How to Choose and Hang a Foyer Fixture

There is no shortage of options when it comes to foyer lighting (or lighting for any space in your home, come to think of it).  You want to make sure the lighting you choose will properly fit your space. And with our guidelines, choosing a fixture for your foyer online will be a cinch! 

Be sure to measure the length and width of the foyer and the height of the ceilings before you begin your search.  The sum of the length and width of your foyer in feet should be the width of your fixture in inches.  So, if your foyer is 8 ft. x 10 ft. you would want to look for a fixture that is roughly 18” wide.  To figure out the approximate height of your fixture in inches, take the height of your ceilings and multiply it by 2.5 – 3 times.  For example, if you have 9 foot ceilings you would search for a fixture that is roughly 22” – 27” tall.  Keep in mind that if you have lower ceilings, you may want to select a flush mount or semi-flush mount fixture to allow for plenty of clearance. 

Great!  I have selected the right size fixture…now, how do I know the right height at which to hang it? 

Typically, you want to leave a 7 foot clearance between the floor and the bottom of your foyer fixture.  This will allow even some of your tallest friends to come into your home without having a run-in with your lighting.  If you have lower ceilings, install in so that it hangs 6” above the top of the door frame.  Or again, choose something that mounts to, or close to, the ceiling.

If you have high ceilings (11 feet or more), divide the height by 3 and hang the fixture approximately at 2/3 the total height of the ceiling.  If you have a two-story foyer you may consider several things in the installation of your new fixture. Use an architectural feature as a reference point rather than using the 2/3 rule.  For example, if there is a second story window you may want the fixture to be visible to the outside of the house through the window.  Or use your staircase as a reference point.  Hang the fixture to align with the top of the staircase or just slightly below.  Keep in mind that each space varies and while these recommendations are great guidelines, always choose what you feel is most visually appealing.

Lastly, remember to stay true to your style.  Pick what you like!  This is the fixture that will welcome you home and greet guests as they come in.  Consider the style of the surrounding spaces and other finishes that are used and visible from the foyer, like doorknobs, hardware or other light fixtures.