How Much Light Do You Need?

When planning the lighting arrangements for your environment, it’s important to remember that each space of your interior and exterior environment has unique light fixture requirements depending upon the actual use that it is likely to receive. Let’s consider the lighting requirements for these spaces as opportunities to introduce aesthetic grace into our design themes. We’ll approach our lighting task from the point of view of a design-savvy person who is introducing unique light fixtures into a new construction that requires installation all of the lighting elements.


When planning the lighting needs of the kitchen, we must consider the variety of uses this space will endure in the day-to-day events of our lives.

While the primary function of the kitchen has to do with the preparation of food and the cleanup ritual after a meal is enjoyed by the occupants of a residential or commercial space, in residential environments, larger kitchens may have room for a table or island that will be commonly used for eating and as a work station. It’s important that each station in the kitchen be provided with adequate lighting connected to independent switches, and the entire room should be properly illuminated with the flip of a single switch as well. These switches are usually connected to:


  • Flush and semi-flush ceiling lights
  • Track lighting
  • Pendants
  • Recessed lights


It’s useful to install supportive lighting specifically above the stove and oven, sink, island, and table areas in addition to under-cabinet lighting to enhance vision in food preparation stations along the countertops. Under-cabinet lighting also performs attractive double duty in late evenings when minimal lighting is desired in the kitchen.

Living/Family Room

Living rooms and family rooms are perfect opportunities to utilize the benefits of lighting with a dimming feature, and dimmers are highly recommended whether they’re attached to:

  • Pendants
  • Chandeliers
  • Track lighting
  • Recessed Lighting
  • Flush or semi-flush lighting

Connecting lights for each station in the room to separate switches is recommended, and the entire room should be properly illumined with the flipping of a single switch. Family-gathering spaces utilize furniture that introduce an opportunity to use attractive table and floor lamps along with sconces to light specific areas of the room.



Lighting the bedroom should be layered, creating the ability to illuminate the entire room with one switch in addition to supportive task lighting for reading and ambient mood-lighting to create a safe and cozy environment for snoozing. Sconces are wonderful mood enhancers, casting a soft diffused glow that accentuates textured wall surfaces.


The primary consideration in lighting bathrooms is to provide visual clarity for cleaning and grooming, and for these practical purposes, side lighting is recommended instead of or in addition to overhead lighting, which will tend to cast shadows in the mirror. We can also splurge on a bit of soothing atmospheric lighting to accompany luxurious soaks in the tub or spa, and for these purposes, sconces, pendants, and even chandeliers can be found in a variety of designs to add the perfect touch to your d├ęcor.

Hallways & Entrances

These transitional spaces require enough light to be able to comfortably move on to another destination, and dimming features are recommended for sconces, pendants, chandeliers, and flush/semi-flush ceiling fixtures.

Exterior Lighting

Outdoor lighting presents opportunities to enhance the safety, security, and beauty of your property. Entrances and key points along the exterior of the property are benefited with adequate mid-level overhead and sconce side lighting so occupants can see clearly as they enter and exit the structure and feel secure about their surroundings as they negotiate through a dark environment. Soft accent lighting along pathways supports a safe journey to and from the property, and soft-to-mid-level landscape lights can create an enchanting nighttime environment while enhancing the security of the property at the same time.

Dimming features for pendants, chandeliers, and sconces in addition to accent table and floor lamps greatly expand your lighting opportunities in most situations, and they can also ease the anxiety of calculating exactly how much light is needed for a particular situation. Enjoy the diversity of options as you explore the catalogs of our highly respected vendors, and just allow your imagination to fly free among the myriad of design opportunities at your fingertips.


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