When was the last time you thought about the lighting in your home? Maybe there’s a gloomy room that never gets enough natural light or a dark corner where you can’t see well enough to read. Whatever the issue, our home’s lighting problems reveal themselves less by how they look and more by how they make us feel. Lighting has a huge effect on the ambience of your space.

The Three Lighting Layers

lighting designers think about lighting a room in layers. It’s a great way to ensure that all areas of the room are sufficiently illuminated. Plus, it provides more flexibility to create different moods and highlight different elements of your overall design.

Ambient Lighting: This is your general lighting. It does the lion’s share of illuminating the space, and it generally consists of the ceiling lights you’ll turn on with a switch at the entryway. Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is the fun part of the interior lighting design plan and includes decorative fixtures like chandeliers, pendant lights, wall sconces, and table lamps. Task Lighting: Task lighting adds an extra light source in places where you need to see what you’re doing. It’s commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, and living areas where you might read or do work or hobbies.

Understanding Lumens 

 Brightness is measured in lumens (not to be confused with wattage, which is how much electricity your bulbs or fixtures use). Each room has recommended wattage. To calculate how much light you need in a room, measure the area and multiply by the number of lumens recommended for each room (tap the link below to see the full list!)

Color Temperature

Color temperature is measured in Kelvins, and the higher the number, the “cooler” the light feels. Lower Kelvin ratings mean the light feels warm — that is, the light has more of a golden glow. Warmer bulbs try to match the look of old-fashioned incandescent bulbs to provide a cozier feeling, but sometimes they can change the entire look of your color palette.

Proper Fixture Placement

For your dining lighting, make sure your fixture is no wider than your table. A good rule of thumb is that your table should be at least 6 inches wider than the light on either end. The bottom of the fixture should hang about 3 feet above the table top when installed.

Lighting for Vanity Sconces

For side lighting, center fixtures horizontally on the mirror and hang at least 5 feet above the floor. For overhead lighting, center vertically over the mirror and hang about 6½ feet from the floor.

Great lighting isn’t hard to do. In most spaces, a little extra accent lighting is often the key to transforming your room from dim and dull to a sparkling showcase. Tap the link below for more about proper lighting design and make sure to follow along on Instagram @ninahendrickhome. Happy decorating!

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