Lighting is often an afterthought when it comes to a room but it’s important to choose the correct one to suit your needs and that of your room. You need to determine the function as well as how much light will be needed.

Here I will be sharing the primary types of lighting as well as some handy tips to help you choose the best lighting for your home so you are not left in the dark

Fresh Lighting Options & Ideas for Your Home

There are 3 major functions of lighting.

Ambient Lighting: This refers to the primary source of light that brightens up a room. Examples are track lighting, chandeliers, recessed lighting.

Task Lighting: Task lighting provides additional lighting to areas where people are performing particular activities. An example is a desk lamp or a night table lamp.

Accent Lighting: This provides the finishing touches to your room as well as draws attention to detail such as art work or personal collections. Picture lights and sconces are examples.

How to Space Lighting Throughout Your Home

The main focus here is providing enough light so that your room is evenly lit with no dark spots. Ambient lighting should be consistent throughout the space. The lighting you use is dependent on the room you’re in.

For example, recessed lighting will look great in a living room and a chandelier will be best for a dining room.  Pendant lights are ideal for a kitchen island.

How to Choose the Best Size & Dimension of Your Lighting

One simple formula to determine the wattage required to light a room is to multiply length x width and then multiply the area by 1.5.

For example, a room 10 ft x 12 ft, multiply 10 x 12 to get 120  sq ft. Multiply 120 x 1.5 to get 180 watts. A room that requires more light for detailed work, then you would multiply the area by 2.5.

The same room of 120 sq ft would require 300 watts of light.

In open concept spaces, the work around here is to separate into individual spaces and calculate each on it’s own.

How to Select Lighting Styles You’ll Love

Choosing the right fixture is dependent on the style of the room and home. It should complete the room and and not compete. An ornate crystal chandelier will provide a beautiful finishing touch for a traditional room, but not fit in with a room that is rustic.

What You Should Know about Bulb Options

Not sure which light bulb to use? The type of bulb you use determines what the light will look like. Here are a few of the basic types:

Incandescent: The old tried and true that we’ve used for decades, provide a warm glow, but are being phased out for more energy efficient options.

Halogen: Halogens give off a bright white light, similar to natural daylight. They are great for task lighting, and are also more energy efficient than the incandescent bulb.

LED: They provide a direct, harsh light, and are best for task lighting. LED’s are the most energy efficient, but because of this, they are more expensive. They now look like incandescents, but do not get as hot to touch.

Best Height to Hang Light Fixtures

Now that you’ve found the perfect light fixture, you need to know how low it should hang.

The general rule of thumb is at least 30″ above the surface.

A dining room chandelier should hang anywhere from 30-36″ from bottom to table top. Pendant lighting over an island, the same rule applies.

Lighting in an entryway, stairwell, hallway or any other room where people will walk under it, the bottom of the light fixture should be at least 7′ from the floor.

Best Places for Finding Fresh Lighting

Depending on what you need, you can find lighting at Canadian Tire, Home Depot, or Lowes. But for the widest selection, be sure to check out specialty stores like Living Lighting or Multi-Luminaire.

Simply rearranging or changing the type of light can have a dramatic impact. It’s a quick and effective way to improve the appearance, mood and atmosphere of a room.

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Until next time,