Every day we get calls or emails—some with renovation pictures attached—that ask the question, “How do I measure the overall length of my light fixture?”
The answer is that overall length (OAL) is measured from the ceiling to the very bottom of the globe.
The OAL is required when ordering a stem-mounted fixture since the stem is cut to the customer’s specifications. The length of chain-mounted fixtures can be easily changed on site by adding or eliminating links.
What should the OAL be for a light above a dining table?
For an 8-foot ceiling, we recommend a clearance of 32 inches from the bottom of the globe to the tabletop.
For a standard 30-inch table, that means that the fixture will have an OAL of 34 inches.
For every extra foot of ceiling height, we suggest adding an inch or two to the clearance of the globe above the table, so 33-34 inches for a 9-foot ceiling, 34-36 inches for a 10-foot ceiling, etc. The OAL should be calculated accordingly.
What should the OAL be for a light above a kitchen island?
We recommend hanging our lights 72 inches above the floor of most kitchens.
So for an 8 foot ceiling, the fixture will have an OAL of 24 inches, for a 9-foot ceiling 36 inches, etc.
What if I want my light closer to the ceiling?
For a situation that requires more clearance for a door, like in an entrance way or foyer,
or for foot traffic, like a bedroom or hallway,
or where a light closer to the ceiling is more appropriate, like in a bedroom, bathroom, or study we recommend installing a shallow drop or semi-flush fixture.
A good idea
A good way to make sure that your lights will look and feel right is to hang up balloons or cardboard cutouts and view them from around the room. Keep in mind the height of your family. If any of your clan are professional basketball players or Abe Lincoln impersonators, you may want to raise our height recommendations accordingly.
A better idea
Call us (888 431 4242) or email us. We’ve seen and done it all, and we will be glad to help.
The best idea
Visit our Manhattan showroom. You will be able to select the appropriate lighting first-hand, learn how to accurately measure the OAL and have all your questions answered.
Good luck with your renovation. We look forward to hearing from you!