The lighting in your dining room is essential in helping to create ambiance and aesthetic for this environment. You will definitely want to take your guests comfort into consideration as well, striking a balance between bright, clear lighting and relaxing lighting. You want to allow people to see clearly withouth simultaneously making them feel as though they are under a spotlight. Perhaps the most important factors to consider, however, arethe size of your dining table and the overall space with which you will be working.
Chandeliers can serve as the focal point of your dining room, while leaving room for additional light fixtures and decorative items to share the dining space, if you have the room. As a general rule, the dimensions of your dining room should dictate the width of the chandelier. If that that conflicts aesthetically with the size of your table, you can use half the table width as a guide instead. The bottom of the chandelier should be no lower than 30 inches above the tabletop.
Similar to chandeliers only in that they hang from the ceiling, pendents have one central light source, as opposed to many. These also tend to be less expensive and, because there is only one light source, can tend to be less maintenance than chandeliers.
Lamps are pretty versatile in that they can be placed on other furniture, or, as with wall sconces and track lighting, can even be used to highlight pieces of art in the room. Be sure that the scale of the lamps you select match the scale of the other furniture in the room.
Track and Recessed Lighting
Recessed lights can be used on their own or as an accent to other lights. Track lighting can be less expensive and more versatile than recessed lighting as well. They can be placed virtually at height you prefer and provide a good amount of light.
Wall Sconces and Candles
Both are economical choices that do well in accenting pendents and chandeliers, though they may not provide enough light when used on their own, especially candles. Make sure not to choose scented candles while dining, as it can mix in and ruin the aromas of your food.
Ceiling Fan Lights
These are great at providing a dull light on its own, but as with pendants and chandeliers, they can be accented with other types of light fixtures.
Dimmers can be hooked up or may come pre-existing with virtually any light source and provide the flexibility of setting light at virtually any intensity you prefer.