Lighting is the part of a room that will dictate the tone and mood of a room. Here are some factors to consider for choosing and installing the right lights.

Kitchen Spot Lights & Cabinet Uplighting via Ben Inder || source unknown

1)     The Natural Light

If you are lucky enough to have a room with large windows that let in a lot of light, then your windows should be a feature that you dress, rather than something to wash out with lighting. For nighttime, depending on your view, choose soft lighting that is distributed around the room. A single central light will overload the room with concentrated lighting. If you have no choice, and you have to work with a central light, then you opt for a type of bulb, chandelier or lampshade that will diffuse the light and distribute it around the room.

2)     The Size of the Room

If the room is large then multiple light sources work much better than a single one. Lights can also be used to highlight certain areas of the room and dim others. A large room often benefits from having more light around a feature such as a bed for a bedroom or a fireplace for a living room. This method of lighting tends to dim corners, so some well-placed decorative lamps can be used to brighten the corners or draw attention to seating areas or dining areas.

3)     The Color of the Room

If the room is a light color then you don’t want to blast it with light as this can create an overwhelming environment in the evening. Spotlights distributed around the ceiling work very well with light colored rooms, especially if they have a dimmer switch so that you can control the contrast. Darker shaded rooms give you more options to play with, and tend to look wonderful with large light fixtures such as chandeliers, art deco style light fixtures and lamps.

4)     The Function of the Room

Spotlights as well as recessed lighting work great in kitchens. But they can be overwhelming in a bedroom. Large lampshades can do wonders for a living room and look out of place in a kitchen. The lighting you choose must match the purpose and function of the room that you are in. Decorative light fixtures work best in rooms where you are trying to create an ambiance such as bedrooms or living rooms with dining areas where they will be entertaining and keeping company. Spotlights work well where the décor is modern and the ceilings are very high.

In Shelf Lighting image via Pegasus Lighting


Editor’s Note: Thanks for out to Ben for sharing his thoughts on the right lights. Lighting is often overlooked aspect when planning for remodeling. The article – Installing In-Patio Lighting is still one of my all time favorites. There is much more information online about selecting lighting. Here is a Room by Room Guide from Homedit.com – How to Choose the Right Lighting Fixtures. ~jb

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* Images via Ben Inder and courtesy of friends @ Pegasus Lighting (now LightUp).