When choosing lighting for your space, a few key details need to be considered. Lighting is typically established upon the initial design of the home. Essentially, it is most convenient to choose lighting for your space during this time. However, lighting can be switched out at any point to refresh or when designing an overhaul of your space. Matching metals provide a cohesive look to a room, so it is best to choose a consistent metal when choosing lights on one floor.
For specific lighting types, these are a few general rules to follow:
Chandeliers are an elegant way to add character and personality to a dining room, living room, master bedroom, entryway or to highlight the end of a hallway leading into a big open space. When hanging a chandelier, hanging distances from surfaces is very important, to avoid injuries.
Dining Room: Chandeliers in a dining room should be hung in the centre of the dining table, approximately 36-42″ above the dining room table, yet can be hung as low as 30″. However, it all depends on the dramatic effect you are trying to achieve. Ceiling height does have a factor when hanging lights for the allowance of cord for the chandelier, so it is best to advise the hanging heights allocated for ceiling lights, as well. Keep in mind, most ceiling heights in a dining room are typically eight feet tall but can span up to ten feet.
Living Room: Chandeliers in a living room should be hung around seven feet, typically one foot below the ceiling height to avoid someone hitting their head, but can be hung lower at 6′-8″ for a more intimate effect.
Entryways, Hallways: Same rules applies here as the living room, but it is best to keep in mind the details and characteristics of your own home in these areas. Some entryways are open volumes to the second floor, so chandeliers can be hung with a custom length to add visual interest to catch the eye when entering the home.
Bedrooms: Chandeliers should be placed in the centre of the bed, at seven feet above the bed. This can be adjusted to 6′-0″ to create a more intimate mood, if caution is used when getting in and out of bed in the morning or evening.
Kitchen Island: Pendant lights are an efficient way to add lighting while completing tasks, such as above kitchen islands or at the top or bottom of stairs, given the appropriate clearances for headroom while walking between floors. Pendant lights should be hung 30″-36″ above the island and hung above the sink, if placed on the island or one foot to fourteen inches from the edge of the island on the seating side to provide lighting while eating or working in this area.
Hallway or Above Stairs: Pendant lighting should be hung at least at seven feet always to provide clearance for headroom. There are also options to use flush mount lighting in these areas.
Bedrooms: Same rules apply as the Chandelier hanging placement.
Bathrooms or Powder Rooms: Typically placed in the centre of the room or above a vanity to provide lighting when using this space. To avoid reflection, place the lighting in the centre line of the sink, hung anywhere from 6′-5″ to seven feet above the floor.
Flush Mount Lighting
Flush mounts are hung directly at ceiling height. These are great for kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, staircases, or entryways when a pendant light is too visually distracting for the room. There are many flush lights that are sophisticated and can have the same effect as chandeliers, at times.
Wall sconces should be hung 60″ from the floor in hallways or kitchen counters, 48″ above a seating area or nook, and at shoulder height, approximately 5′-5″ in most cases above nightstands in the bedroom. It is best to look for dimmable options for sconces and keep in mind some sconces do not need to be hardwired into the wall, and some do. For easy accessibility or to avoid hardwiring in lights after the home has finished renovations, it is advised to consider placing wiring into these areas while the home is being built.
Overall, choosing lighting is best when you stick to a consistent company or manufacturer, however, it is possible to find lighting that matches from multiple sources. Choose lighting that is consistent in geometry, symmetry and ensure the lighting is bright enough or has dimmable options for the task completed in the area in which it is applied.
When choosing warm or cool lighting, there are general guidelines to follow but overall, warm lighting will provide a more warm, welcoming environment, while cool lighting will make the space appear awake, less inviting and functional. If you are uncertain about which lighting to choose, feel free to reach out to our design team for some assistance!