How to Choose the Right Lighting for Your Home
We all know how important lighting is for creating a beautiful, functional space. The right lighting can help to promote productivity and it can also make us feel relaxed and comfortable; it helps define spaces and draws people together.
Lighting also affects how we perceive textures and colors, and manipulates the overall feel of a space (maybe more than any other design element). And then there’s the simple fact that light fixtures can end up being a major focal point in a room — it’s no wonder that pulling a lighting scheme together can feel a touch daunting!
But, today, we’re helping you do just that. First, let’s start with the different types of lighting you can choose from:
- Ambient Lighting
- Task Lighting
- Accent Lighting
Ambient, or general lighting, is needed in every room. It provides a comfortable overall level of light.mbient light sources are typically overhead lighting, and as a general rule it’s the best place to start when lighting a room.
Ambient light sources to consider for your lighting plan could be this semi flush mount ceiling light surrounded by 6 lamp holders, beautiful appearance, can add modern touch to any interior decoration.
Task lighting allows you to see while you perform a task. It supplies the intense, direct light needed for detailed work — reading, cooking, prep, applying makeup — in places like the kitchen, office and bath. Task light sources to consider for your lighting plan: table lamps, desk lamps, island or mini pendants, track lighting, under cabinet lighting, vanity lighting and work lamps.
Accent lighting allows you to spotlight interesting features in your home décor, such as a painting or a mantel. It also serves as a secondary light source to augment ambient lighting in a room.
Accent lighting sources to consider for your lighting plan: recessed lighting, track lighting and wall sconces.
Narrow Down Your Style
There are a lot of amazing options out there, so this can get overwhelming. But if you start by narrowing down your overall aesthetic, it will help! Is your space bohemian, mid-century modern, or farmhouse chic? After defining your room (more or less), start to search for fixtures that fit within that design style. Also remember, a little contrast is always fun too! Try mixing styles to find the right combo…(more on this in the next point).
Now that you’ve thought about style, it’s time to look at the best lighting types by room.
The living room is the place for hanging out, relaxing, cozying up with a book or watching a movie. Lots of activity occurs here. That means you’ll need a variety of lighting.
If your living room has areas with no light or the light casts shadows, you’ll need more ambient and accent lighting. If you have a focal point in the room, like a mantel, add wall sconces to either side for additional accent lighting. Other ambient lighting options are ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights with a drum shade and floor lamps.
A kitchen requires multiple layers of light. Recessed lighting is great ambient lighting for both big and small kitchens. If your kids do their homework at the kitchen island while you chop veggies for dinner, hang an island pendant or individual mini pendants in a row over the island for task and accent lighting.
To light a breakfast nook, a pendant or a chandelier works perfectly.
Besides mealtime, the dining room can be a place for arts and crafts or family game night, and it needs to be lit accordingly. Chandeliers are still a classic option and serve as a good ambient light source. Try placing table lamps on a server or framing the server with wall sconces for extra ambient and accent lighting.
Bedroom lighting should evoke a feeling of calm, but you still need ambient lighting, such as a ceiling fan or a flush-mount or semi-flush-mount light. Bedside table lamps or wall sconces mounted above the bedside table provide task lighting for things like reading in bed.
If you have a sitting area or workspace in your bedroom, table lamps work best.
While a vanity light above the bathroom mirror is still a traditional option, many homeowners are installing chandeliers for a more glamorous, spa-like feel.
Wall sconces or pendant lights on either side of the bathroom mirror paired with a vanity light above create the perfect ambient/task light combo. The sconces provide cross-illumination, making activities like applying makeup, shaving or flossing much easier.
In an office you need to be able to focus. If you’re squinting to see your computer and you don’t need glasses, you may need more light. Invest in an adjustable desk lamp so you have plenty of task lighting. A pendant light or a ceiling fan are other overhead lighting options. If your desk is positioned against a wall, mount wall sconces on either side to help illuminate your workspace.