It’s time to look beyond the ceiling fan. When it comes to lighting up the room via overhead lights, many homeowners choose standard, boring and often ineffective ceiling fixtures. This is a real missed opportunity in terms of design. Ceiling light fixtures are key decorative elements that many homeowners tend to gloss over when building or remodeling a space. Not only do they properly illuminate the room, but carefully chosen lighting fixtures can also tie together various design elements into a cohesive, final look.
The first step in choosing an effective ceiling light is analyzing the specific lighting needs of the room. Decide what tasks will be completing in this room, and what lighting will make completing the task easier. Kitchens often require very bright lighting to make cooking and entertaining easier. Bedrooms may require dimmer lights to create a relaxing, comforting atmosphere. You’ll also need to take into account the amount of natural lighting that’s already present. Rooms without a great deal of natural lighting may require brighter lights to compensate.
After you’ve figured out the logistics of the room, the fun of selecting a ceiling fixture design can start. Select a fixture that complements the overall décor of the room and your home in general. Style, shape, color and size all play an important role in creating a fixture’s look, so pay attention to all of these elements. Popular ceiling fixture options include:
Chandelier: Make an elegant, showy statement in your room by hanging a chandelier. Ideally, the bottom of the chandelier should hang at least 7 feet above the floor, so people can walk comfortably beneath it. If hung over a table or piece of furniture, the fixture should hang 27 to 30 inches above (if you are working with a standard 8-foot ceiling). Again, these are general guidelines and can be adjusted accordingly.
Pendant lights: These are perfect for spaces or areas that need direct overhead lighting, such as over a kitchen island or a wet bar. Measure and hang pendant lights similar to the way you would install a chandelier.
Ceiling mounts: If you’re looking for a more subtle design, mounted ceiling fixtures may work well for your room. They come in countless shapes and styles, so you’re sure to find one that works well with your décor. Ceiling mounts offer more of a design impact than recessed lighting, without attracting as much visual interest as chandelier or pendants lights.
Lastly, you’ll need to consider the types of bulbs each fixture requires. Different types of bulbs emit different colors of light, so the feel of your room will change slightly depending of the type of bulb you select. You may also want to consider energy-efficient bulbs to decrease energy costs for your home.
Overhead lighting should be just one piece of your overall lighting design. Complete your lighting effects by adding wall, task and accent lighting, so your home looks spacious and beautiful at any time of day.