Lighting is a great way to enhance your home’s function and kick up its style, but with all the different options available on the market, many find themselves in the dark. From pot lights to pendants, here are some popular light fixtures you’ll come across, and where to use them.
The best way to light up your space is to tackle it from the top down. Overhead lighting, also called “ambient lighting,” addresses your general lighting needs. In modern interiors, recessed lighting is a clean and even way to fulfill this need. Pot lights are installed within the ceiling and level with its surface, eliminating the visual clutter of wires, cables and the fixture itself. While pot lights look simple, they come with some intricacies. Ensure you have enough space in the ceiling to accommodate installation. Most fixtures require six to eight inches, but there are shallow-ceiling options available too. Some other things to think about: the spacing between your fixtures, the trim style, and the colour/temperature of the bulbs.
The next layer in your lighting pyramid is task lighting. Pendant lights deliver function while visually connecting your space from the top down – particularly in rooms with high ceilings. Pendant lights are suspended from the ceiling by a cable or pipe, and are commonly featured above a kitchen island or dining table, or in a front foyer as a statement piece. The down-lighting afforded by pendants is ideal task lighting, while their stylistic characteristics are a natural conversation starter. With pendants, size matters. The larger the space to be illuminated, the larger the fixture. In terms of hanging height, pendants should hang approximately 30 inches from a tabletop, or about 72 inches from the floor.
Wall sconces have seen a huge resurgence recently. They are accent lighting at its loveliest, in that they are mounted at eye-level and within easy view – and depending on the style of fixture you choose, within easy admiration or critique! While many may pause at the mention of wall sconces, the modern sconce is not your grandmother’s fixture. Gone are the days of the old-fashioned, lantern-style fixture complete with candle-shaped light bulbs, no less. The modern sconce has become a thing of real beauty, available in a range of styles and materials to suit any space and need. One of our favourite modern applications of wall sconces is as bedside lamps. Always easily on hand, a wall sconce frees up room on your bedside tabletop, and when outfitted with an adjustable hinged arm, the practicality of these light fixtures is hard to beat.
Lighting has often been likened to the jewelry of a home, but we prefer to think of it as a watch. Yes, it must be aesthetically pleasing, but in order to be worthy of a place in your room, it has to work well. When you view lighting fixtures from the perspective of function and fashion, you’ll always see them in a whole new light.
PHYLLIS LUI & ALEEM KASSAM are the Principal designer duo for Kalu Interiors. For more than a decade this Vancouver based design firm has become known and focus on creating thoughtfully curated interiors that enhance and inspire how you live. The firm provides bespoke design services for clientele throughout Canada.