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Article: How to Choose The Right Hanging Lights for Foyer or Entryways

How to Choose The Right Hanging Lights for Foyer or Entryways

Written by Henry Phan Update

Do you know what makes a lasting impression on guests when they visit a home? It's the entryway and foyer.

This is often the first place guests step into, and it's not just about showcasing beautiful decorations that reflect the home's personality; it's also about having the right lighting to make them feel invited and welcome.

In the article below, Rowabi will guide you through a checklist of things to know, various styles of lights, and designs to help you choose the most suitable one for your home.

How to choose the right light for your foyer or entryways

So, what should you keep in mind to choose the right light? There are 6 key considerations: the house’s tone, foyer light size, appropriate light wattage, suitable type of light, and how to select the right style. Rowabi will delve deeper into these aspects in the following section.

Setting the tone for the home

The tone of the house determines the initial impression guests have when they step into the foyer or entryway. Depending on the mood you want to create for yourself and your guests, choose a suitable tone.

different tones in your space may require specific types of lighting
Each tone in your space may call for a different type of lighting. Source: House & Home [1]

For example, if you're energetic, youthful, and enjoy vibrancy, you might opt for colorful lights. If you prefer clarity and simplicity, choose white lights. If you want a soft, warm, and cozy ambiance, go for yellow-toned lights. Ultimately, the choice of lighting should align with the atmosphere you wish to establish.

Calculating foyer light size

Size of lighting fixtures is always a crucial factor that Rowabi prioritizes when making selections. A beautiful light that is too large can overpower the space, while a fixture that is too small may not stand out or create a focal point. Therefore, it's important to understand the appropriate size for optimal impact.

A helpful rule of thumb for selecting is to measure the width and length of the space in feet, then add these measurements together.

Convert this sum into inches to estimate the appropriate diameter for your lighting fixture in foyers. Another way is to consider the ceiling height of the foyers and entryways:

  • For low ceiling foyers (8 feet or lower): Choose a chandelier diameter that is approximately 12-20 inches less than the width of the foyer. For example, if your foyer is 10 feet wide, opt for a chandelier with a diameter of around 20-28 inches.
  • For tall ceiling foyers (9 feet or higher): Calculate the chandelier size by adding the dimensions of the foyer in feet. For instance, if your foyer is 12 feet wide and 15 feet long, the sum is 27 feet. Convert this sum to inches (27 inches), and this can be the diameter of your chandelier.

How high should you hang a foyer light?

There are several rules to remember when hanging any lighting fixtures. First, aim to hang the fixture approximately 7 feet (2.1 meters) above the floor to ensure even illumination throughout the space.

Allow at least 12 inches (30 centimeters) of headroom above the light fixture to avoid a feeling of being too low or obstructive.

adjust the hanging height based on fixture size ceiling height and room width
The hanging height of your light fixture depends on the size of the fixture, ceiling height, and room width. Source: Barry Goralnick [2]

Additionally, you have flexibility in your choices. For spaces with high ceilings, consider using fixtures with longer chains or rods to position the light properly. This approach fills the vertical space effectively without appearing disproportionately small.

On the other hand, for lower ceilings, opt for flush or semi-flush mount fixtures to maximize headspace while maintaining a spacious feel. By understanding these guidelines, you can select and hang lighting fixtures that enhance both functionality and aesthetics in your space.

Calculate foyer light wattage

To calculate the appropriate wattage for your foyer light fixture, start by determining the room area. Multiply the length of the foyer by its width to calculate the square footage. For example, a foyer that measures 10 feet by 10 feet has an area of 100 square feet (10 feet x 10 feet = 100 square feet).

Next, determine the wattage needed by multiplying the square footage by 1.5. Using our example of a 100 square-foot foyer: Wattage = 100 square feet x 1.5 = 150 watts.

Therefore, for a 10-by-10-foot foyer, a lighting fixture with a total wattage of approximately 150 watts would be suitable to provide adequate illumination without overpowering the space.

What kind of light should I use in my foyer?

Here are nine popular types of chandeliers and pendant lights that you can consider for your foyers and entryways:


These ornate fixtures are perfect for large, open foyers with high ceilings. Crystal pendant lights exude luxury and glamour, while wrought-iron designs offer a classic and modern aesthetic. Sleek and geometric chandeliers complement contemporary or industrial styles.

Semi- fixtures

Perfect for foyers without vaulted ceilings, semi-flush fixtures strike a balance between flush-mounted lights and full chandeliers. They save space while ensuring meticulous detailing, often with glass shades or metal accents that complement transitional or eclectic styles.

semi flush fixtures crafted from glass offer a modern and classic fusion
Semi-flush fixtures made from glass can offer a blend of modern and classic aesthetics. Source: Amazon [3]

Ceiling mounted light fixtures

Versatile and stylish, ceiling-mounted fixtures are similar to flush mounts but more decorative. They work well in small foyers with minimalist or modern interiors, with traditional options featuring fabric shades or decorative elements that pair beautifully with classic or vintage-inspired decor.

Read more:

Wall sconces

Wall sconces are ideal for smaller areas within the foyer, providing accent or ambient lighting. Normally, they are installed on either side of entryways with gentle, modern designs that don't overpower other fixtures.

Modern foyer lights

These lights feature geometric shapes, metallic finishes, and LED technology, complementing urban, Scandinavian, or mid-century modern decor styles.

Read more:

Industrial foyer lights

Characterized by exposed bulbs, metal finishes, and utilitarian designs such as caged fixtures, industrial-style lights add a raw and edgy appeal to urban loft or industrial-inspired interiors.

industrial foyer lights often feature cage shaped designs with exposed light bulbs
Cage-shaped fixtures with exposed light bulbs are a distinctive design characteristic of industrial foyer lights. Source: Amazon [4]

French foyer lights

These lights are elegant and refined, with crystal accents, curved arms, and vintage-inspired details. The meticulous design highlights their beauty and uniqueness, adding a touch of romance and sophistication to traditional or eclectic interiors.

Rattan pendant lights

Rattan pendant lights are becoming increasingly popular choices for entryways. The simplicity of their material, combined with sophisticated details, makes these lights unique, fresh, and intriguing to guests.

the luminous rattan pendant light
The Luminous Rattan Pendant Light boasts a unique appearance due to its combination of jute and rattan materials. Source: Rowabi

One of the options we'd like to introduce is the Luminous Rattan Pendant Light, a product highly rated across all aspects by Rowabi, with glowing reviews. It exudes elegance akin to a chandelier while maintaining a rustic and authentic feel, achieved through the exquisite combination of twisted jute and rattan.

Contemporary chandelier

Modern-day contemporary chandeliers offer numerous options with unique shapes, a variety of materials and finishes, and even daring mix-and-match combinations to make a bold statement in modern foyers.

See more:

Farmhouse chandelier

Farmhouse chandeliers are inherently linked with wood accents, distressed finishes, and simple silhouettes. These fixtures embody rustic, raw, and naturally authentic characteristics to the fullest extent possible.

Read more:

How do I pick a style for my foyer light fixture?

Before picking a style for your foyer light fixture, there are two things you should ensure:

+ Pick light fixtures that match your overall aesthetic

It's crucial to align the foyer light fixture with the overall aesthetic of your home to achieve a cohesive and harmonious look throughout the house.

when selecting lighting fixtures for foyer
When choosing lighting fixtures, aim to maintain cohesiveness throughout the entire space. Source: Capitol Lighting [4] 819 × 1,024

To do this effectively, you must clearly identify the specific style or combination of styles you're pursuing in your home decor. Determine if there's a mix-and-match of styles present.

This understanding will guide you in selecting the most suitable materials and types of light fixtures that complement and enhance your chosen aesthetic.

+ Choose a shape that matches your existing furniture

When it comes to shapes, consistency is also the key. For example, if your other furniture features curved lines, opt for light fixtures with circular shapes or flowing contours instead of square or rigid rectangular designs.

This uniformity in materials and shapes throughout your decor helps create a cohesive and visually pleasing aesthetic.

6+ tips for choosing the perfect hallway and foyer lighting

These are 6 tips that we have distilled from our journey of advising and designing for clients to help everyone make the most proper choices when choosing the perfect hallway and foyer lighting fixtures.

Make your foyer the entrance point of focus

To save on other decor expenses while still making a lasting impression on guests, consider selecting lighting fixtures to serve as focal points in your main entryway.

Today, there are numerous trending and intriguing designs available that showcase individual styles. You can also opt for fixtures crafted from materials like rattan, bamboo, or wood, which add a unique touch of craftsmanship and personality to your foyer.

this light fixture is the centerpiece of the entire entryway
The light fixture in the picture serves as the focal point for the entire entryway. Source: HomeLane [5]

Get the measurements right

Getting the measurements right is crucial when choosing hallway and foyer lighting. There are 3 things you need to ensure:

Number of light fixtures

Assess the size and layout of your foyer to determine how many fixtures are needed. For larger spaces, multiple fixtures may be necessary to achieve balanced illumination.


Calculate the appropriate diameter for chandeliers or pendant lights based on the dimensions of your foyer. A general rule of thumb is to add the dimensions of the foyer in feet and use that sum as the diameter in inches for the chandelier.

Height/ length

Hang fixtures at the correct height or length to optimize illumination and aesthetics. For chandeliers and pendant lights, ensure they are positioned at a height that allows for adequate clearance while maintaining a visually appealing balance.

Illuminate properly

To achieve the right illumination level in your hallway or foyer; you always need to calculate the necessary wattage based on the square footage of the space first.

Start by determining the square footage of your foyer, which involves multiplying the length of the space by its width.

Once you have the square footage, use the formula: Square Footage x 1.5 = Total Wattage Needed.

Layer the lighting

Now, you can combine different layers of lighting to create focal points and depth in your home's entryways and foyer.

The most straightforward approach is to start with an overhead fixture like chandeliers or pendant lights to provide ambient lighting for the entire area.

These fixtures cast a general glow, setting the overall mood and brightness of the space.

use multiple lighting fixtures to add depth and interest
Don't just rely on one lighting fixture; add multiples to enhance the depth. Source: Pinterest [6]

To add depth and visual interest, integrate wall sconces or lamps. Wall sconces placed along the walls can create pockets of light, highlighting specific architectural elements or adding a warm glow to the surroundings.

Meanwhile, table lamps or floor lamps can be used to accentuate corners or specific zones within the foyers.

Create contrast for small spaces

In smaller foyers; the limited space often necessitates careful consideration of lighting options in terms of design and size.

Despite these constraints, there are effective strategies to enhance the ambiance without overwhelming the area. Utilizing pendant lights or wall sconces strategically can achieve this balance.

Pendant lights offer a versatile solution for smaller foyers by being suspended from the ceiling, which maximizes vertical space. Similarly, wall sconces are ideal for compact spaces as they can be mounted on the walls, conserving valuable floor space.


Nowadays, it's common to integrate mirrors and reflective accessories to create the illusion of spaciousness and enhance the overall aesthetic of a foyer.

Mirrors are key in reflecting light, making the area feel larger and more inviting. Additionally, mirrors allow individuals to make final adjustments before entering the home, showcasing the homeowner's attention to detail and refinement.

incorporate metallic accents or mirrors to boost light reflection
Add some metallic elements or mirrors to increase reflection. Source: Apartment Therapy [7]

Consider incorporating various mirrored elements, such as furniture, metallic accents, or mirrored wall panels, to amplify the luminosity and add depth to your foyer.

Maximize pendant power

Pendant lights can serve dual functions if chosen and utilized effectively—as both a source of illumination and a decorative centerpiece within your foyer. When selecting pendant lights, it's essential to consider how they complement your existing styles and furniture.

Opt for a pendant light that harmonizes with the overall color palette, materials, and shapes present in your foyer.

For instance, if your home features a predominantly neutral decor scheme, choosing a pendant light that is overly vibrant or contrasting may disrupt the overall cohesion of the space.

Faqs: How do I choose the right hanging lights for the foyers or entryways?

How do I choose an entryway light fixture?

  • Choose an entryway light fixture based on the size of your foyer, the overall style of your home, and the desired ambiance you want to create.

What kind of light do you put in an entryway?

  • For an entryway, consider using a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Chandeliers, pendant lights, flush mounts, wall sconces, or even table lamps can all be suitable.

What size should an entryway light be?

  • As a general guideline, add the dimensions of the foyer in feet and consider that sum in inches for the appropriate diameter of a chandelier or pendant.

What is the best light for a dark entryway?

  • The best light for a dark entryway is one that provides ample illumination without being harsh. Consider fixtures that offer a good spread of light, such as flush mounts or semi-flush mounts with multiple bulbs.

What is the best light for an entrance hall?

  • The best light for an entrance hall depends on the size, ceiling height, and space style. Chandeliers, pendant lights, or even strategically placed wall sconces can all work out well.


Now equipped with these insights, you're ready to embark on selecting the ideal lighting fixtures for your foyers or entryways.

Remember to save this guide and use it as a reference while planning your lighting setup. With this knowledge in hand, you can confidently navigate the process and find the perfect lighting fixture that complements your space beautifully.

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