A key part of home design that should not be overlooked is the lighting choices. We’re going to break down the best type of lighting for every room of your house so you can build, redecorate or update your home with confidence.
The Best Lighting for the Kitchen
We’ll start with the kitchen, a room that needs a few different types of lighting to give enough illumination and to help target the areas where you want extra light for food prep. A basic light plan for an average sized kitchen would include a combination of ceiling lights, under-cabinet lights and pendant lights. The recommended amount of lumens in a kitchen is 5,000-10,000 lumens of ambient light with the task lighting at work spaces to be a minimum of 450 lumens in each area.
Ceiling lights are to create your ambient light, they don’t hang down from the ceiling but can be found in ovals, circles, squares or domes to compliment your decor. If your space is large or you have vaulted ceilings then recessed lighting would be a good choice for lighting your kitchen space.
A quality chandelier makes an eye-catching conversation piece above a kitchen table or breakfast nook. Chandeliers come in any decorating style you can imagine and in many different sizes. When choosing a chandelier for your space follow the measuring rules HERE to make sure you get the right size.
Cabinet lighting provides soft targeted light right where food prep takes place. These types of downlights add soft accentuation to the lighting in your kitchen and if you love to cook or show off that beautiful space in your home then under cabinet lights add a special touch.
Pendant lighting is used over a kitchen island to illuminate the main food prep area. Like chandeliers these types of lights hang from the ceiling and come in many different styles. Unlike a chandelier which has multiple light bulbs incorporated into one lighting fixture, pendants are single light bulbs in a fixture and are usually hung and grouped in odd numbers for the most pleasing design.
The Best Lighting for the Dining Room
The lighting in a dining room should be soft and inviting yet bright enough that everyone can enjoy a meal together and clearly see. Dimmer bulbs make a great choice in a dining room as they give you flexibility on about how much light you want and the atmosphere you want to create at dinner or when entertaining. The recommended lumens for a dining room should be 3,000-6,000 lumens but you may find you need to go to the higher end of those numbers if the room has dark paint and furniture.
Every good dining room needs a statement chandelier to bring the design of the room together and to give a focal point above the table. Some of the most popular chandelier styles include contemporary, traditional, rustic and cottage.
The Best Lighting for the Living Room
The living room is often the most used room of the house. It can also be tricky to light because so many different activities can take place in this room — anything from movie nights to game nights and with all their lighting needs as well. The best way to light a living room will be to use several different light types to give the flexibility needed in this room of the house. The recommended lumens for a living room is 1,500-3,000 lumens with task lighting (such as a reading area) should be 400 lumens.
Track lights are popular for their versatility in the living room. These types of lights can be angled in different directions, allowing you to target specific parts of your room. While they are handy in this space, their design tends to be minimalist and modern so stick with ceiling lights or recessed lights to create your ambient light if modern isn’t your design style.
Wall sconces are popular in a cozy living room as they can provide extra light around the edges of a room without taking up valuable floor space. Sconces have light that comes out both the top and the bottom so they provide a lot of light for a smaller sized fixture.
Standing lamps make great lighting solutions for reading chairs or to anchor your design together and add height. These types of lights come in any style imaginable and are a great way to add a little extra targeted light as needed to the room.
The Best Lighting for the Bedroom
The bedroom should provide ambient light for the day time but also have task light, such as reading lamps for transitioning into sleep at the end of the day. Central ceiling mounted fixtures are often too harsh when viewed from lying in bed so having secondary lighting is essential in a bedroom. A traditional lighting plan for a bedroom could include a light fixture on the ceiling and floor and table lamps or mounted wall fixtures. The ambient light lumens for a bedroom should be 2,000-4,000 lumens with a minimum of 500 lumens for each reading light.
For daytime lighting a chandelier makes a beautiful central mounted fixture in a bedroom. Read here for how to hang a chandelier over a bed at the right height.
Drum lights are very traditional central mounted fixtures in a bedroom. These types of lighting provide great ambient light and are classy and simple, adding to the calm atmosphere you want to create in a bedroom.
Table Lamps/Standing Lamps/Wall Sconce
You could choose a table lamp, standing lamp or wall sconce, but you need some type of lighting to go over the nightstand and provide a reading light. Make sure that each side has its own light and its own outlet for controlling the light.
Ceiling Fan with Lights
If you prefer to sleep with a little bit of white noise and air movement then a ceiling fan with lights for daytime ambient lighting would be a good choice. These types of fixtures have come a long way in design and no longer resemble your grandma’s ceiling fan. No matter your design preference you can find a ceiling fan to match your bedroom.
The Best Lighting for the Bathroom
Bright bathrooms are a must, no one wants to step into a dim, dingy lit bathroom to get ready for the day or to apply their makeup. Most bathrooms are on the smaller size so a lot of light is not needed to keep the space bright and cheerful. In addition to a ceiling light make sure there is lighting for both sides of the mirror to cut down on unwanted shadows. The ambient light in a bathroom should be 4,000-8,000 lumens.
Aside from a good ceiling light you’ll want to place wall sconce lighting on each side of the mirror. A ceiling light alone can cast harsh shadows and no one wants to look in the mirror and be aged by lighting shadows! Simple sconces that are easy to switch out make an ideal task lighting for the bathroom.