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Need help - Lighting for my dining table
viviantan
December 1, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi experts! i need some help with the lighting for my dining area. The power outlet on the ceiling is about 8 feet away from the dining table. It's almost impossible to install a chandelier there. I'm considering two options. One is an arc floor lamp, but the area is small and so is my dining table. The arc lamp may be too chunky. 2nd option is to use just candles with some nice and tall candle holders. What do you suggest? Is it weird To just use candles as the source of light? or anyone know where I can get a smaller size arc floor lamp? Thank you!!!
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decoenthusiaste
Obviously, the architect had another area in mind for the dining area. Have you thought of going with the flow, positioning your seating area to take advantage of the view, and making use of the electrical installation to have a great light fixture, like a contemporary drum chandy above your table? Don't limit the table to one function. Pull the sofa out in the middle and use the table behind it, with the two chairs. Use the third chair as an accent chair and pull it to the table when needed. Something to think about.

December 1, 2012 at 4:25PM     
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viviantan
Thanks very much for your advise. I attached a picture from another angel which gives you a view of the living room. The electrical outlet is kinda in the middle of the living room. Putting a dining table kinda blocks the traffic, or not? also the position of TV restricts where I can put my soft. Your thoughts? Thanks!!!!!
December 1, 2012 at 4:40PM   
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viviantan
Another picture that you can see where the TV is in relation to the rest of the room. Thanks!
December 1, 2012 at 4:46PM   
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viviantan
Or can someone please let me know if there is a way to install a chandelier over my dining table?
December 1, 2012 at 6:34PM   
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Diane Williford
Hire an electrician to move the outlet, if this is not price prohibitive for you or use a raceway to move the line on the outside of the ceiling. Not as nice looking. Personally, your view is the show stopper in your place so why not go the candle route and hang a simple multicandle fixture that would not block out your view but provide the light you need to eat. Just install a hook in the ceiling and hang the light from there. And cover the original hole with a decorative medallion painted the ceiling color. Great apartment!
December 1, 2012 at 6:43PM     
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Mary Dancey Interiors
I suggest calling an electrician to see what can be done, won't hurt to get an estimate. :) The current location of the ceiling lighting does not make sense at all from what I can see, but doesn't surprise me. Is this a condo and do you own it?

Cheers
Mary
December 1, 2012 at 6:50PM   
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Mary Dancey Interiors
Diane also had a very good suggestion.
December 1, 2012 at 6:51PM   
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Arlen Dau
On the plus side, you have power in the ceiling. On the negative, the ceiling fixture must be securely anchored. It is possible to hang and run the power line, but only with some drywall/ceiling work. If this is not an option, then I would first use a stud finder to locate the ceiling joist above the table. Ceiling fixtures come with parts to attach this. Then use a cable hiding cover (similar to those used in AV installations) and 3M removeable pad this cover on the ceiling between the two points. You must, however, make certain that the fixture is securely screwed (x2 - 3" long) to a firm, safe support - very dangerous otherwise. A round cover over the outlet and white ceiling paint will help finish this. If you have a builder friend, ask for help.
December 1, 2012 at 7:00PM     
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Inside Out Landscape Architecture, LLC
Rejuvenation has a plug-in pendant , is there an outlet near the dining room table? You could hang the light, run the cord over the ceiling and down the wall to the outlet. Cord is 20' http://www.rejuvenation.com/catalog/products/baltimore-classic-cloth-cord-plug-in-pendant
December 1, 2012 at 7:25PM     
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viviantan
Thanks so much for the suggestions!! Diane you mentioned the candle fixture, do you have any suggestion where I can get it? I don't believe I've seen one. Thanks!
December 1, 2012 at 7:40PM   
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Diane Williford
You can find candle fixtures online and at stores like Home Goods. Try using the bing or google browser and type in hanging candle fixtures. Also, dollar stores and hardware stores usually sell
exterior hanging light fixtures made for candles. You can paint them, silver or gold leaf them and use them inside. Make sure to find a stud to hang the hook in and use dripless candles or candles inside votive holders to catch the drips. Battery operated candles from Costco would work too and are safer.. Think outside the box. Find a form you like and a chain you like and create your own. Have fun!
December 1, 2012 at 8:30PM     
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viviantan
I found this one on Lamp Plus. It's very pretty and only $50!
December 1, 2012 at 8:49PM     
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viviantan
5 votive holders
December 1, 2012 at 8:52PM     
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lesliemahler
What about installing track lighting using the current electrical location? You could choose directional lights and aim some of them toward your table and the rest to other points around the room.
December 2, 2012 at 4:34AM     
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Joanne Boucher
Check lbl (LBL) under "products" or go to the lbllighting.com website to look at their gallery-residential pendants, heads and accessories, and systems . A monorail can snake across the ceiling with directional, discreet heads still using the existing octagon box for the power. Then, the monorail winds its way over to the dining table where you can place a group of "fusion jack" pendants over the table. You should talk to an electrical expert to see if the voltage is right, I think these have built in transformers. There are so many fixture styles....some are shown on a canopy but can be used on the monorail. There are several post placed along the monorail for support so you may also need a carpenter to mount them (depending on your ceiling structure, you might be drilling into concrete).
December 2, 2012 at 8:26AM     
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Joanne Boucher
I am also under the impression, the pendants and heads can be relocated along that track....
December 2, 2012 at 8:30AM     
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ruthmand
You could swag a light over to your dining area from that ceiling outlet.
December 2, 2012 at 9:02AM     
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solraven
As I see it, you paid for that view when you bought the place. Anything that takes away from the "wow" factor of that view seems counter intuitive to me. You may be thinking about classic or standard decor, but you don't have a standard, closed in dining room, that needs a fabulous chandelier, as the center of attraction. Your center of attraction is built in. Go with tall candles. Using candles regularly will feel like a luxurious celebration, even if you're eating take-out Chinese.
December 2, 2012 at 5:21PM     
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nevadan
The lighting is not important, as you can always use candles. What is important is yoou have too much glass. Get a wooden table. Run the table perpendicular to the window, not along it!
December 2, 2012 at 5:26PM   
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ruthmand
Sorry, but I like the glass. Nonobtrusive and reflective - perfect for a small place with a fabulous view. Solraven has got it right!
December 2, 2012 at 5:44PM     
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solraven
Thanks ruthmand! :) VivianTan, as for the central light fixture box, I would use that as a starting point, for strategic recessed lighting, around the perimeter of the room. The wiring is there, so it will be less expensive than starting from scratch. An electrician will simply follow the wire, then install recessed lighting around your room. One of the places you could also put it, is above the dining area. This will be more expensive than just getting a chandelier, but you will appreciate the function without compromise. I would recommend getting an estimate, so you know what it entails, what the cost will be, and from there you can make a more informed decision and plan. It's not as scary as it seems and you will really love the custom result.
December 2, 2012 at 8:39PM     
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viviantan
Thank you so much solraven. Is condo normally concrete ceiling? In this case can I still install recessed lighting? Where do the wire go? thanks!
December 3, 2012 at 3:45PM   
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mzdesignz
I think this would look so pretty over your table against that gorgeous view! Something light and airy...
December 3, 2012 at 4:35PM   
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viviantan
Thank you. I wish I can install a nice lighting. But there is no power outlet on the ceiling :(
December 3, 2012 at 6:19PM   
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five13
Swag cord! The cord drapes from the power source to the hook that the light hangs down from. I'm sure there are ways to make that swag part look hot. Plus, if you need to go really inexpensive, you could just get a singular bulb and choose whatever size/color shade you want.
December 3, 2012 at 6:39PM     
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mzdesignz
Aww I know :( I was thinking if you do decide to get an electrician to come out and play with some wiring then maybe :)
December 3, 2012 at 6:40PM   
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ruthmand
Five13, I suggested swagging a light some time ago but my comment didn't get any traction. I think it is the perfect solution. They make great fabric sleeves, chains, etc. to cover the swag with. Then all you need is a toggle hook on the ceiling where you want the fixture and voila, light above the table!
December 3, 2012 at 7:08PM     
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viviantan
Thanks Ruthmand! I am considering a swag lighting. The possible issue is that the distance between the table center and the power is about 10ft. The swag will be pretty much across the entire ceiling which may be too obstructive. My ceiling is 8 ft, not the best height to add drapes. I'm still weighing all options, knowing there is no perfect solution. On the same note though, I'm thinking instead of swag, I can use a clear/transparent cord over the ceiling and just pin it to the ceiling so nothing hangs. Not sure if that will look alright. Your opinion? Thanks!!!
December 3, 2012 at 7:16PM   
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solraven
Hi VivianTan, your ceiling isn't concrete, if it was, it would look like a loft, w/ all of the duct work, plumbing and electrical exposed. You're floor is probably concrete but there should be plenty of space above your ceiling drywall, and the next story up. You should be able to find a video showing how they install recessed lighting. Basically, they would cut the locations, with a circle hole cutter, and simply pull the wiring from hole to hole. It's one of those things that seems super complicated, until you see an electrician do it, then you think, "Oh, that was simple!" LOL...

If you have lighting over your counter already, you probably only need 3 pot lights, or 4 at the most. Two would go above the dining area, shining down at both ends of where the table goes. The other one or two pot lights would go above the sofa. The light will high light any artwork on the wall, as well as be in a good location if you're flipping through a magazine. I wouldn't put any pot lights on the TV wall, since that would probably just shine onto the TV screen, or the bezel around it. Cost is something like $100 - $150 a pot light, I believe.
December 3, 2012 at 11:43PM     
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viviantan
Thank you so much Solraven! Im a bit confused. When you say I can just pull wire from hole to hole, you mean I can get the wire from the current power outlet on the ceiling to my dining area through inside the ceiling not exposed on the ceiling? If that's the case, how is it different from getting the wire over to dining for a chandelier without exposing the wire (lighting cord)? I thought I couldn't do it at the first place, hence this whole discussion? Thanks for your help! It would be great if I could do pot light.
December 4, 2012 at 1:03AM   
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Pamela Danner
I disagree with solraven your ceiling may well be concrete with the electrical installed prior to assembling your unit. You have been presented four options here's my recap Swag a light. Please don't do that your apartment is too beautiful! Install ceiling track. As much as I don't like it, If your ceiling is concrete this may be your best option. You would have an electrician cover the existing ceiling outlet with a plate that would power the track I would suggest an u shaped track following the tv wall turning the corner at the patio door and going across the windows and turning again to follow the sofa wall. You can install a pendent light over your table and even put some spotlights to wash the walls. Your third option if you have a drywall ceiling would be to run electric in the ceiling to create a new outlet over your table. Your fourth option is to hang a non electric candle chandelier. I am going to suggest a fifth option why not arrange a collection of very tall candles in the center of your table and dine by those?
December 4, 2012 at 1:40AM     
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Joanne Boucher
Here is an option that could add a little architectural interest but would cost a bit. I can see very shallow coffering....no deeper than your existing crowns...making a grid pattern on the ceiling. The lengthwise grid should line up with the window dividers and the grid across the room should run under the existing ceiling box (*)...as well as the left side of the closed blind to help subliminally create a dining threshold, and another near the kitchen end of the living room (assuming by the reflection in the window that your kitchen is here). Another lateral one should be across the table in order to hang the fixture. The ideal pattern has symmetry...hard to tell you exact placement without knowing room dimensions and placement of the existing box. The beam that runs over the table would have the junction box for the light. *The exisiting junction box would have to remain accessible, unless the electrician can run a new feed from the switch and terminate this one. (a live one cannot ber buried). The false beams would be hollow for the wire chase, fitted with a bottom and crowned within each rectangle.
It may be that the window and door area requires one slightly out from the blinds to act as shallow valance.
Looking at the closed blind, imagine a crown that sits out from it about 4"....follow that same line over the sofa and there would be a deeper "soffit" in that area, ideal for recessed mini puck lighting to wash the walls or some indirect linear trough light (if the created soffit does not meet wall over the sofa).
The attched photo shows beams much deeper than I'd suggest for you. Yours would be only as deep as your crown...but deep enough to contain an octagon box or shallow pan box. Make sure your selected light does not require a hidden transformer etc.
Regarding the pattern....not all rectangles need to be the same. Perimeter ones may be small (kitchen end too) but the one in the center can be larger, as long as grid allows. I am guessing about 4 rectangles across in front of windows 30 wide x 60 long...another 30 x 60 against wall over sofa and tv...but the one over the coffee could be 60x60...4 again across at kitchen end of sofa, terminating before kitchen. As long as 1 beam hits the existing junction box or is close enough for the box to be manipulated there. The width of beam...4-5" or so to house light box. This beam width would be wider over patio door and over sofa...over end window if you want recessed puck lights there too. The beams in front of windows would not attach to the wall but would act as a valance for the blind tracks.
I like the idea of a starry delicate fixture...a cluster of mini glass or crystal pendants etc. on delicate discreet wire feeds so the view stays spectacular.
December 4, 2012 at 7:52AM     
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viviantan
Wow! Thanks so much for advice!
December 4, 2012 at 8:26PM   
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PRO
Your Interior Focus
I agree, a swag with 10 foot cord is distracting to the beautiful minimalism in your home. Call an electrician first, find out what the options are. Then, you have beautiful options given through out this post, good luck and please post a picture of your finished project.
December 4, 2012 at 9:00PM     
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solraven
VivianTan, it isn't any different. If you really want a chandelier, and electrician can easily put a light receptacle above your table. I would suggest that before you commit to hanging something in front of the windows, try out something temporary, just to see how you like it. Since it's Xmast time, put some Command hooks on the ceiling, let them sit for a day to make sure they have adhered well. Then drape Xmas lights just to see how you would like a light fixture over the area. You can even pick up a plug in dimmer so you can see how it would be a different levels of illumination.
December 5, 2012 at 10:19AM   
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solraven
VivianTan, I stumbled upon this website and thought of you. It might be a good way to go without any commitment. I may try it myself. I have a similar issue where I would like a little more light above the dining table, but not willing to take away from my patio/backyard view. The thing I like about this, is that I have the option of only using it when I'm having dinner guests, or need additional lighting. I'm not sure about the color temp of the lighting. It doesn't say if it's 2700 or 5000, which would make a big difference. That being said, there's likely other battery operated chandeliers out there.
http://www.batteryoperatedcandles.net/HLLWF4-CRY-p-party-equipment.html
December 11, 2012 at 10:28AM     
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