5 Tips on How to Light Your Intimate Dinner Party

Throwing an intimate dinner party relies on good lighting techniques. 
Photo courtesy of Quoizel, Inc.
Throwing an intimate dinner party relies on good lighting techniques. Photo courtesy of Quoizel, Inc. http://www.quoizel.com/

Throwing a successful dinner party in your home depends on a lot of different factors. One that might not immediately come to mind is how you plan to light your home. Lighting will determine several aspects of your dinner party, and having the wrong light fixtures arranged in your home could give an uncomfortable or forceful vibe.

Here are five tips to follow when lighting your intimate dinner party:

1. Know Your Guests
A great ambiance will make any party seem more inviting and welcoming; however, to create the right setting, it is necessary to consider your guests. If you plan on inviting couples to your home or if you're playing the matching-making game with friends, you want to make sure dim lighting is on your checklist.

For a great dinner party, you want to have a solid group of people that will enjoy one another. To encourage this sentiment, try to create comfortable accent lighting that is not too strong or bright. Accent lighting will keep your dining area dark enough to persuade close talking for a more intimate setting.

However, if you're hosting a dinner party with relatives, you will want to brighten the room and axe the romantic lighting.

2. Make Your Guests Look Prettier
If you're throwing a classy dinner party, it is likely your guests will be dressing up. Utilize low lighting in the proper areas to really let your guests shine. This type of lighting creates almost a mysterious luminance around people, which will likely help your guests be more confident, and thus, more sociable.

Candles are another great source of low lighting that can make the party even more intimate.

3. Use Low-wattage Bulbs
Low-wattage bulbs are a simple way to create a dimmer dinner party environment without lighting too many candles. Depending on the size of your dining room, lighting multiple candles could make your party seem more like a séance than an intimate friendly gathering. Low-wattage bulbs will help create the perfect mood without overdoing the candles.

4. Hang Paper Lanterns or Christmas Lights
Another way to create dim lighting for your dinner party is to hang paper lanterns. These are an excellent temporary solution for creating low lighting. If you don't have paper lanterns, try white Christmas lights to give your party a starry feeling. Christmas lights are bright, but not too powerful for an intimate setting. Both paper lanterns and white Christmas lights are also perfect for creating intimate outdoor areas that appear put together.

5. Change the Lighting Throughout the Night
As your dinner party continues, the mood of the guests might change. In this scenario, you want to be ready to change the ambiance of your lighting. Dimming switches and fixtures are a great way to easily take the party into a darker mood for dancing or to lighten it up for a friendly board game.

Visit your local ALA showroom or go online to americanlightingassoc.com to learn more about different dinner party lighting options.


3 thoughts on “5 Tips on How to Light Your Intimate Dinner Party

  1. Thank you for the help. I am suppose to plan an outdoor dinner party soon and lighting is one of my struggles. I love the idea of some hanging lanterns. That brings such a nice feel to the environment. How many lanterns would you recommend using?

    • Hi Justin – That would depend on the size of the space you’re lighting, as well as which other light fixtures you already have in your outdoor space. We recommend visiting an ALA showroom to get the best possible lighting design for your outdoor and indoor spaces. Thank you for reading!

  2. Hello Dear Admin,
    Thanks for your outstanding tips.
    It gives me great enjoyment while taking dinner at restaurant, when lights are changing color .
    I personally like remote controlled lights where there is chance to change color based on guest mood.
    Any way, thanks for your tips and keep sharing idea.

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