference between the highest point from the floor to the ceiling and the lowest point from the floor to the ceiling. The run will the length between these two specific points.
Rise = A − B
Run = C
Slope (°) = Rise / Run or (A − B) / C
Once you know your ceiling’s slope, use the chart below to determine the length of the downrod you will require. Your fan ultimately needs to be at least 18” away from the nearest wall and 7’ above the floor.