Dinner Party Lighting Tips

By Design Director, Sally Storey

The essential ingredient after food and company that contribute to a successful dinner party is the mood, and this is best controlled by the interior lighting.

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The impact of lighting cannot be underestimated, a totally undecorated space can be made to be moody as lighting can focus on what we want to see and conceal what we don’t.  A beautifully decorated house can be a disaster if badly lit too bright and no lighting control. The key for successful dinner party lighting is to create drama focus on the table with a 10° warm white LED to highlight flowers using for example the Polespring LED. Lighting artwork and potentially focusing light on features, whether a textured wall or a piece of art.

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Below I have summarised the Dos and Don’ts

The Dos

  1. Always have dimmers
  2. Always control lights on different circuits i.e. the light on the centre of a table, separate to decorative lights and separate from any feature lighting. By having a variety of effects it is easier to change the mood.
  3. Decorative lighting such as chandeliers and wall lights can add warmth only if you use the right LED lamps. Consider the Tala range for a warm light with great filament look lamps.
  4. If there are no decorative lights, consider uplighting behind a banquette. This soft uplight can provide an indirect source instead.
  5. Don’t forget candles. I always think these provide an unbeatable softness and dynamic appeal.


The Dont’s

  1. Avoid grids of downlights. Be careful where you position these. They should be narrow over a table and never over one’s head.
  2. Avoid decorative lights that are non-dimmable or use a cold LED light source as you will end up switching these off.
  3. Avoid only one light source as it is difficult to create a mood i.e. just a pendant or just downlights. Good lighting requires a variety of effects.


Beware of LED light sources described as warm white with a colour temperature higher than 2700K! Check dimmability of any LED source as they can be prone to flicker unless specified properly.

To look at more inspirational images of dining room lighting, click here. Our Lighting Design Team can help you design and execute a scheme to ensure the perfect dinner party setting, read more about this service here.

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