Lighting has become an essential aspect of everyday living. Architects and contractors now consider it a vital part of new construction, renovations, and remodels. Not only is lighting important in how it supports tasks and lifestyles, but also as a way to highlight the special features of your space.
You are likely aware of the types of lighting available for your interior projects, but how do you choose the lighting fixtures?
What tasks do you need lighting for?
Lighting fixtures come in a huge variety of sizes, styles, and capabilities. It can feel overwhelming to begin a search. However, there are questions you can ask yourself, and ways to streamline the process.
Take it room by room, and task by task. Before style, start with needs. What are you using lighting fixtures for? Do you need them to serve one purpose or multiple? Do you want accent lighting, focal lighting, or work lighting? Some things to consider for each room are:
- What do I want the general lighting of the room to look like? (Examples; well-lit, the ability to change lighting scenes, more natural lighting, etc.)
- Do I have any features I want to highlight? (Examples; art, a seating area, etc.)
- What tasks to I need lighting for? (Examples; work space, cooking, reading, relaxation, night light, etc.)
- Do I want my fixture to have other capabilities? (Examples; fan to push air, smart features, dimmer or multiple settings)
If you know you’ll need multiple fixtures in each room, work to identify what you want each fixture to do, and how it will work together with others.
What is the right lighting fixture size for your space?
Size is a big part of choosing interior lighting fixtures for your home. In fact, there is a general formula people use. Know the room’s height, width, and length. From there:
- Add length and width (8 ft. + 10 ft. = 18 ft.)
- Change feet to inches (18 ft. = 18 in.), which is the ideal diameter of the fixture.
- For height (let’s say 8 ft.), multiply by 2.5-3 (8 x 2.5 or 3 = 17-24 ft.)
- Change to inches (17-24 ft. = 17-24 in.), which is the ideal height for fixture
What is your lighting fixture style and budget?
The final part of choosing lighting fixtures for your interior spaces is setting a budget and matching the style and décor.
Look at how many fixtures you need, and approach it with an overall budget. Lamps and sconces are going to cost less than chandeliers and track lighting. Also, note any place you want a focal fixture. A great example of this would be a fixture designed to be a focal point in your décor, like something that hangs in the entry or over your dining table. Divide your budget by both size and importance.
Style will play a role as well. Although you may really like a modern industrial fixture, it may not blend with your craftsman space. You may find something that adds an element of modern, but fits better with the overall aesthetic. Some simple do’s and don’ts include:
- DO determine the design/style theme in your home and work to match it
- DON’T buy on looks alone; the lighting function is crucial
- DO consider color, size, and shape
- DON’T buy something that doesn’t support your wattage needs
- DO invest in a range of fixtures that work together for both tasks and style, from your simple fixtures to your focal fixtures
DO Work with a professional
Optimize the interior lighting in your home by collaborating with an experienced electrician. Electrical contractors often have valuable insights, suggestions, and the ability to help you create your lighting vision.