Choosing the wrong type of fixture for your entryway can be disastrous. If your visiting in-laws trip over dirty sneakers or run into the coat rack in the dark corridor, your spouse will never let you forget it. Ditch the ominous ambience for a welcoming and well-lit atmosphere with these tips for better foyer lighting.
It might sound simple, but it needs to be said. The bigger the foyer, the more light you need. We’ve mentioned in a previous post that floors need about 20 Lumens per square foot. This will give you a good place to start when looking for your next fixture. After you’ve calculated how much light you need, you’ll want a way to distribute that light evenly and avoid an unattractive bright spot in the center of your foyer. To determine the size of the main light fixture, a good rule of thumb is to add the length and width of the entrance in feet. This number represents how wide your fixture should be in inches. As an example, let’s say the area is 20 feet by 10 feet. Adding that length and width together is 30 feet, so the fixture should be 30 inches at its widest part. Pretty easy to remember, right?
Now that you know the size of your future fixture, you’ll need to figure out the right shape as well. No one wants to bang their head on a pendant light every time they walk into your house, and you don’t want your kids swinging from the chandelier either. An easy way to avoid this is to make sure fixtures are at least 7 feet from the floor. Lower ceilings benefit the most from flush and semi-flush fixtures or even recessed can lights. Pendants or chandeliers are the way to go for taller ceilings. If you have a two story entryway with a second floor window, try to install the fixture so it’s in front of the window. It’s a classy touch that can be seen from outside.
So, you have your big beautiful chandelier hanging in foyer, but you still feel like you can’t find your keys by the door. The solution may not be brighter bulbs, but more fixtures. If the space is narrow and long, you could need a fixture closer to the door and another farther into the house. Wall sconces in these locations are great because it fills in the dark areas without cluttering your ceiling with multiple pendants. When installed about 5 feet from the floor and 6-8 feet apart, they can illuminate any dark corners you want to eliminate.
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