Lighting Your Home

How to Light your Home

Just as important as the details that moulding and paint color provide or the style of the room dictated by the furniture selected, lighting is an integral part of your overall home decor. Lighting that is thoughtful and well planned can really pull a room together.

There are three basic types of lighting:

General Lighting provides visual assistance. This type of lighting includes Flushmount and Ceiling LightingWooden Chandeliers and Tin and Metal Chandeliers, especially when the chandelier is suspended over a table. Think of this as the type of light you flip on with a switch - and consider using a dimmer switch when you want to soften the mood a bit.

Task Lighting provides specific lighting to an area. Examples of task lighting include Table Lamps which provide reading light to a desk or on an end table next to your favorite chair. It also includes our Pendant Lighting which would provide task lighting over a kitchen sink or island.

Ambient Lighting can soften the mood or illuminate dark corners. Hanging Lights and Wired Sconces are good examples of ambient lighting. This type of lighting is also perfect for featuring art and architecture. Use this type of lighting to illuminate a dark hallway - using low wattage bulbs that do not produce a glare. One of the most popular ambient lights during the holidays is our Window Lights. We love this look so much that we leave our "welcome lights" in our windows year round. They provide such a nice glow at the windows - whether inside or outside.

Some tips that can help you choose your lighting wisely:

Do not use open bottomed fixtures in the middle of a room. These types of lights provide task lighting over a table, island or kitchen sink. You do not want to use them in a hallway since you will look up and see a bare bulb, creating a lot of glare.

Table lamps and floor lamps should have a distance from the bottom of the lampshade to the ground of about 36-47 inches. This height will prevent direct view of the lightbulb and will give ample reading light. You can use different sizes of harps to achieve the proper height.

How to Select a Chandelier

If you are hanging the light close to the ceiling in the middle of a room and are not suspending it over a table, use this as a guide to choose the right size.

10' x 10' room - use a chandelier 17"-20" wide
12' x 12' room - use a chandelier 21"-27" wide
14' x 14' room - use a chandelier 24"-36" wide

If you are installing over a table, a chandelier should have a diameter 12" less than the width of your table. (For example: a 36" wide table should have a light 24" wide or less) Having a light too large for the table means that your dinner guests will be bumping their heads as they stand and having a light too small does not define the space well.

The bottom of the chandelier should be about 30" above the table. Too often, chandeliers are hung too high and seem disconnected from the table. For ceilings that are nine feet or more, a two-tier chandelier would work well to fill the space between the ceiling and the table.

We love dimmer switches! You can turn up the light when you need it (great when the table doubles as a homework table or for you to look through your cookbooks) and dim the light to create a nice ambience when you are entertaining.

Installing Wall Sconces

One of the questions we are asked often is where the wall box should be for a sconce. The answer to that question will vary depending on your contractor, but we like it at about 57" to 63" off the floor. This can depend on the height of your ceilings or where the mirror or artwork is displayed.

All of our wall sconces include the appropriate mounting hardware for installation.

If you are looking for over the mirror lighting, check out our Vanity Lighting!

Selecting Outdoor Lighting for your Home and Landscape

Of course, lighting your home is important on the outside as well since a good lighting plan will add visual appeal and value to your home.

When ordering your Outdoor Lighting, it is important to select the proper size of light. Most home owners make the mistake of putting up a post light that is too small for either the post or for the home itself. Especially with two story homes, a post light needs to be sizable to make a statement - too small of a light will get lost in your landscape.

Remember that your outdoor lighting will appear about half the size when viewed from far away. Besides the all important post light, do you need hanging lights or wall lights? Again, bigger is better - don't be nervous about getting a light too large for either side of your door.

Consider having a few post lights if you have a very long driveway or consider adding garden lighting to accentuate that long path.

Outdoor lighting not only lets you enjoy your yard or deck at night, it also provides added security for your home. A well thought out lighting design can make a significant change to your landscape, making your home more beautiful!

We hope that this information was helpful to you and would welcome you to contact us with any questions.

A picture guide to help you pick the right size and install your fixtures in the correct positions: