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Have you ever wondered about the secrets to lighting your home that designers apply to make an aesthetically pleasing space? Sharing all of the details on the types of lighting and how to apply them to your home.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Interior Design Guidelines
There are specific guidelines that Interior Designers follow to ensure that a room is perfectly lit. They also aim to have a specific number of each type of light in a space to ensure it is aesthetically pleasing to the space users.
Types of Lighting
This type of lighting provides light to the entire room. An example of this would be pot lights throughout a room.
Accent lighting emphasizes and brings focus to an object by shining light directly on them. A good example of this would be picture lighting.
This type provides lighting to complete a task, for example, under cabinet lighting in a kitchen or a reading lamp beside a chair or on a desk.
This lighting enhances the mood of the space but doesn’t necessarily provide a function other than for décor or mood aesthetics. An example of this would be a table lamp or a candle.
Design Lighting Rules of Thumb
The rule of thumb for lighting a space like a designer is to ensure you have at least three of the four types of lighting mentioned above in a room. For instance, in a kitchen, you typically have ambient light (ex., pot lights), and task lighting (ex., under cabinet lights); from there, you should add another type. Whether it is pendant lights over the peninsula/island or accent lighting such as a wall sconce or picture light. This is what would make the space complete.
Types of Ceiling Lights
There are many different types of ceiling lights to use in your home. These are the eight common types of ceiling lights that you will find when shopping for your space.
Chandeliers have multiple light sources and add personality to a space and act as a focal point. Pendant lights are similar to chandeliers; however, they only have one source of light and are often smaller. Inverted pendant lights are similar to regular pendant lights and create an atmosphere perfect for ambient lighting with the light pointing upwards towards the ceiling.
Flush mount lights are flat against your ceiling and ideal for closets, hallways, and bathrooms. Semi-flush mounts are another popular style; however, they are similar to flush mounts, but they hang a few inches (4-8″) below the ceiling.
Recessed lights are recessed into the ceiling; examples are pot lights or can lights. Track lighting is a modern type of fixture which is ideal if you are trying to accent something or use as task lighting. Cove lights direct light up towards the ceiling from a cove, accenting the ceiling.
Types of Wall Lights
Several types of wall lights are used in design for light in addition to adding ambience and personality to a space.
Picture Lights are designed to highlight a focal point in a space, whether it is art or a specific point on the wall, but they are not supposed to be a primary source of light for a space. Up lights are good for lighting up a larger space, and this design directs towards the ceiling allowing the light to bounce off of the wall and ceiling. Down lights are used to illuminate the ground and are therefore used outside for walkways.
Candle Sconces are, as they sound, imitating the look of the historic first sconces that illuminated space by candlelight. Today, you often find these with chandelier bulbs imitating the look of a candle, though sconces made for candles do exist still. Swing arm sconces have longer arms that are adjustable, allowing the sconce to be moved around in many directions.
A Wallchiere is a mounted lamp that spreads light outwards and upwards and resembles a floor lamp mounted to the wall. Lantern-style sconces look just like old fashion lanterns that are mounted on the wall, for example, think of lanterns beside the front door of a house.
Shop Lighting By Type
- Flush-mount & Semi flush-mount
- Picture Lights
- Wall Sconces
- Plug-in Sconces
- Floor Lamps
- Amazon lighting
Shop Lighting by Room
- Kitchen Pendants
- Island/Peninsula Lights
- Bedroom Chandeliers
- Bedroom Lamps
- Bathroom Lighting
- Vanity Lighting
This refers to the warms or coolness of a light. The scale starts at a very warm (1,000K) and goes to Cool (10,000K). For a kitchen pick 4000-4500K, for a living room pick 2,200-3,000K.
They are the measurement of the amount of visible light to our eyes, from a light sources
Yes, more lumens mean it’s a brighter light and less lumens means it is dimmer.
This depends on what the room is used for. Bedrooms and sitting rooms need around 15 lumens per square foot, but bathrooms and kitchens need around 75 lumens per square foot.