A good lighting plan plays a more important role in the overall feel of a room than most people think.
This space is a dream to work with because it's new and has different types of lights, multiple dimmers, and a high ceiling. But what do you do in an older home with 8-foot ceilings, no overhead lighting, and small windows? Follow the same rules, but do it with lamps, picture lights, and candles. The placement shown above forms a lighting triangle around the room.
1. Notice how Gaye, Heather, and Sarah anchored this seating arrangement with lamps and added a lamp in the bookcase to brighten a dark corner. To balance the light, they kept each lamp at about the same height and the brightness of each at about the same intensity.
2. An inexpensive picture light attached directly to the artwork could easily replace the recessed picture lights in the ceiling. Don't make it complicated, just have fun and experiment with different looks.
3. One lamp rests on a mirrored table between two side chairs and another sits on a low table to the left of the sofa, which is balanced with one in the bookcase to the right of the sofa.
4. As a final touch, candles along the mantel add a soft glow to draw attention to the painting above.
More Lighting Tips
- Clear bulbs produce more glare, while ones with a soft frost cast a glow.
- Use 60-watt bulbs or higher in lamps that surround reading areas.
- If you don't want to put a dimmer on a chandelier, consider using dark shades to buffer the light.
- Experiment with different wattage bulbs in your fixtures and lamps to see how the look changes.
- Never use a higher wattage than the fixture recommends, but do experiment with lower wattage bulbs to see if you like them.
- Remember to add up the number of arms on a chandelier to calculate total wattage for that fixture. For example, eight arms at 25 watts equals 200 watts of light.
- Try different shades on lamps and fixtures.