Fixtures and Installation Guidelines
From the decorative to the practical, there is an abundance of lighting fixtures to suit your every style and need. But which one is right for you? Here are some general guidelines to help you understand the different types of fixtures and their functions in the home.
To find the ideal chandelier diameter: Add the length and width of the room together and substitute the feet for inches.
In the dining room: Choose a chandelier that is 6” narrower than the width of the dining table. It should hang at least 30” above the tabletop in a room with an 8’ ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add one inch.
The chandelier is the crown jewel of a room’s lighting layout. These decorative showpieces are most often found in dining areas but can add a glamorous touch to upscale entryways and foyers. While the chandelier provides the room’s primary focal glow, its light just be supplemented to avoid over-lighting and glare. Some chandeliers are designed with downlights to provide task or accent lighting, while others are available with fabric or glass shades to reduce glare and provide artistic elements.
Perhaps the most versatile of all decorative lighting fixtures, pendants can be as glamorous as a chandelier, as understated as a wall sconce, or as functional as a floor lamp. They can be used to provide task, ambient, and accent illumination depending on the use and location. The more compact profile of pendants allows for greater pairing and clustering possibilities.
Placed midway on the wall, sconces and other wall mounted fixtures can create intimate ambiance and add a thoughtful dimension to your decor. They can be used to provide ambient lighting and balance overhead sources or utilized as accent pieces to flank architectural features such as archways and fireplaces.
When height is limited, a semi-flush mount or close-to-ceiling fixture can offer the exquisite styling of a chandelier but in a more compact form. Suspended from the ceiling, the small gap provides double the illumination, with light bouncing off the ceiling in addition to radiating from below the fixture. They work well where low-hanging fixtures would interrupt flow and functionality while offering more elaborate possibilities than standard flush mounts.
Unlike the semi-flush mount, the flush mount or “surface mount” fits snugly against the ceiling. Because they illuminate with little downward intrusion, flush mount fixtures are ideal for providing ambient lighting in high traffic areas like hallways. Areas that only require one “layer” of light, such as closets and laundry rooms, are also well-served by flush mount fixtures.
Bath and Vanity
Bathrooms require strong, glare-free task lighting for applying makeup and grooming tasks. For smaller mirrors, place wall fixtures on each side to provide even, shadow-free illumination. Above large mirrors, additional horizontal lights are needed. If there is no room to accommodate side-lights, a flush mount with a broad diffusing capability can be placed above the vanity area instead.
Lighting around the tub should be bright enough for bathing and reading shampoo labels. Shielded fixtures will protect from glare, while low voltage linear lighting makes middle of the night trips to the bathroom easier. For inside the shower, remember to choose recessed downlights designed for use in wet areas.
Unlike paired and clustered pendants, island lights provide a single-fixture option for lighting across kitchen countertops, game tables or other rectangular spaces. While spaced pendants require two or three wiring boxes, an island light requires only one to illuminate the same expanse. These fixtures can be used as task lighting or as a room’s visual centerpiece and sole source of ambient light.
Portable Floor and Table Lamps
When flexibility is paramount, portable lamps can create ambient, task, or accent lighting to suit your schematic. Whether standalone or tabletop variety, portables solve the problem of limited wiring options and allow for easy design and lighting adaptability.
Whether it’s a treasured portrait, a prized print, or a one-of-a-kind piece of art, an outstanding wall hanging deserves worthy illumination. Picture lamps come in a variety of styles and lengths to accommodate the width of the underlying object.
Recessed lights, or downlights, can provide general and task lighting in a subtle manner. Installed in the ceiling with only the trim showing, they can blend into almost any decor and provide a range of lighting effects. They are also ideal for shorter or sloped ceilings.
Eco-Cove lighting is an ideal choice for smart solutions for lighting spaces that are concealed, hard to reach or have tight radii. Users can direct light up towards the ceiling and down adjacent walls, or create light for aesthetic accent to highlight decorative ceilings.
Utility & Laundry
Laundry and other utilitarian areas demand plenty of light to help aid the tasks performed there. A large ceiling fixture with energy efficient bulbs or recessed fixtures spaced evenly around the room can provide ambient lighting, while adjustable track lighting and undercabinet lighting are good for task lighting.
Undercabinet fixtures offer both task and accent lighting. Mounted under kitchen wall cabinets, they can provide excellent countertop lighting, or when used in display cabinets, they can provide accent lighting for the items inside.