Lighting 101- Five questions to ask when choosing your new lighting solution

Lethbridge Lighting Studio

When looking for the perfect light fixture for any room in your house, style and look is usually the number priority, but you also need to make sure the fixture fills the room with the right amount of light for the room it is being installed in. 

Here are the five questions you should be asking yourself:

1. What type of lighting usually works best in this room?

While any type of lighting fixture can typically go in any type of room, it helps to have a general idea of best practices in each rooms. The chart below is a great starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment with your choices to make dramatic statements.

2. How much lighting do I want/need in this room?

Do you ever think, " how much light should I have in this room?" Twenty-years ago, you would go to the store and pick up a light bulb box and see wattage listed – typically 25, 40, 60 or 100 watts. It was obvious that a 100-watt incandescent bulb looked brighter than a 25-watt one. Yet, did you know that the 25, 40, 60 or 100 really wasn't wattage,  it’s lumens (wattage is actually the amount of energy that the light bulb is using).

To determine the proper number of lumens needed for a room, take the square footage of the room and multiply it by 40.

3. What is the purpose of this room?

Perhaps an obvious question. but think bigger-picture, and instead of "I’m going to cook in my kitchen", focus on the tasks you will be preforming like I am going to use a sharp knife to chop things. Thinking like this is important because general lighting won’t always be enough to see things clearly. Let's say you will be reading in bed? You may need to add wall sconces beside the bed or a table lamp next to a chair adds task lighting where needed.

4. What is the style of the room?

Take a step back and look at how your room is already set up. Are most of the decor and furniture pieces in the room ornate and decorative, or clean and minimal? Do you already have nickel finishes on cabinet knobs and faucets? While it’s not essential that everything match, you do want your space to have flow and feel put together and comfortable. 

5. Do you require accent lighting?

Accent lighting adds some visual interest to places that are decorative but overlooked like bookshelves, bar areas, kitchen/bath cabinets, alcoves and tray ceilings. When accent lighting is added, you tend to bring these areas into the light, while  creating more functional night and directional lighting.


**This information in this blog was sourced from Kichler Lighting.