Lighting tips for San Francisco homes

A well-placed hanging light fixture can create drama and impact. But how to achieve said drama and impact in your own palace? Here are some ways to think about what kind of fixture might work best in your home:

Establishing the right size for the space can prove to be tricky. One rule of thumb is to measure the width of the room in feet. Double that number and you’ll get the diameter of the ideal chandelier in inches. For example a room that’s fifteen feet wide, should have a chandelier no wider than 30 inches in diameter.

To figure out how low to hang the fixture, try it out at a point seven feet above the floor. That’s the standard height for a home with eight foot ceilings. If you are in a loft or a Victorian, you may want to consider hanging the light higher up. Extra drama can be added if you add spotlights to create drama and accent objects below.

If the fixture is above your dining room table, the bottom of it should hang about 30 inches above the table. Again, you could consider going higher if your ceilings run above eight feet.

Remember, you can use your own sense of creativity and design here to play with the guidelines above. Just remember that lighting is the key to visitors and inhabitants alike loving your home — so make well-balanced, thoughtful (but creative!) choices.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email