Foyer and Entryway Lighting Tips
Sometimes there's nothing better than walking into your home after a long, trying day, flipping a switch, and seeing your abode illuminated by cozy, inviting light. The entryway or foyer of your home can be a significant space, especially because it's the first thing guests see when entering your home. Besides the obvious safety reason, lighting in these areas is crucial to visitors' first impressions of your home. Whether your goal is to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, or to show off the beauty and grandeur of a winding staircase, crown-molded ceilings, or other architectural features, lighting is one way that it can be done.
Before deciding on a main overhead fixture to hang in your entryway, such as a pendant or chandelier, it's critical that you to know what size fixture you should be looking for. If you purchase a fixture that's too small, it may not provide nearly enough overhead light to fill the room. Buy a fixture that’s too large, and it could overpower an otherwise average-sized entryway.
One of the best ways to determine what the width of your overhead fixture should be is to take the length and width (in feet) of your entryway or foyer and add them together. The sum of the length and width of your entryway is how wide your overhead fixture should be in inches. Here’s an example:
15 (entryway length in feet) + 10 (entryway width in feet) = 25 (fixture width in inches)
While the size of your fixtures may vary due to the size of your entryway, the height at which it hangs above the ground doesn't have as much wiggle room. When hanging an overhead fixture, there should always be a clearance of at least seven feet between the bottom of the fixture and the ground. If you find that your ceilings are a little bit low and can't accommodate a fixture that , flush mount and close-to-ceiling fixtures are your best options for an overhead light.
Foyer and entryway lighting isn't just about choosing overhead fixtures; it’s also about using accent lighting to create a balanced environment and highlighting any architectural or décor features you want to stand out. We've talked about the layered lighting approach before, and it’s no different when it comes to lighting up this particular part of your home.
Each foyer and entryway is unique, so there really is no one way to use accent lighting. Do you have a staircase that could use some extra light? Wall sconces placed along the staircase wall or flanking an entryway mirror above a console table would provide soft, low illumination that could be used with or without the overhead light. Wall sconces should always be placed above shoulder height and spaced evenly between steps if used along a staircase. This may vary depending on how many steps you have on your particular staircase, but sconces should be placed no less than three steps apart. Table and floor lamps are also a simple and convenient method of accent lighting that eliminate the hassle of installation and are ideal on or near the console table you might throw your keys and junk mail on after you walk through the door.
Your options for accent lighting are endless, but always keep one thing in mind: all of your light sources, in both accent and overhead fixtures, should have the same color temperature to keep the color of light consistent. Color temperature, measured in Kelvins, also allows you to create a mood lighting. For a warm, inviting mood, look for bulbs on the lower end of the color spectrum, such as between 2700K and 3500K. Anything above those color temperatures will give off a whiter and brighter light.
Do you have any questions or cool foyer lighting ideas you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you! Leave us a comment or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.