Expert Tips For Interior Lighting

Are you wanting to create a glow that is flattering in a room but still have a sufficient amount of wattage so that you can see what you are doing? Our quick lesson on bulbs, fixtures and lamps (in addition to some handy room-by-room tips) will help to light the way.

What Type Of Lighting Is Needed In Each Room?

Two rules of thumb come into play here: You need to have the right task lighting to meet the activity requirements for the specific space (getting dressed, sauteing, reading) and you need to have a mixture of light sources to create an inviting ambiance. Here are some expert interior lighting tips for five key areas.

living-room-lighting-ideasLiving Room:

Illuminate three out of the room’s four corners. Focus one of the lights onto an object (chair, plant, art). Use a mixture of floor lamps and table lamps, with some shining upward and some having a downward glow. Have as many seats as you can for reading. Use down-glowing lamps that have three-way switches. If there are any overhead fixtures, use a dimmer with them.

dining-room-lighting-chandelierDining Room:

In order to draw people into the room, have the table be the room’s brightest spot. Use pendant lighting or a chandelier over the table, and limit total wattage to 100 watts. In the other parts of the room, it is best to use indirect lighting – it is both flattering and relaxing. Provide a subtle glow to the space by using matching sconces on the above wall or small table lamps placed on a sideboard. Another nice touch can be to use battery-powered votives placed inside a china cabinet with a glass front.


Your focus here should be on overhead lighting (using a dimmer that can be cranked up during those times when you are cooking). Also add lower sources of light for illuminating your work surface. A sturdy table lamp (that is kept away from your sink), under-cabinet lights or pendant lighting can be used.


Your aim should be for an insular, cozy environment: By the bed place sconces or reading lamps. However, don’t point the lights directly at the bed. If there are track or recessed fixtures, angle them towards your dressing area and away from your bed. Add an intimate, small lamp to a low table that has a low-wattage, tinted bulb in order to resemble the feeling of candlelight.


Sidelights are the best solution for applying makeup, like a pair of sconces that are flanked by the bathroom mirror. Having an overhead light helps with filling in any shadows that are on your face in addition to completely lighting up the room (which is important whenever you are doing your cleaning). If you have a large space, you may want to also have a light directly over your shower.


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1 Comment

  1. It’s pretty amazing the level of difference in simple changes of lighting. Back a few years ago my old college roommate had bought his first house which was a bit of a fixer upper, and he brought me in to help him fix some issues.

    Although the house itself wasn’t in terrible shape, some of the preexisting lighting designs were questionable to say the least.

    My friend was upset that his kitchen looked “funky” because the only lights in the kitchen were bulb lights in the corners of the room which made the center island dark and gloomy.

    But overall I loved your post and I picked up some useful tips for my next run in with lighting changes!

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