Lighting Layouts for Specialty Lighting
We’ve covered the basics of how you should arrange your favorite light fixtures. Part two of our lighting design tips covers a few common but specialty lighting applications in the home. Check out our easy advice for achieving the best light, no matter what you’re doing.
Reading Light or Game Table. Reducing glare while you’re reading or playing that shiny new board game could require task lighting that comes from behind and to the side of the your shoulder. This can be accomplished by placing a shaded floor lamp to the right or left of the furniture’s edge. The bottom of the shade should be at eye level. You can also use bright, well-distributed overhead lighting for game tables. Shaded pendants designed to cast light upwards are an excellent solution, or you could install two recessed downlights over each half of the table.
Vanity. Vanity lighting includes vanity fixtures, globes lights, or even wall sconces. No matter how you choose to light your vanity, you should use more than one light to achieve even illumination. Light sources should be placed above and on either side of your face. At least one fixture on either side of your mirror at eye level will highlight all areas of your face and provide great task lighting.
Stairs. Your stairs should be illuminated from top to bottom for safety. Place switches at the bottom and the top for convenience; 3-way switches come in handy for this specific application. A surface mounted fixture at the top of the stairs, or shallow wall sconces along the stairs, will provide additional illumination and a decorative accent. The latest stair lighting trend uses LED strip lights to illuminate each step; you can learn more about the ins and outs of that installation in How To Install Under Stair Lighting.
Cabinets and Shelves. Another place where LED strip lighting might come in handy is your bookshelf or kitchen cabinets. Any under cabinet or under shelf lighting using those types of LEDs should position the strips as close as possible to the front of the cabinets to provide the best light distribution. While the lights function as task lighting for your countertops and closet shelves, you can also use strip lighting as inconspicuous but impressively decorative light for china cabinets or trophy cases.
Hallway/Foyer. Your hallways or foyer can be lit with any number of overhead lights like pendants, ceiling mounted fixtures, or even small chandeliers. 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). 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.
We cover specific areas of your home in our home lighting section or you could learn more decorative lighting design tips like how to backlight your TV or install cove lighting. Questions, suggestions, or advice about layouts or other lighting-based puzzles can be left in the comment area below. Follow our Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, or Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration. You can also call our 1000Bulbs staff during normal business hours for spectacular lighting solutions.