Tips for finding the right interior fixtures
Want a fast, affordable way to update your home’s interior style? Install new lighting. Check out these lighting tips for your home to select the most practical, best-looking fixtures.
Thanks to Lowe’s team members Casey Bolch, merchandising manager of rough plumbing and electrical; Chris Nulty, merchandising manager of home decor; and Mark Beck, merchandising manager of fashion fixtures, for sharing their lighting expertise.
Understand the 3 layers of light
Lighting pros refer to three “layers” of light: Ambient, task and accent. Carefully choose and combine these three types of illumination to add beauty and functionality to your home.
1. Ambient lighting is necessary in every room of the house. It provides a comfortable overall level of brightness, usually via one or more overhead fixtures such as ceiling fan lights, chandeliers or pendants.
2. Task lighting supplies intense light for detailed work (like cooking, reading or makeup application) especially in the kitchen, office and bathroom. It often takes the form of track lighting, under-cabinet lighting, island pendants or desk lamps.
3. Accent lighting serves as a secondary light source that complements ambient lighting and brightens areas where ambient light can’t reach. To spotlight specific features of your home decor (perhaps a lovely mantel or treasured piece of art), try wall sconces, recessed lighting or track lighting.
Light up each room of the house—beautifully
Living room. Living room lighting that relies only on overhead fixtures tends to feel a little blah. To rev it up a notch, add a few table lamps at different heights. Or try a torchiere floor lamp. Similarly to overhead lighting, torchieres flood the ceiling, while offering your living space a fresh dose of style. Multidirectional floor lamps are an ideal all-in-one solution for both general living room illumination and task lighting.
Kitchen. Shine recessed lighting onto your kitchen countertops for extra light while prepping and cooking. Recessed lighting can be installed by a savvy do-it-yourselfer, but if you aren’t comfortable with electrical work, contact a reliable lighting installation professional.
Dining room. As homeowners know, today’s dining room isn’t just for mealtimes. Instead, it often multitasks as a center for arts and crafts or family game night … and needs to be lit accordingly. Chandeliers are a classic option, but if you prefer a less-traditional overhead light, consider hanging a pendant light with multiple light sources—such as glass jars—as a trendy alternative.
Bedroom. In the bedroom, a ceiling fan will combine attractive overhead lighting with energy-efficient cooling. Do you like to read in bed? Provide functional task lighting with bedside table lamps or mounted wall sconces.
Bathroom. The mirror is the focal point of any bathroom, and is a great place to start when selecting a lighting style. Place a vanity light 75 to 80 inches from the floor and wall sconces on each side of the mirror, just 66 inches from the floor. Your mirror will be evenly lit—ideal for shaving, flossing or applying cosmetics.
Get the details right
Complement your decor. Unsure what type of lights to incorporate into your space? Start by looking around your room. Then pick out a favorite decor element and find lighting to complement it. For example: If your door handles and cabinet hardware are all brushed nickel, choose lighting fixtures with a coordinating finish.
Choose the right color temperature. Color temperature plays an essential role in your rooms’ quality of light. Look for warm white light bulbs for living rooms and bedrooms, bright white for kitchens and workspaces and daylight color temperature for reading nooks and studies.
Install dimmer switches to create the perfect mood. Equip overhead lighting with a dimmer switch for instant flexibility. Dim lights to a cozy glow for a romantic dinner, for instance, and then turn them up full strength when the kids are concentrating on school projects.
Use a smart dimmer switch, and you can adjust the lighting with a simple touch of your smartphone.
—Laura Firszt | More Content Now