Lighting Tips For Your Home

Living room lighting/courtesy of Lowe'sWant 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, Rough Plumbing & Electrical; Chris Nulty, Merchandising Manager, Home Decor; and Mark Beck, Merchandising Manager, Fashion Fixtures) for sharing their lighting expertise. All photos are courtesy of Lowe's.

Understand the Three 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.

Ambient lighting chandelier/Courtesy of Lowe's

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.

Task lighting desk lamp/Courtesy of Lowe's

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.

Track lighting/Courtesy of Lowe's

Light Up Each Room of the House -- Beautifully!

Living room. Living room lighting which 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.

Living room lighting/courtesy of Lowe's

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.

Multiple light source pendant light/Courtesy of Lowe's

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.

Kitchen recessed lighting/Courtesy of Lowe's

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.

Ceiling fan light/Courtesy of Lowe's

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.

Bathroom wall sconces/Courtesy of Lowe's

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 like the Lutron Caseta, and you can adjust the lighting with a simple touch of your smartphone.

Smart dimmer switch/Courtesy of Lowe's

Laura Firszt writes for 

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