Far too few people consider lighting fixtures an afterthought when styling up a house, whether they’re moving into a brand-new abode or simply renovating their current one. Of course we here at homify know all about the power that a decent lighting fixture can bring to a space (not that natural lighting isn’t essential too, but we know that here in the UK sunlight can’t be counted upon each and every day).
With the right home lighting ideas, a room not only becomes better lit, but also breathes life into the space. Not to mention how they can enhance architectural features and decorative items like artwork or furniture, as any expert lighting designer will vouch.
So, if you’ve ever walked into a friend’s home and thought: “Wow! How come my house isn’t as fabulously lit?”, then stick around, because once you’re through with our latest guide, your friends and colleagues might just invade your home looking for home lighting ideas!
First of all, think of every room in your house as a cake that requires three different layers (of light):
1. General/ambient lighting: The main layer which makes up about 75% of a room’s light and stops us from bumping into furniture. Larger rooms’ ambient lighting require a few ceiling fixtures.
2. Task lighting: The cake’s frosting which helps to accomplish daily chores/tasks, like reading books, slicing veggies and flossing teeth. Write down all the different tasks that are accomplished in a room and plan your lighting around them.
3. Accent lighting: The top layer which finishes off the entire cake (or room). This is the decorative part of the picture which enhances architectural detail like coves and decorative trim.
Those lighting layers need to be controlled separately, like when you want to change the accent lights while hosting a cocktail party, for instance. This is where you want to focus on dimmer switches, which allow you to soften the lighting and, thus, change the entire ambience of a room.
If you think that all bulbs give off the same coloured white light, you’re wrong. Any guide detailing home lighting ideas will tell you that the bulbs you choose give off different shades of white light across a spectrum, usually from a bluish white to a yellowish cream.
Have a chat with a lighting expert or a professional at the lighting store – they’re sure to expand your world with regards to home lighting colours.
When lighting your living room, start with overhead lighting to fill the room with essential ambient lighting for any occasion. This is also an ideal jumping-off point to design the rest of the room’s style. Consider the following:
• What style statement can one make with a chandelier dangling in the centre above the seating space? And regardless of its design, a chandelier is sure to give a room a focal point.
• A few oversized pendants add interest, colour and variety to the room – think of them as artwork for your ceiling.
• Wall sconces can be used on their own or in combination with an overhead fixture from the same collection.
• Consider all the “tasks” happening in the living room (reading, watching TV, playing games, etc.) and light accordingly. For reading chairs, we recommend positioning the light’s shade below eye level to avoid glare.
Ambient lighting: A large ceiling fixture can ensure sufficient general lighting for your kitchen, yet it may not be enough for gloomy areas like the sink and countertops. This is where supplemental lighting (such as track lights or pendants) are perfect to give your task spaces illumination. For ambient lighting in the kitchen, consider ceiling lights, chandeliers, fan lights, wall sconces and recessed lights.
Task lighting: Any area where you’re working with sharp knives and boiling temperatures deserve to be decently lit, don’t you agree? But be smart with your choices. When selecting under-cabinet lights, choose energy-efficient light fixtures that cover at least two-thirds the length of the counter. When mounting, place the fixtures as close to the front of the cabinets as possible. This helps you avoid glare reflecting off of work surfaces. For task lighting in the kitchen, consider pendants, under-cabinet lights and downlights.
Accent lighting: Island counters, nooks and seating areas in the kitchen can be decorated stylishly via striking pendants. For islands where one requires decent height for working, hang the fixtures 75 – 150cm from the top of the countertop. For kitchen accent lighting, consider pendants, wall sconces and LED linear lights.
Personal style plays a big role in home lighting ideas, especially in the most private space in your home: the bedroom. Create a sanctuary feel in your sleeping space with lighting that matches your style, whether that be elegant, casual, playful or traditional.
homify hint: No space on your bedside table for table lamps? Long pendants or wall sconces can be equally successful in providing lighting for reading. Pendants are also perfect over reading chars or in reading nooks.
Not sure where to start with your dining room lighting? Look at your dining table, as it’s the centrepiece of the room.
• Longer or rectangular dining tables are ideal for linear chandeliers or multiple pendants dangling the length of the table.
• A round table can be styled up most prominently with staggered pendants or mini chandeliers.
• Using your dining table for everyday tasks like homework? We recommend a chandlier equipped with a downlight.
homify hint: When hanging lighting above your dining table, leave about 75 – 90cm of space between the tabletop and the bottom of the fixture.
All home lighting ideas for bathrooms put task lighting first on the list. Think about activities like shaving and brushing teeth – these, and more, all occur in the bathroom, which makes a mirror essential. To get the best lighting effect (and avoid shadows), light from the sides (with bathroom sconces) as well as the top (using vanity lights) of a mirror.
We recommend installing a fixture of at least 60cm wide over the mirror, as well as bathroom sconces on both sides, at least 71cm apart and 150cm above the floor.
homify hint: Think practical, like night-time bathroom visits. This is where accent lighting can guide you without blinding you. While a nightlight might be all you need in a small hallway, consider low-voltage above cabinet and toe kick lighting in a master or larger bath. These can ensure a soft night-time glow while also adding style to your bathroom.
How does lighting affect your mood? Let’s find out…