Room lighting basics—choosing the proper lamp for your needs

DINING ROOM:

The focal point of any dining room is the chandelier. Choose one that is easily coordinated with the other furnishings in the room. Adding matching wall sconces is an effective way to accent off the chandelier while getting additional functional lighting output.

What size? A chandeliers width should be 6" to 12" smaller than the narrowest side of the table. How low should hang? The bottom of the chandelier should be approximately 30" to 36" above the table.

Tip: If the ceiling height is greater than 9’ consider using a two-tier chandelier. This will help fill the space between the ceiling and the top of the fixture. Recommendation: Try and use a dimmer to control the light output in the dining room. This will allow the opportunity to create the appropriate mood for all occasions.

FOYER & HALLWAYS:

When lighting this area of the home, keep in mind that its main function is to illuminate enough light, to ensure a safe passage into other areas of the home.

Tip: Using a close-to-ceiling fixture down a hallway (2-Light minimum) with a matching decorative semi-flush fixture or mini-chandelier (3-light) is an effective way to achieve the appropriate light level for this area while not sacrificing the decor of the home. If space allows and the foyer fixture can be viewed from the outside choose a 2-or-3 tier fixture that fills the space appropriately and creates a dramatic entrance into the home.

LIVING ROOM:

Recommended light sources for the living room would be track lighting, decorative table lamps or recessed lighting. Track lighting is a effective way to highlight a painting or to place ample lighting for reading, playing games or hobbies.

Tip: Make use of dimmer controlled lighting in the living room. This will be a great way to create a mood for entertaining or to highlight a special piece of art.

KITCHEN:

As the kitchen is primarily a work area, many time it becomes a gathering place during event at the home. Choose comfortable but functional lighting for this area.

What size fixture over a dinette? The diameter of a pendant fixture or a chandelier should be approximately 12" less than the narrowest dimension of the table.

How low should the fixture hang? The bottom of the pendant or chandelier should be approximately 24" to 30" above the table.

Tip: Using multiple mini-pendants can create a theatrical look for a breakfast bar or kitchen island. Mount mini-pendants 18" to 24" above the counter

BATH & VANITY LIGHTING:

When choosing lighting for a bathroom keep in mind that with a small area not as much light is required but a single light over a mirror can cast shadows in a small space.

Tip: In addition to a single light over a mirror consider using a close-to-ceiling fixture for over head lighting. The down light from this fixture will help eliminate shadows on the face.

Tip: Consider using two single wall fixtures on the sides of a small mirror. This will help eliminate shadows while balancing the light distribution evenly in the room.