Are you looking to install some new home lighting?
When it comes to home decor, lighting often gets overlooked. However, lighting can make a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of a room. But how do you know which type of lighting to choose?
Check out this home lighting guide to learn how to choose lighting for every room.
Understand the Different Types of Lighting
To choose the correct lighting for your home, you first need to understand the different types available. The main types of lighting include:
Ambient lighting provides rooms with a soft glow so you can complete tasks without harsh light. The goal of ambient lighting is to make the lighting in the room as flat and natural as possible. Ambient lighting should allow you to safely move around your space, but it’s usually not ideal for working closely on tasks.
Here are the main types of ambient lighting to choose from:
Chandeliers make an elegant addition to any room. They come in a variety of sizes, and some can even light up an entire room. When buying a chandelier, the biggest thing you want to take into consideration is the size.
If you purchase a chandelier that’s too big or too small, it’ll look out of place. To select a correctly-sized chandelier, measure the width and length of your room in feet, and add those two numbers together. The sum of these two numbers will tell you the ideal diameter of your chandelier.
If you’re buying a chandelier to hang above your dining room table, select one that’s about a half to two-thirds of the width of the table. Also, remember that chandeliers are an ambient light source, so don’t expect them to light up your entire room.
Pendants are similar to chandeliers in that they also hang from the ceiling. However, the main difference is that pendants hang singularly from a central cord or chain, whereas chandeliers consist of multiple arms hanging from a single body.
Additionally, chandeliers tend to be more formal and intricate, whereas pendants tend to be more modern and minimalistic. However, both chandeliers and pendants are excellent sources of ambient lighting.
If you have an 8-ft ceiling, your pendant light should hang 12 to 20 inches below it. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add an extra 3 inches to your pendant light. If you hang your pendant over a work surface, make sure it doesn’t block any views across the kitchen.
Recessed lighting is another form of ambient lighting that can hang on your ceiling, walls, or in the ground. If you can, you should add a dimmer to your recessed lighting to get better control over your room’s lighting scheme.
When it comes to recessed lighting, there are several different types of trim you have to choose from, including:
- Round Aperture
- Square Aperture
The type of trim you choose really comes down to personal preference, so make sure to consider the overall aesthetic of your room when choosing.
Another common type of lighting you need to add to your home is task lighting. Task lighting is smaller, more concentrated light that’s useful for work and study projects. In fact, many people call task lighting office lighting.
Task lighting is great for projects such as reading, studying, sewing, or cooking, among other things. Task lighting is most effective when it’s used in contrast with other types of lighting.
The great thing about task lighting is that it helps naturally stimulate your brain, as the lighting helps you stay alert and concentrate better. The lighting can also help you see more details in your work and produce better quality results. There are several different types of task lighting, including:
- Under cabinet
- Swingarm lamp (if you’re looking for the perfect lampshade, check out these products here)
The main thing you need to remember when choosing task lighting is that it’s not supposed to serve as the main source of lighting in your room. Task lighting should be the third source of light you add after the main lighting source and ambient lighting.
Many people confuse accent lighting with task lighting, however, they’re two different things. Accent lighting is a concentrated source of light that’s meant to draw the eye to a focal point in the room.
This type of lighting can help add drama and style to your home. It can help illuminate pieces that you want to display, such as artwork, pieces of furniture, wall washings, or architectural structures.
You can add accent lighting to the interior as well as the exterior of your home. The different types of accent lighting include:
- Recessed lighting
- Wall lights
- Landscape lighting
- Track lighting
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using accent lighting in your home:
- Light only what you want to see
- Add dimmers so you can easily control your accent lighting
- If you don’t want to make permanent changes to your home, add lamps as accent lighting
- Consider adding less light to your home to give more impact
When deciding where to hang accent lighting, focus on the areas of your home that you want to highlight. Also, look for areas of your home that are a bit bland and boring. For example, hallways are often overlooked, and they provide a nice blank canvas for adding some lighting.
When figuring out the lighting scheme for your home, don’t forget about the exterior lighting. Here are the different types of lighting you can add to your outdoor landscape:
A spotlight is a general term for any light that only points in one direction. Spotlights are often used to illuminate plants, statues, walls, and patios.
If you’re looking for lighting to illuminate a large area of your yard, then you need to install some floodlights. These lights are very bright and cover a wide range of space.
They’re typically used to illuminate patios and driveways.
As the name suggests, a step light sits on the front or the side of your stairs. These lights make it safer for people to walk at night. Most people attach step lights to their desk steps.
Garden lights work best in natural areas of your yard. These are great lights for showing off your plants and other features of your garden that you’re proud of.
The great thing about bollard lights is that they shine in every direction. These lights are great for illuminating your entire yard and making it easier for you to walk at night.
If you have trees in your yard, then you need a set of string lights. Also known as fairy lights, string lights help to illuminate trees and hardscapes. These lights offer a more subtle look to your yard.
General Home Lighting Tips
Now that you know what type of lighting to install in your home, let’s talk about some general home lighting tips that you should keep in mind:
- Include at least three light sources in each room ( general lighting, specific lighting, and ambient lighting)
- Keep your windows clean to maximize natural light
- Use white lampshades to create a colder tone in your rooms, and use colored shades to create a warmer, creamier tone to your rooms
- Incorporate reflexive surfaces into your room such as mirrors and glossy floors to bounce light around your room
- Add in more decorative lighting to change up the look of your room
Also, don’t forget that there are different lighting rules for each room of your home. Here’s what you want to focus on in each room:
Bathroom: Focus on installing vanity lights or lights around your mirrors. You may also want to bring in candles for bathtime for unwinding.
Living Room: Focus on adding one large lighting source to your living room to serve as a focal point.
Bedroom: Use candles safely for ambiance, as well as bedside lamps with warm bulbs.
Kitchen: Add a good mix of ambient lighting to set the mood as well as task lighting for chopping, kneading, and searing.
Home Lighting Guide: Time to Light Up Your Home
Now that you’ve read this home lighting guide, it’s time for you to light up your home. With these tips, your home lighting will help you accentuate the best parts of each room.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more home lighting tips and tricks.