My Top 7 Expert Lighting Design Tips

Help remodeling dreams come true with a lighting designer on your team.

There are all kinds of lighting options out there. Chandeliers, track lights, LED lights, pendants, wall sconces… the list goes on and on. It’s what makes my job exciting, enjoyable, and rewarding. I know lighting and lighting design can be an element of décor and home restoration that can be overwhelming and stressful. But I’m here to assure you – it doesn’t have to be.


Regardless of whether we’re working with a contractor, interior designer, or a home owner, our focus at The Lighting Gallery remains the same: find great, high-quality lighting that fits the style and needs of our customers. With over 25 years of experience under our belt, I’ve taken some time to jot down a few of my expert lighting design tips, backed up by the best-of-the-best in the industry. Check it out…

7 Lighting Design Tips

1. Assess Illumination

Finding the perfect fixture for your space doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. Although I agree that finding a look and style you want is extremely important, finding the right light – in terms of illumination – is also vital.

“It’s hard to pick the right fixture because people tend to focus too much
on the 
fixture itself. What you should really think about most is what you’re
how light lands on a surface, what it does to the space.”
Melanie Freundlich

2. More isn’t Always Better

There is a real difference between good lighting and bright lighting. Although we’re quick to think that ‘not enough’ light is an issue, there are also problems with too much light. Our goal is always to make a space as attractive and functional as possible, without sacrificing efficiency or design in the process. I always work to help clients avoid both extremes of overworking one or two fixtures, or having dozens; there is a perfect balance.

“The most common mistake people make is trying to light their entire
kitchen with one fixture centered in the ceiling. It ends up being what I
call a ‘glare bomb,’ visually overpowering everything in the space,
including family and friends.”

Randall Whitehead

3. Mix it Up

Variety is the spice of life … that’s how the saying goes, right? In the lighting design world, variety is what can transform a space from ‘blah’ to beautiful and good to great. Mixing light fixtures (both designs and styles of lighting) can make your space unique and functional beyond belief. It’s one of my favorite aspects of working in this industry – finding the perfect combination.

“The secret to a beautifully lit living room is v
ariety. The key is to have a

of lighting heights and locations. You don’t want to have only table
lamps or 

only floor lamps with light all on one level. Instead, have a mix that
includes a 

light on top of a shelf and something low, like a glowing cube on
the floor—which 

also adds a nice, contemplative touch.”

Melanie Freundlich

4. Kitchens = Functionality + Ambiance

Designing kitchen lighting elements is both exciting and challenging; it’s certainly one of the most important rooms of the home. Our kitchens have a variety of purposes that need to support our busy lives. Because of this, I always recommend that functionality and ambiance remain at the forefront of planning and design.

“Task lighting is what people think of first when designing a lighting
system in the kitchen because it’s integral to preparing food. However,
if task lighting is misplaced it can actually hinder your ability to work
efficiently, throwing shadows on your workspace.”

Joe Rey-Barreau

5. Look for Layered Lighting

Like I said before, you just need variety when it comes to lighting design. This includes not only design variety, but types of lighting, too. Different layers or elements of lighting, expertly combined in one room can allow tasks to be completed at the highest level of comfort and style.

“The most effective lighting for the kitchen involves four layers
blended together: task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting.
The end result: a warm and inviting environment that works with
your other design elements to create a practical workspace
and lively entertainment area
Randall Whitehead

6. Step Outside

Great lighting isn’t just for the inside of your house. After all, you only get one chance at first impressions. Don’t forget the landscape, garage, and sidewalk lighting around your home. Your yard is an extension of the comfort and feeling of the inside, and will make your guests feel safe and welcome. 

“For outdoor lighting, you need task lighting for the grill, step lights
for stairs,

and some ambient lighting, like wall sconces. But don’t
overdo it—you don’t 

want to kill the feeling of being outside at night.”

Melanie Freundlich

7. Your Home is Yours

This is your home, and you’ve undoubtedly worked hard for it. Your spaces should provide the comfort and originality that you’re looking for and make your house truly feel like a home to all who enter. Most importantly, it should help you enjoy the living, laughing, and loving in your space. If your lighting doesn’t feel like “you”, your rooms won’t either.

“Keep in mind that lighting also functions as art that helps define
your style, set the mood and perform practical tasks


Lighting doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might sound – really! The Lighting Gallery design consultants work with you as a partner and guide to help you envision and create picture-perfect rooms that are comfortable, unique, and inviting.

Talk with a Lighting Designer

Leave a Reply