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Choosing The Right Home Lighting

Perhaps one of the most overlooked, yet powerful, ingredient to decorating your room is lighting. Compelling and transformative, lighting fixtures can set the mood for your home and are an important design element to any room. To understand the different lighting fixture choices and lighting styles, follow this guide on lighting style, types of lighting and room lighting considerations.

Lighting Styles

There are two main styles of lighting in a home, and while both can be functional forms of illuminating a room they can vary in lighting type and style.

Task lighting

Used for a specific purpose, task lighting is the most common form of lighting in a home. This type of lighting is the most functional in a room, used to illuminate central areas and spaces that need it most. Task lighting can be found in the home as an overhead light for a room, a desk lamp that provides light when working, or vanity lighting above a mirror.

Accent lighting

Serving as both functional and decorative, accent lighting can help enhance certain elements of a room or serve as a stand-alone ornamental fixture. This type of lighting serves as an embellishment to room décor, while also having the ability to be useful for added illumination or to draw the eye to a room’s focal points. Accent lighting is often in the form of table or floor lamps but can also be found in more decorative lighting pieces, like a chandelier or wall sconces. 

Types of Lighting

There are many different types of room lighting, some more traditional while others more ornate in nature. A good lighting plan will combine different types of lighting to properly illuminate a room.

Wall & Ceiling Lighting

The most traditional of all lighting is ceiling mounted lighting and wall lighting and, although conventional in the American household, it can differ greatly in design and style. From antique lighting sconces to modern pendant light fixtures, finding the right wall and ceiling lighting for your home can change the mood of the room. Overhead lighting doesn’t have to be bland. By choosing unique fixtures, like a mid-century modern light style, you can add functional décor to your room. Blending and adding subtle lighting elements like wall sconces to a room adds an additional warmth and ambience.  For a traditional dining room setup, a chandelier placed over the table offers a sense of drama and depth to a room. For entryways with tall ceilings a pendant light provides an extra light source while creating a dramatic statement.  

Floor & Table Lighting

While overhead lighting tends to be the most thought-of lighting for a room, table and floor lighting offers an added design element when used properly. Table lighting serves as the perfect task lighting element to add to a desk, side table or nightstand. It can serve as both a functional item in room décor as well as an accent piece. Available in a wide range of styles from a vintage table lamp lighting fixtures to abstract lamps that can add color and character to a rooms interior. Add more height and layered lighting to a living room by using a floor lamp. From art deco to Victorian styles, floor lamp variety offers plenty of options and can serve as both task lighting or lighting that accents elements of a room, such as a piece of art. Bold or blended, floor lamps offer the perfect extra vertical ambient lighting design element to a room.

Choosing the Right Room Lighting

From a home’s living room to the bathroom, lighting type can vary greatly. Don’t limit lighting to one source; consider layered lighting options from overhead as well as accent and task lighting fixtures to create layered illumination. To make the most use of a rooms space, consider these design elements when choosing area lighting.

Living Room Lighting

Flush mounted, semi flush mounted or statement lighting pieces like a pendant light make the perfect center piece in the living room. Although overhead lighting provides a wash of light to the rooms center, consider adding extra lighting elements to hit the perimeter and darker areas in between. To add more brightness, table lamps provide soft illumination in central areas of the living room or opt for floor lamps to add washes of light to walls. Wall sconces can be used to provide light to areas of interest, such as flanking fireplaces or pieces of art. 

Kitchen Lighting

One of the most important rooms in a home for bright and well-lit interiors is the kitchen. Utilizing designer lighting fixtures to highlight kitchen elements like islands or tables helps to brighten the space. Choose a task lighting feature like a pendant, or multiple pendant lights, to highlight these features. Flush mounted lights help bring needed illumination to room centers, while recessed lighting or under cabinet lighting can help to brighten other dark areas.

Bathroom Lighting

Often one of the more forgotten rooms when it comes to lighting, proper bathroom lighting can be essential in creating the most of a smaller space. Overhead light in the bathroom might seem like the most practical option, but the harsh light from above can cast unflattering shadows. Utilizing overhead lights with accent lighting, like wall mounted sconces that flank a bathroom mirror, will help spread even illumination across the face. For a touch of tranquility or glamour, consider adding lighting elements like a chandelier or sculptural pendant lamp over the tub.

Bedroom Lighting

Like other rooms of the house, bedroom lighting is best done in layers, from overhead lights to specific task lighting that make reading, writing, sewing or other tasks easier. Using softer bulbs in bedroom light fixtures also helps control the luminosity by giving gentle, more controlled lighting to the room. Bedroom lighting can also vary on an individual’s preference but a unique flush mount light in the center of the room will help illuminate the whole area, while table lamps and sconces can give ambient light and be placed where needed.