Community December 14, 2021

Pro Lighting Tips to Brighten Your Home

As we approach the darkest days of the year, a few tweaks in your interior lighting scheme can brighten your home (and your mood) from the inside out. Here are some great tips from Real Simple for a lighting scheme that is flattering and functional…


Key Tips

  • Use a combo of overhead and up lighting for a brilliant, flattering effect
  • Include functional task lighting tailored to how the space is used—here are rules of thumb for wattage equivalents to use:
    • Reading: 40-60 watts with minimal glare
    • Work space: 60 watts max for a desk lamp, with additional soft lighting no brighter than the computer screen
    • Makeup: 60-80 total watts of light (two 40-watt side sconces, or a few 25-watt vanity bulbs)
  • Dimmer switches allow you to adapt lighting for multiple uses, while also saving energy and increasing bulb lifespans—newer smart plugs, switches and bulbs are an affordable and easy way to do it with added benefits like automation and color tuning


Living Room

  • Use a variety of upward glow for ambience + downward glow for reading
  • Light three corners of the room and focus one of the lights on a beautiful object or chair
  • Consider smart bulbs/plugs that allow you to adjust brightness and tone, especially if you also watch TV in this room


Dining Room

  • Showcase the table with a chandelier or pendant placed 36-48 inches above its surface, with a max of 100 total wattage equivalent
  • Avoid shadows on faces by choosing a fixture that is 1/2 to 3/4 the width of the table
  • Supplement with more dim, indirect lighting such as table lamps, sconces, or battery powered votive candles



  • Overhead lighting works best to illuminate work spaces—think pendants, recessed lighting, and under-cabinet lights
  • Place pendants about 36-48 inches above the countertop, spaced evenly beginning 12-15 inches from either side of the island, peninsula, or table



  • Position bedside lamps so that the bottom of the shade is 16-18 inches above the top of the mattress (a lamp that is 26-28 inches tall including the shade is usually a good bet)
  • Soft and cozy is key–angle any bright directional lighting away from the bed, and add one or two small lamps with warm, dim bulbs for a candlelight feel
  • Dimmers or smart bulbs work well here, too!



  • Sidelights—such as sconces—are great for makeup and should ideally be about 36-40 inches apart to evenly light your face
  • Position side fixtures about 60-65 inches up from the floor, or so that the bottom of the shades are just below eye level
  • Overhead lights provide good additional illumination for showering or cleaning
  • If your bathroom is large, consider a direct overhead light for the shower




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