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How to Design a Home Lighting Plan

Phot by Merrick’s Art and Aubrey Stock

Penn Collection

There’s more to selecting lighting for your home than just picking out beautiful lights. To properly light your home, you’ll need a combination of lighting fixtures that define and enhance your space while providing the function each room requires. 

To begin your lighting plan, consider the design style you are trying to achieve: 

  • the desired feeling/impression that the space should evoke,
  • the uses of the space
  • your initial thoughts on color palettes and materials
  • Any areas for statement-making focal points using color, scale or shape.

If you’re not sure what style your home is, or if you’d like to explore design styles, our Style Quiz can help.

Your style decisions will shape some ideas about light sources (LED, incandescent, etc.), the warmth and coolness of the light, the best types of fixtures for each room, and how to layer the light distribution throughout the space. 

Planck Collection

Light Sources. It’s still common for lighting plans to contain various light sources, including incandescent, CFL and LED. Some fixtures have LED light sources integrated right inside the fixture. Other light fixtures accept LED retrofit bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL), and traditional incandescent bulbs. LED is the most energy-efficient light on the market. There’s plenty of fixture and bulb choices available if you’re looking to maximize energy savings in a renovation or new home.  

Brightness and Color Temperature. Consider how bright or dim you want the space to be: this will determine the proper wattage or lumens to choose. The higher the wattage or lumens of the light, the brighter your room will be. Learn more about watts and lumens here. The color temperature of the light sources defines the atmosphere you are trying to achieve. Lower color temperatures are similar to candlelight, while higher temps are more akin to a blue sky outside.

Fixture Type. Think about the tasks performed in each room: the light fixtures you select should light them appropriately. Light layering is the backbone of your plan. Ideally, each room will have a nice natural light source from windows or skylights to provide general or ambient light. If not, then the first choice to make is overhead fixtures, such as recessed lights, a close-to-ceiling light, or track lights to provide a comfortable, general level of light. Then choose task lighting to increase a room’s function. For example, in the kitchen, you’ll want lights to illuminate the food prep and cooking spaces, such as a combination of undercabinet lighting, pendant lighting over an island, and wall sconces on either side of the sink. The third layer of light is accent lighting, like wall sconces next to the bed, or strategically placed lighting that highlights the room’s artwork or architectural features.

Lighting Control. Finally, think about any required electrical and control devices, such as dimming options and smart control. Connect lights to a dimming switch to create a beautiful ambiance in the room. Use smart home control via a cellphone, tablet, or voice assistant to add convenience and security to your home. 

Lighting serves as the ultimate upgrade! Shop our extensive lighting selection here.