Bright Idea: 8 Expert Tips for Interior Lighting

by Alex ThatcherSeptember 28, 2016

Add Light to Your Home This Fall

From wattage to fixtures to placement, home lighting is a multi-faceted process that brings a myriad of questions. When do you use a flush-mount over a pendant light? How should the light in your living room differ from lighting options in other parts of your home?

Fortunately, we’ve done the research, and we’re ready to share 8 expert tips for interior lighting. Read on for bright ideas that will transform your home, easy!

interior home lighting tips

1. Light Vertical Surfaces

Do you have art adorning your home? If you do, then you can highlight focal pieces in your home with vertical lighting. By adding light to vertical surfaces, you emphasize the spatial perception of a room. Explore different lighting solutions, such as wall washing, to create an alluring, uniform distribution of light; or wall grazing, to project a pattern of light. With these treatments, you can create a distinct feel within each room of your home.

2. Add Variety to Your Living Room

Trying to create a cozy space without overhauling your living room space? Cultivate a warm, beautifully lit space by using mix of light sources at different levels to create flattering ambiance. Add a hanging pendant lamp over a side table, or use a floor lamp as an accent piece that brings a modest glow. The possibilities are endless, so experiment with different heights and locations, and see what works best for your home.

3. Incorporate Directed Lights in Your Kitchen

Unlike the dining room, a kitchen doesn’t necessarily require central lighting. Instead, go for directed lighting. Above your stove, add overhead lighting to help illuminate what’s cooking; for other work spaces, like counter tops and islands, experiment with lower sources too. Pendants, recessed lighting, and under-cabinet lights are a few of our favorite options.

4. Play With Light as an Accent

What parts of your home do you take pride in and want to share with others? Maybe it’s a handcrafted couch that has been passed down through family generations, or a tapestry you found while traveling. Regardless, everyone has objects within their home that are meaningful. Allow light to call attention to these pieces that encapsulate you. Bring more light to these objects, and play with light as an accent in your home.

interior home lighting tips

5. Change Your Switches to Dimmers

Seriously, change them. Dimmers bring sustainable benefits by saving energy and extending a bulb’s lifespan; dimmers also add flexibility to your space — you can easily adjust a room’s feel to suit a particular mood or activity. An added benefit: it’s fairly easy to do yourself. For a little guidance, check out about.com for installing dimmer switches.

6. Prevent Lighting Fatigue

Sometimes less is more when it comes to lighting, and it’s best to keep different sections of a room at varied levels of brightness. An over-lit space with bright lights can cause “lighting fatigue,” which proves taxing on your eyes and overall energy level. So balance bright light with indirect lighting elsewhere in the room—it’s soothing and flattering.

7. Maximize Light in Your Bathroom

Each space in your home is different; you need appropriate task lighting to suit behaviors in each space (reading, cooking, styling, etc.). In the bathroom, the rules of light fatigue do not apply; you’ll want to have lights along both sides of the mirror, as well as overhead. By maximizing light in this space, you won’t have shadows obscuring your morning rituals.

8. Use Light as Wayfinding

Looking for a great way to to draw guests in to your space? Make community areas the brightest spots in the room. In the dining room, hang a pendant or chandelier about the table to make it the brightest part of the space. By making the table a focal area, guests will recognize the space as a gathering hub.

With a few alterations, home lighting can transform your space for minimal cost. By following these tips, you can achieve efficiency and strike the right balance of lighting for your home.


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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.
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