1. Think of rooms in layers. There are three different types of effective lighting – general, task, and accent.
a. General: This makes up of 75% of the room’s lighting.
b. Task: This helps you accomplish specific things in your home, such as reading books, brushing your teeth, cooking on the stove, etc.
c. Accent: This is more of a decorative choice; accent lighting adds style to a room that already has necessary lighting.
2. With each layer, consider controls and switches. Lighting fixtures with dimmers are perfect for this, as you can adjust to suit your needs. Whether it’s cooking, entertaining, cleaning, etc., dimmers ensure you will get the right amount of light needed to complete the job.
3. Choose bulbs with similar colors. Various light bulbs project different shades of white light. Keeping the bulb colors uniform will balance the right atmosphere in your home.
4. Keep shadows in mind. Be mindful of where you place light fixtures, as some could actually create problems instead of solutions. In bathrooms, it’s best to place lighting on the sides of mirrors, as overhead lighting can cast shadows on your face. If an overhead light is the only option, choose a horizontal style with multiple bulbs. In kitchens, under-cabinet lighting is more effective than those placed above counters. In your office/work space, task lamps are the perfect addition to desks.
5. Choose the right fixture size. If the area or table you’re lighting is small, pick a small fixture. Vice versa for larger pieces of furniture or larger spaces. Considering the room’s height and width in feet should give the perfect diameter of the light fixture needed.
6. Install the fixture at the correct height. Pendant lights should hang 30-36 inches above kitchen islands, chandelier bottoms should hang 66 inches from the floor, and the bottom portion of table lamp shades should be shoulder height.
7. Consider the color of the room you’re lighting. Certain lights won’t mix well with wall colors. If the walls are painted dark, chances are you will need more lighting.
8. Be energy conscious. While CFL and LED bulbs can be expensive to purchase, they save energy, which is perfect in terms of saving money on electricity. The only downside to these, however, is they don’t match well with dimmer switches.