When hanging light fixtures, the hanging height is different depending on the location. Here are a few different locations in your home that require different light fixture hanging heights.
Dining TableWhen hanging a pendant light or chandelier over a dining table, the light fixture should hang so the bottom is approximately 30" above the table.
Assuming your table is 30" high, the bottom of your light fixture will be about 60" from the floor.
Professional electricians, designers, and general contractors will say 60" AFF (meaning "Above Finished Floor").
If you move your table out of the way to hang your light fixture, the height may seem very low and will probably bump your head on it before you move your table back into place. After your table is in place, the light fixture will be at the proper height to provide enough light for dining, however high enough not to get in the way.
If you have an oversized fixture, you may wish to hang it a few inches higher so it doesn't seem so overpowering over your head when seated at the dining table.
When hanging a pendant light or chandelier over a high bar, use the same method as above. Assuming that your bar countertop is 42" high, add 30", so the bottom of your light fixture should be about 72" from the floor.
If you would like to hang a light fixture over a kitchen island, the bottom of the light fixture should be around 6' from the floor. The extra height will allow you to see beyond the kitchen island and will accommodate your height when standing.
Billiard or Pool Table
To hang a light fixture over a billiard or pool table, the bottom of the billiard light fixture should be approximately 32" to 36" over the playing surface. If your billiard or pool table is 30" high, then the bottom of your light fixture should be 62" to 66" from the floor.
In a Room
If you have a pendant light or chandelier in an entryway, stairwell, bedroom, bathroom, or any other place where people will walk under it, the bottom of the light fixture should be at least 7' from the floor if not higher.
When hanging a pendant light or chandelier in a room with a very high ceiling (18' high or more), center the light fixture 5' from the ceiling. If you have a large picture window near your light fixture, consider centering the light fixture in the window.
The hanging heights mentioned above are recommendations for the average person. If you have tall family members, you may want to hang the light fixtures higher.
Consider using a pulley system for your lights if you have very high ceilings so you can change the light bulbs without requiring a really tall ladder or scaffolding.
Hanging a chandelier over a bathtub is very popular, however may not be allowed per your local building code. Check with your local officials or an electrician about codes regarding light fixtures needing to be a certain distance from water sources.
If your light bulbs will be very visible once your light fixture is hung, consider using Edison bulbs to add charm.