The Dos and Don'ts of Choosing Light Fixtures
Though many may not realize it, light fixtures are often what tie a room together, giving it just the right finishing touch. That’s why finding the perfect one can be a painstaking process. However, if you go into your search prepared, you’ll save yourself some time and unnecessary frustration. There are plenty of mistakes to be made during your quest for the perfect piece of lighting, but this simple list of dos and don’ts will help keep you on the right track.
DO plan ahead. Before you begin hunting for the perfect fixture(s), there are numerous planning steps you can take to make your search as easy as possible. Some of these steps are outlined below, but others include reading up on what kind of lighting works best for certain rooms, such as chandeliers for foyer and entryway lighting or wall sconces for bathroom lighting. Assuming that you’re looking for a fixture to fit into your existing décor, this is also when you should determine the details such as the size and style of fixture you want.
DO take measurements of the room. Knowing the dimensions of the room will help you choose a fixture that is proportionate in scale. Eye-balling measurements may work in cooking, but it might not be the best thing to do when you’re purchasing something for your home that you have to look at every day. For instance, if you have low ceilings (8 feet and under), a flush mount or semi-flush mount fixture would be a better choice than a pendant or chandelier in high-traffic walking areas such as an entryway or hallway.
DO know the weight and dimensions of the fixture. It could be easy to fall in love with a light fixture in a department store and bring it home, only to realize that it’s either too big or too small for the intended area. For example, you wouldn't want to choose an island pendant that’s much longer than the kitchen island itself. The weight of the fixture is also important to consider. It’s crucial that you make sure wherever you’re placing your fixture has the proper supports and cross-checking the light fixture’s specifications with the electrical wiring and architectural layout of your home are essential steps.
DON’T choose form over function. There are plenty of stylish and on-trend light fixtures on the market. Whether you have a rustic, traditional, or industrial design aesthetic, there’s sure to be a fixture out there to fit your sensibilities. But basing your purchase purely on looks could give you a bad case of buyer’s remorse. Considering everything but the fixture’s functionality could leave you with a poorly lit room. Think about the fixture’s light output as well as whether you want it to give off more directional or omni-directional light.
DON’T place too much emphasis on overhead lighting. Granted, you may just be replacing an overhead light fixture, but if it’s the only light fixture in the room, you might want to think about taking a layered lighting approach. Overhead fixtures are wonderful for general ambient lighting, but throwing accent and task lighting into the mix will give your room balanced illumination. Do you have any other questions about how to shop for the right light fixture? Leave us a comment or ask us on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!