Home Lighting Tips

Published July 19, 2012

These days more people are depending on overhead lighting such as ceiling pot lights and chandeliers to provide the majority of their lighting needs in a room. In most situations this is adequate however there are times when we require important reading light and soft, ambient light to really highlight the decorating elements within the room.

Rooms that may benefit from table and floor lamps are the living room, bedroom and office space. Most decorators will agree that the bedroom should be a place of tranquility and peace. Perhaps your bedroom is the place where you retreat to read a book or just a space where you can go and get some alone time. Lighting, therefore, should be planned carefully in this room. Ambient light provides a soft glow in the evenings and gives the room a sense of calm. If you plan to read at night, choose a bedside lamp that has a lampshade that is even with your shoulder when you are sitting up in bed. Usually this is between 15-20 inches from the top of the bed. Bedside lamps are wonderful accompaniments to your general lighting. Other alternatives are wall mounted reading lamps or perhaps a floor lamp if you do not have space for bedside tables.

In the living room, a table lamp should be approximately 40 to 42 inches from the floor and the bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when you are sitting. This rule applies for table lamps that are positioned behind the sofa as well.  Floor lamps work well for reading in the living room and most are adjustable. Be sure to position the floor lamp so that the light bulb is not staring you directly in the eye.  Wall sconces provide a nice, soft low light within the living room as well. If possible, as your electrician to place a dimmer switch on your sconces so that you are able to adjust the light accordingly.

Finally, the home office should have plenty of light to read and work at your desk. When you are sitting in your desk chair make sure the bottom of the lampshade is also at eye level as in the case of the bedroom and living room scenarios. Use floor lamps to illuminate dark areas of the office and place a chair beside the floor lamp to provide an extra reading area.

Lamps are valuable decorating tools. Not only do they provide useful and important reading and working light but they also add a sense of warmth to a room making it feel comfortable and serene.