Practical Lighting Tips to Use Right Away

Ever get the sense that the lighting in your home just isn’t quite right? A lot of people feel that way at some point in their home design. Here are some helpful tips next time you’re thinking about lighting and when in doubt, add a dimmer!


A general note is that each room should include 3 layers of lighting:

General lighting, which is typically an overhead light

Task, like floor or table lamps

Accent, such as low level lighting like candles

Here are some specific thoughts about types of lighting:

Ceiling lights:

In an open space where people walk, you need at least 7 feet from the bottom of the hanging light fixture to the floor. For high ceilings, add more height. For example, 9.5’ ceilings should have a distance from the floor 7’6”.

Table lamps:

For a lamp placed on a side table, the bottom of the shade should be at about eye level.

Floor lamps:

Place these in corners or next to sofas. Make sure it’s at a height so the bulb is always concealed.

Wall sconces:

Wall sconces should be at about eye level, so anywhere from 5-6’ from the ground. These should also have a little space between items they’re placed next to, so plan for about 3-5” between the sconce and a piece of art or whatever else you may have hung.

As you make selections, finish up with these tips:

Add color and texture with the bases and the shades should feel almost matched

Be sure the scale matches the size of your room (and your furniture)