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5 Essential Lighting Tips for Every Room in Your Home and How to Implement

Updated: Jul 13, 2023


Kitchen Lighting tips
Kitchen Pendant Lighting

Lighting choices can make or break a room's design and mood.

From maximizing natural light to layering different sources, understanding lighting principles is crucial. In this blog post, we'll explore 5 Essential Lighting Tips for Every Room and how to incorporate them into every room in your home. Get ready to create a beautifully illuminated space like a pro!


The 5 Essentials Lighting Tips:

Lighting Tip 1: Maximize Natural Light:

Natural light brings warmth and a sense of openness to any room.

Here are some tips to make the most of it:

  • Keep windows clean and free of obstructions to maximize the flow of natural light.

  • Utilize light-filtering curtains or blinds to enhance the natural light while maintaining privacy.

  • Consider using mirrors strategically to reflect natural light and make the room appear brighter and more spacious.

Natural Lighting
Natural Lighting in your home

Lighting Tip 2: Layer Lighting for a Balanced Effect:

Creating a balanced lighting scheme involves layering different types of lighting for optimal functionality and ambiance. Often you will hear people say you need three light layers and I think you could even have four in some cases.

A kitchen with multiple lighting sources
Layered Lighting in Kitchen

Remember these key layers: Check out the example kitchen below to see

  1. Ambient Lighting: Use ceiling fixtures, recessed lights, or track lighting to provide overall illumination and establish the room's primary light source.

  2. Task Lighting: Incorporate task lighting for specific activities such as reading, cooking, or working. Desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, or pendant lights work well for this purpose.

  3. Accent Lighting: Highlight architectural features, artwork, or decorative elements with accent lighting. Wall sconces, picture lights, or track lights can create a focal point and add depth to the room.

  4. Decorative Lighting: Make a statement with decorative fixtures like chandeliers or pendant lights. These fixtures not only provide light but also serve as eye-catching design elements.

Lighting Tip 3: Consider Scale When Selecting Light Fixtures:

Choosing the right-sized light fixtures is essential for achieving the right balance and visual appeal. Consider these scale considerations:

living room lighting
Living Room Chandelier and Lighting

  • In dining rooms or areas with a focal point, select a chandelier or pendant light with a size that complements the table or space without overwhelming it.

  • In smaller rooms, choose appropriately sized fixtures that don't appear too small or insignificant.

  • Pay attention to the proportions of the room and the fixture to ensure a harmonious look and feel.

Lighting Tip 4: Use Lighting Fixtures as Focal Points:

Lighting fixtures can be more than just functional; they can also serve as stunning focal points in your rooms. Consider these ideas:

Hallway and Entryway chandelier light
Lightinf Fixtures as a focal point

  • Install a statement chandelier above the dining table to create a captivating centerpiece.

  • Use unique pendant lights above kitchen islands or breakfast nooks to add style and functionality.

  • Incorporate distinctive floor lamps or sculptural fixtures in smaller rooms to make a bold design statement.

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Lighting Tip 5: Incorporate Dimmers for Added Control:

Dimmers offer flexibility in controlling the ambiance and energy consumption of your lighting. Often in bedrooms and smaller rooms you may want a dimmer when incorporating three or more layers is a challenge. Here's why you should consider using dimmers:

Bedroom with hanging pendant lights
Bedroom Lighting

  • Adjust the brightness of your lights to match the desired mood or activity.

  • Save energy by reducing light intensity when full brightness is not required.

  • Balance artificial light with natural light by adjusting dimmers accordingly, creating a more harmonious environment

Let's Recap the 5 Essential Lighting Tips for Every Room

a recap of the 5 tips for lighting
Recap of 5 Essential Lighting Tips for Every Room

Lighting Tips for Every Room:

Now let's discuss some tips by room, keeping in mind the idea of layering and trying to incorporate 3 or 4 layers of lighting per space. See this example of layered lights in the kitchen below. One mistake I see often is trying to light an entire room with one source of light which is usually unbalanced and creates harsh shadows and often makes specific tasks difficult.

Kitchen with lighting layers
Lighting Layers in a Kitchen


  • Install under-cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops and enhance visibility during food preparation.

  • Consider pendant lights above the kitchen island or breakfast bar to provide focused task lighting.

  • Combine general lighting with specific task lighting to create a well-lit and functional space.

Tips for Pendant Lighting:

One of the questions people ask a lot is about measurements for countertop pendant lighting. You can use this rule of thumb whether you have two or three pendants. Place the pendants a minimum of 24” apart, approximately 12”-24” from the counter edge and roughly 30”-40” from the top of the counter to bottom of the lighting fixture.

infograph of kitchen island pendant lighting
Kitchen Island pendant spacing

The other thing to consider with your pendant lighting is the scale of the light vs the island. You want to make sure it feels balanced and you can maintain the right spacing from the edge of the island and between pendants. Here is an idea of common pendant sizes and what is considered small, medium, large and oversized. Use this as a general guide when shopping online for pendant lighting for your kitchen.

pendant lighting sizing and countertops
Common lighting and countertop combos

Dining Room:

  • Hang a chandelier or pendant light above the dining table as a focal point and a source of ambient lighting.

  • Use wall sconces or buffet lamps to add accent lighting and create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Tips for Hanging Dining Room Chandeliers and Pendants

chandelier sizing
Dining Room Lighting Guide

Living Room:

  • Incorporate a combination of overhead lighting, floor lamps, and table lamps to achieve a layered lighting effect.

  • Use dimmers to adjust the brightness according to different activities and moods.

  • Consider accent lighting to highlight artwork or architectural features.


  • Avoid lighting fixtures that cast shadows on the face. Instead, place wall sconces or vertical lights on each side of the bathroom mirror for balanced and flattering illumination.

  • Use recessed lighting or a ceiling fixture to provide general ambient lighting.

  • Include task lighting near the vanity area for focused lighting during grooming activities.


  • Install bedside lamps or wall sconces to provide soft and adjustable lighting for reading or relaxing.

  • Consider a ceiling fan with built-in lights to combine airflow and ambient lighting in one fixture.

  • Create a cozy ambiance by using dimmers and incorporating decorative lighting such as a stylish chandelier or pendant light.

Here's a visual guide you can use that will help you when designing your room. Remember to choose a light source from each of the 3 layers for a balanced lighting effect and you can always add additional decorative lighting on top such as picture lights or lights under shelves for a soft glow and to highlight key features and items. If you follow this breakdown you can use lighting to look like a pro! You will be surprised how quickly these tips will elevate and transform your space.

layered lighting infograph
Easy Guide to layering your lighting


By implementing these five essential lighting tips, you can transform every room in your home into a beautifully illuminated space that suits your style and enhances functionality. Maximize natural light, layer different lighting sources, consider scale and focal points, and incorporate dimmers for added control. With Zimmerman Interiors' expert guidance, your home will shine with brilliance and create an atmosphere that is both visually pleasing and functional.


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