Christmas dining lighting tips from John Cullen Lighting


Once you have set your table with crockery and centrepieces from OKA’s wonderful range, the other essential ingredient that contributes to a successful dinner party (after food and company of course) is the mood, which is usually achieved using clever lighting.

The impact of lighting cannot be underestimated. An undecorated space can easily be made to feel moody just through lighting, as you can focus on what you want to see and conceal what you don’t. A beautifully decorated house can be a disaster if it’s badly lit or the lighting is too bright.

The key to successful lighting for all your Christmas and New Year dining is to create drama by focusing on the table. The best way to do this is with a 10° warm LED light, such as a Polespring LED which will highlight your festive centrepiece. By lighting artwork and focusing light on specific decorative features – whether a textured wall or your curtains – you can create an ideally lit scene.

How to ensure you create the right atmosphere for your Christmas and New Year dining…

The Do’s

  1. Always have dimmers.
  2. Always control lights on different circuits i.e. the light on the centre of a table should be separate from decorative lights and any feature lighting. By having a variety of effects, it is easier to change the mood.
  3. Decorative lighting such as chandeliers and wall lights can add warmth but only if you use the right LED lamps. Consider OKA’s range of LED bulbs for a warm light with that classic filament look.
  4. If there are no decorative lights, consider uplighting behind a banquette. This soft uplight can provide an indirect light source instead.
  5. Use white candles – I always think these provide an unbeatable softness and dynamic appeal.

The Don’ts

  1. Avoid grids of downlights. Be careful where you position these. They should be narrow over a table and never over one’s head.
  2. Avoid decorative lights that are non-dimmable or have a cold LED light as you will end up switching these off.
  3. Avoid only one light source as it is difficult to create a mood i.e. just a pendant or downlights. Good lighting requires a variety of effects.
  4. Beware of LED light sources described as warm white with a colour temperature higher than 2700K! Check dimmability of any LED source as they can be prone to flicker unless specified properly.

John Cullen’s Lighting Design Team can help you design and execute a scheme to ensure the perfect dinner party setting. For more information, visit his website.

Sally Storey’s top picks

Mosel glass table lamp

‘The Mosel Table Lamp is the perfect statement piece for your home and adds a subtle splash of colour.’

Chateau D’or glass table lamp – emerald

‘I like the unique shape of this lamp and it’s textured appearance. Using coloured glass to light a room instantly adds a vibrant feel, I am especially taken with this green lamp.’

Balustrade table lamp

‘The Balustrade lamp has a curvaceous column but is also narrow enough to sit on a small side table or shelf. The natural linen lampshade that it is paired with will diffuse the light beautifully in any room.’

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