As many of us are well aware, lighting is everything when it comes to creating an atmosphere within a home. Not only can it transform our physical space, but it can also have an impact on our behavior and perception. To say the least, lighting is a pretty important element of your home to consider. That’s why we‘ve reached out to the experts in lighting and design from Toronto to Sacramento to provide you with a few tips and tricks for transforming your home lighting design into something magnificent. So, sit back and enjoy.
Understand your space
First, there must be an understanding of how the room/ space needs to function in order to create the correct mood and functionality. I am normally not a fan of over-lighting a space, always being sensitive to the natural light available. If recessed “down” lighting is critical for the general lighting in the space, the addition of a ceiling “cove” can truly enhance the area. Mood can be additionally amplified by adding floor lighting in discrete areas that are disguised by either seating, plants or furniture creating a natural glow. Task lighting such as table, floor, sconce and counter fixtures always lend an added accent to enhance a space. – Joe Ginsberg Design
The first thing I do when it comes to lighting a home is determine where the artwork is going to be installed. Then I go back and design a lighting plan that provides recessed cans where you need them. Depending upon the height of your ceiling will dictate how far away the fixtures must be and the lamp needs to swivel so the light can be directed to the center of the artwork. I am still recommending halogen bulbs over LED types because the halogen ones come in a wide variety of beam spreads which can be used with different size artwork. Good lighting is everything and if you do this you are off to a great start. – John Robert Wiltgen Design, Chicago
Keep these three principles in mind
At RBW, we believe in the power of light to create atmosphere and there are a few key principles to keep in mind when doing so in your home. It’s important to consider how you can strategically create layers of light in your space. This is done through a combination of task (or focal) lighting, ambient lighting, and a touch of sparkle.
Focal lighting delivers targeted illumination for more demanding tasks—think work surfaces like kitchen counters and desks, while ambient lighting delivers general illumination and brightness throughout the space—think living areas. Sparkle imparts an element of glowing decoration and creates a sense of well-being in addition to adding visual interest to a space—think over the dining room table, in an entryway, and around statement vignettes.
You can also achieve a higher quality of light using dimmable LED fixtures with a color rendering index (CRI) of 80 or above and by using a consistent color temperature (CCT) throughout your home. 2700k is the CCT most commonly used in residential settings which provides a nice warm, white temperature. – RBW
Maximize your access to natural light
The best thing you can do in terms of lighting in your home is maximize access to natural light. As the sun moves through the sky throughout the day there are subtle color changes that directly impact our bodies and influence how alert we are as well as our hormones. When we don’t have access to natural light we are disconnected from these natural rhythms and our sleep patterns and how we feel can be affected.
For those living in homes without a lot of natural light, there are light bulbs that you can purchase called “full-spectrum” bulbs that can be helpful to use in areas like a home office or breakfast nook where access to the full spectrum of light can be helpful. – Gala Magriña Design
Don’t underestimate the value of a focal point or centerpiece
Chandeliers are the hearth of the modern home, a gathering place to enjoy family & friends to cook, eat, share stories, and relax at the end of the day. Make sure your fixtures are close enough to the gathering area to feel intimate and inviting. Think of these fixtures as a campfire you want to gather around to feel the warmth. Consider the color temperature of the bulbs 1800k to 3000k and make sure they are fully dimmable. Now relax and enjoy! – Form & Reform
Versatility is key
Striking the right balance with your lighting is essential, and versatility is key. Rather than relying on one kind of light to suit every need, installing two or more styles creates multiple focal points, greatly increasing the versatility of your space. Lamps are a great alternative when it isn’t necessary for the whole room to be lit, but wall lights and pendant lights can also be used to create unique and purposeful solutions. Consider installing wall lights around your bathroom mirror as a more focused light for grooming or hang low pendants above bedside tables for a clutter-free alternative to night-time reading. – Fat Shack Vintage
Keep it simple with recessed lighting
I love to use 2″ white recessed can lights in my projects. They are simple and discrete, and when placed correctly can make a space look amazing! I attached the spec. sheet for you to view. I also think layering lighting gives a room the most beautiful look and feel. You need recessed cans, floor lamps, and table lamps arranged around the room so that everything is lit up enough. This also creates visual interest throughout the entire room. – Heidi Semler Interior Design
Find balance between form and function
As interior designers, we often consider lighting for both functional and aesthetic purposes. Recently, we collaborated with an architect (Samsel Architects) and builder (Morgan Keefe) on a new modern home in The Cliffs Mountain Park, in South Carolina. The stairwell is centrally located in the home and serves as a transition from the main to the lower floor. It was also treated as an art gallery and has a massive glass window that faces the front of the home. The lighting selected for this area is intentionally a focal point. It’s a black fixture to coordinate with the steel railings and steel accents on the art wall, and hangs in front of the artwork we sourced specifically for this space. Though stairways are often neglected as pass-through spaces, this one was elevated to serve as a natural light-flooded gallery, with a dramatic LED ceiling fixture that glows both day and night. – Talli C. Roberts, ASID, NCIDQ, Allard & Roberts Interior Design
Achieve a layered look with multiple light sources
Lighting is one of my favorite elements in a space. The right light fixtures can instantly elevate your home from basic to wow! It’s best to have multiple light sources in a room for a layered look that allows you to properly light the space. Cover your bases with ambient, task and accent lighting for a polished and functional look! For example, within a room ambient lighting may be a gorgeous ceiling mount, task lighting would be a reading lamp, and an accent light could be a brass picture light. Lighting is a great way to express style, and is the shiny jewels of the home! – Allison Ruda Interior Design
Smart bulbs are a great idea! I specifically love the Philips Hue bulb, because you can adapt the color temperature to fit the needs of your home and your specific mood.I like to have layers of light at different heights, and at different points of the room, so all corners of the room are lit and the light feels multidimensional. If your space only has overhead lights, consider adding sconces and/or table lamps to help fill the space up. – Tina Ramchandani Creative, New York
Swap out your dated kitchen lighting
Kitchen lighting is so important and can easily be transformed from good to great. Make sure your island lights are the stars of the room both decoratively and functionally. Large cone-shaped pendant lights give the most generous spread of light due to their shape. Glass pendants are also a great option because they give a nice bright light from all angles as well as add some shine to dress up a kitchen. I love to hang kitchen pendants at least about 40″ above the island when I can. This is little higher than the norm in recent years but feels fresh and updated. – Christina Kim, Founder of Christina Kim Interior Design in Manasquan, New Jersey
Familiarize yourself with what’s trending
The best tip for homeowners to transform their home is simply to update their lighting to what’s on-trend. With Avenue Lighting, we like to keep up with trends and set our own, as well. Homeowners should take into consideration either a favorite (or desired) travel destination, and incorporate that style or feel into their home. With lighting, this is so easy to do! It is as simple as introducing a lantern or etched pendant inspired by a Moroccan design, or by adding a clean white fixture, reminiscent of the Greek islands. Avenue Lighting designs are all inspired from our passion for travel. – Avenue Lighting
Take advantage of smart controls
One of the most beneficial services we offer is reducing wall clutter in new homes, by using smart lighting controls and eliminating unnecessary 3-ways, 4 ways and unsightly multi-gang wall boxes. The next benefit of using smart lighting controls is that most smart switches are dimmers now, allowing for dimming of all of your lights. Dimming can have a drastic effect on how a room looks and feels, by simply setting various lights in the room, say a chandelier at 50%, sconces at 80% and ceiling cans at 10%. When these are all on at 100% full, the room feels totally different than when dimmed, and with lights at various levels. Finally, controlling lighting around your home during parties and events can really make your home pop. From niche lights to art lights to wall washers and more, making sure these lights are both turned on and dimmed properly, with appropriate lighting around them, can really set the theme for your event. – Fultech Solutions
Vary your LED’s
I always recommend LED bulbs when possible. Warm-colored light bulbs are preferred in most areas like dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms. Cool bulbs are best in work areas, like workshops or offices. And natural/daylight-colored light bulbs are great in bathrooms. – Jezebel Fine Art
Good lighting has the power to transform the look and feel of any room. You can easily switch up the energy of a space by swapping out your current light bulbs. Create an inviting glow in living rooms, bedrooms, and common areas by installing warm LED light bulbs. For optimal lighting in functional areas like kitchens, home offices, and laundry rooms, cool white LED bulbs are best, especially when you need to pay attention to the details. – The Home Lighting Shop