It's not the first thing you think about when you decorate a room, but it certainly is a game changer. The type and placing of your lighting will drastically change the entire look, and these room lighting tips will help you get the most out of your space when it's done right.
How Much Lighting Do I Need?
The first thing you want to figure out is exactly how much lighting you need. Simply looking at the areas of the room that need lighting isn't enough - you need to do some math.
(Example: a 16' x 18' room is 288 square feet, so 288 x 1.5 = 432 watts)
Make sure you are choosing your lights not only for their styles, but for their functions. Are they going to provide you with enough lighting for your room? Being practical in this decision will save you the hassle of installing extra lighting in the future.
If you want to know how to light a room with lamps, you're in luck - finding a floor lamp or a table lamp is the quickest and most portable way to add lighting. There are countless styles and colors to choose from, and just one will add a significant amount of light to any space.
You can always change lamp shades with the style of your room. Lighter colored lampshades will give off more illumination. The lampshade is what determines the maximum wattage.
Chandeliers come in all shapes and styles. A candle chandelier is quite common, and you'll also see a lot of chandelier shades. Chandeliers are most commonly found in the dining room, living room, foyer or hallway.
Place a chandelier above the center of the dining room table or above the living room seating area to highlight the focal point.
Chandelier distance is key. For a dining room, the chandelier hanging height (from the bottom) should be between 30" and 36" from the tabletop.
Always install a dimmer switch for your chandelier to create the best lighting for any occasion.
(Pictured: Kenroy Home Antoinette 5 Light Chandelier)
Wall sconces can easily be added to a room to provide diffused lighting while taking up a minimal amount of space. They are usually covered with shades or glass to diffuse the light.
Sconces are typically placed in pairs in spots like the sides of a mirror, mantel, or window (perfect for windows that don't let in much light.) They should be installed 60" to 66" above the floor.
(Pictured: Kenroy Home Tallow 1 Light Sconce)
How to Light a Room
This is the part that will change your room the most, whether you're looking for living room, kitchen or bedroom lighting. Remember this while decorating: lights enhance, shadows recede.
You can use ambient or general lighting to let light in from all directions of the room. You can do this by evenly spreading out your light sources.
If you want to incorporate some really cool room lighting, accent lighting is the way to go. It allows you to spotlight the focal points in a room, like artwork, photographs or key pieces of furniture.
Task lighting highlights areas that are essential to see while doing work, like in a kitchen over the countertop. This can be done underneath cabinets or over an island. You can also use task lighting over a desk or piano.