The best lighting for your home combines practicality with elegant and mood boosting features.
As the world tentatively emerges from a period of darkness into light by cautiously easing out of lockdown in some parts of the world, for this monthly edit I wanted to explore with you the power of light to transform our homes and uplift our moods.
Beyond serving practical functions, choosing the right lighting for each room in your home can make or break the atmosphere in your space, from brightening up your desk with a table lamp, to adding warmth to your lounge with a floor lamp, or installing security lights outside.
For every room, the key is to mix up various sources of light to achieve the right balance of practical functionality and ambience by blending in general lighting and task lighting together with accent and/or mood lighting. Make light elevate your home décor with a few lighting ideas for key living spaces below that will hopefully stir up your vivid imagination.
This post contains independently selected affiliate links. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission. See our disclosures here to find out more
Lighting for the hallway
The hallway helps set a welcoming tone for your home. Lighting here can be a great way to make a statement for your home entrance. Hang a Chandelier if your home is endowed with high ceilings. This is also a perfect feature in stairwells.
Decorative wall lights or statement table lamps displayed on an elegantly decorated console table are perfect for layering light and creating a softer ambience for the hallway.
Lighting for your kitchen
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Lighting here needs to serve various purposes. Spotlights are great for work areas near the hob to add much needed brightness when you prepare food, whilst under cabinet lighting, used for additional task lighting, provides a focused light which does not cast any shadows.
You can have it installed under your kitchen cabinets, above the sink, the cooker and chopping board, or inside your kitchen cabinets to help you find items.
Photo: © OKA
There is a wide range of under cabinet lighting options for you to choose from including surface mounted, recessed, round, triangle, angled wedged, square and flat panel lights. Ideally, opt for LED lighting to reduce your electricity bill and to ensure your light bulbs last longer (up to 30,000 hours).
Pendant lights work beautifully above a kitchen island or a breakfast bar, as they help anchor your space and bring that wow-factor of ambient lighting. making it perfect for socialising.
Depending on your kitchen design style, you can install wall sconces above your windows under a sink or open shelves, around 60 cm between the top of the window/shelves and the ceiling.
Lighting for the dining room
The main star in the formal dining room, pendant lights or chandeliers are great to create the centrepiece of the room. Height permitting, the dining room is an excellent place to display a gorgeous chandelier that works well with your room aesthetic.
Photo: © Spacejoy/Unsplash
If you are dealing with low ceilings, space-saving semi flush ceiling lights are excellent alternatives, as they allow for a design statement in compact rooms and lower ceilings.
Decorative lights or picture lights could also be a great addition to the dining room. They help delineate the space and illuminate works of art. For additional ambient lighting, throw in a few table candles that will transform your space at family and friends’ lunch or dinner time.
Living room lighting
Layering lighting in your living room is important given the multi-functional activities that are carried out in that space. For smaller living rooms with slim sofas, stylish side table lamps are great options for you to add functional and yes statement lighting into your space.
Floor lamps are also excellent ways to infuse flexible freestanding lighting into your room decor. Opt for slimmer styles for smaller spaces or tripod floor lamps for larger rooms.
Height and interior design style permitting, pendant lights, chandeliers, or semi flush ceiling lights could be added to further enhance your room aesthetics.
Bulb holder table lamps, which are smaller in size, work beautifully with decorative accessories on a shelf display. For extra ambience, decorative candles tastefully displayed on your coffee table or added to the shelves never hurt and add beautiful scents to your space.
On the ceiling, pendant light helps to create a focal point over the bed. Bold and sophisticated metallic designs will bring glamour to your bedroom, whilst a pendant light with a fabric shade will deliver a softer aesthetic. Make sure to add a dimmer switch to vary light brightness as and when needed to create a softer ambience, particularly in the evening.
Bedside desk lamps, clip lights or task headed wall lights create focused light for reading and working. SAD lamps are great to help you fight off seasonal affective disorder by giving you a serotonin boost. Pair them with wake up lamps to enjoy similar impact from a natural sunrise through the gradual increase of room brightness in healthy doses.
If you have a dressing table in the bedroom, desk lamps in a variety of striking and understated design styles will help focus your attention and reduce eye strain as you get some work done, read or apply makeup or style your hair.
Lighting in the bathroom
When deciding on your bathroom lighting, make sure you check its IP (Ingress Protection) rating, which guarantees that your chosen lighting is protected from water and moisture The higher the rating, the more protected the lighting is. You need a minimum IP44 rating.
Spotlights and wall sconces are great for highlighting a certain area such as the mirrors, and they are very useful for tasks such as hair styling, shaving or applying makeup.
Flush lights in the bathroom help spread even light across the room and create a softer ambience for relaxing shower or bath times.
The Garden and outdoor lighting
Similarly to bathroom lighting, make sure that your outdoor lighting has a good IP (Ingress Protection) rating.
Security lights and wall lights serve to illuminate your outdoors, whilst decorative lighting such as string lights or LED lanterns helps create ambience in the garden or patio area when relaxing or socialising by yourself or with your loved ones.
Photo: © Lights4Fun/Oliver Perrott
Security and motion sensor lighting are very useful for front porches. solar garden lights such as solar stakes and path lights are perfect options for illuminating a pathway. Uplights work well to highlight specifically selected areas within your garden to elevate the ambience of your outdoor space.