Choosing the right light fixture is crucial in any space, as the right piece should perfectly blend style with function. You want something that provides adequate visibility, creates the ideal atmosphere, and enhances the overall aesthetics of a room.
Since no single light fixture can stand alone, the key is to layer your lighting to accomplish different goals. One room may require several pieces to create the perfect lighting setup.
Choosing the right light fixture doesn’t need to be complicated. We’ve put together simple steps to help you ensure beautiful, functional lighting in every space.
While style is often at the top of most homeowners’ list when choosing new light fixtures, it’s important to know the basic types of lighting and how they work together to ensure your fixtures will meet your needs.
Ambient lighting, or general lighting, provides overall illumination to a room. It ensures that a space is evenly and adequately lit, allowing people to move around safely and perform everyday tasks.
Common ambient light fixtures include recessed lights or ceiling fans. They’re not always the most glamorous, but they’re necessary to provide comfortable, balanced light and allow you to perform daily tasks.
As the name suggests, task lighting is a designated light source that provides illumination for specific activities or tasks. It’s a must-have in areas where you work, cook, read, write, etc. When you think about task lighting, picture the lamp on your nightstand or the under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen.
Task lighting helps fill the gaps where ambient lighting doesn’t reach and allows you to complete more detailed work, like chopping vegetables or applying makeup. This is why a layered lighting strategy is important in every space.
This final layer in your lighting scheme is commonly called “highlighting,” as it draws attention to a particular area or item, such as artwork, sculpture, plants, or architectural details. It’s a great way to create depth and visual interest by highlighting a focal point.
Depending on the room, you may want to incorporate decorative lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers, pendant lights, or unique statement pieces. They add a touch of style and personality while serving a functional purpose.
When selecting light fixtures, the goal is to create the desired ambiance, promote functionality, and match your home’s aesthetic. Here are several considerations to make:
When the size of your light fixture doesn’t match the scale of the room, it’s noticeable. You want to ensure the fixture’s size is proportionate to the space. A small fixture in a large space may look out of sorts, while an oversized fixture can overwhelm a smaller area.
You’ll also want to consider the visual weight of the fixture. If it’s light and airy, you can size up, but a dark and massive fixture may be better scaled down.
Determine how much you’re comfortable spending on a light fixture, and stick to your budget. The price of light fixtures can vary considerably, and you don’t want to fall in love with one that blows your budget. Take the time to shop around to find a fixture that you love and is wallet-friendly.
Determine the primary purpose the fixture will serve and find one that best suits that purpose. Are you looking for a light for evening reading? Focus on small nightstand lamps or something adjustable. Do you want a dramatic piece over your dining table? A statement-making chandelier may be the perfect solution.
Many spaces in our homes serve multiple functions, and your lighting should be adaptable. Having a light fixture that can support dimmable bulbs is an excellent solution for meeting your household's needs. The fixture over your dining table should be bright enough for the kids working on homework but can transition to a romantic dinner at home. One of the benefits of purchasing a new construction home is the ability to plan for different fixture types and your overall lighting layout.
It might not be top of mind when choosing a light fixture, but you need to consider the bulbs that go with your fixture. A fixture that can only hold small candle bulbs may not be the best fit for lighting a large dining space. The pendant lights you’re eyeing may look better with globe bulbs than Edison bulbs. If you have your heart set on a particular style, ensure your light fixture can support complementary light bulbs for a cohesive look.
Light fixtures can be a design element all on their own and enhance the overall aesthetics of a space. There’s a wide variety of styles, shapes, and materials, allowing you to find one that complements your décor or choose something with more contrast and flair. Your light fixture’s style ultimately comes down to personal taste and the room in which it’ll be placed.
Remember what you will need to do to clean your light fixture and change the bulbs. Do you need to disassemble the fixture to have access to the bulbs? Will the fixture be placed in a high or tricky-to-reach location? If the fixture will be hung up high, it’s wise to use long-lasting LED bulbs and find a fixture design that makes changing bulbs and cleaning easier from a ladder.
When finding the perfect light fixture for your room, it’s important to consider more than just the lighting style. Planning, understanding fixture types, and considering design styles ensures beautiful, functional lighting in every space.