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When we were building lighting was by far my favorite finish to shop for. There are so many beautiful choices available for every budget and aesthetic. Today I’m sharing 6 expert tips for choosing lighting.
When choosing lighting the first thing you need to think about is how the space will be used. In a kitchen or bathroom you’re going to want a lot more light compared to a home theater. What types of lighting do you need to make a space functional? What about comfortable? We added disk lights throughout our home and utilized dimmers, as well as layered in additional lighting so we have the flexibility of changing the room’s ambiance. More on layering lighting in a sec.
When we were building the easiest way for me to decide how many, the type and location of each light was to map it out right on a copy of our plans. You can see below purple = disk lights, pink = wall lights, yellow = pendants. I definitely recommend doing this for your entire home, interior & exterior, and have it ready to go for your electrical walk through.
I prefer every space to have 2-3 layers of lighting. I personally like to start with overhead lighting. We added disk lights to every room in our home so we always have enough light. Your electrician can help you decide on spacing based on the specific light you choose and ceiling height. Then start to add in your task and decorative lighting.
I added several lighting moments to our home– a wall sconce at the end of the hall, a chandelier on our stair landing and even a pendant in our pantry, just to name a few. None of these lights were needed but I love how they bring a focal point & pretty design element to an otherwise boring space.
Now that we’ve moved in I’ve layered in even more lighting with table and floor lamps to maximize cozy and also provide more direct task lighting. I’m especially loving the newer trend of adding small lamps to kitchens and bathrooms. It’s unexpected and brings a cozy lived-in vibe.
When in doubt, I almost always prefer to error on the side of too big than too small, especially if it’s a pendant or chandelier. Undersized lights seem unintentional, like an afterthought, especially if the room is large or the ceilings are high.
Once you’ve considered the types of lighting you want it’s time for the fun part!! Shopping! I suggest taking screenshots of potential winners and grouping them together on a blank canvas. I use Bazaart (you can find a tutorial here). Canva is also another user friendly app. I usually like to mix some metals, textures and even shapes. You want the collection to feel cohesive, but not matchy-matchy.
The final thing to consider is the actual bulbs. We use LEDs, they are more expensive but they last the longest, use the least amount of energy and have a wide range of color temperatures. Which leads to the most critical piece of advice I can give you on this topic! Your electrician is going to ask you what color temperature you want for your bulbs. 98% of the time I use 3000 Kelvin with the very occasional 2700 Kelvin for a small table lamp like in our laundry room and kitchen. The temperature of your bulbs is really important! It can affect everything from the vibe of a space to actually changing paint colors! Also keep in mind that you’re probably going to need to buy bulbs for all of those fixtures which adds up fast. For some reason I thought our electrician would be supplying us with all of our bulbs, which wasn’t the case!
I hope you found these 6 tips for choosing lighting helpful. Choosing the correct lighting is a big undertaking, but have fun with it! It’s a great way to set the tone for your home and really elevate the design. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments. For more Building 101 topics click here. To shop all of my lighting selections for our home click here or here.