The right lighting sets the tone for a room. In fact, lighting can be the unsung hero in your San Diego home design—taking any room from average to amazing!

We’ve all been there. You’re standing in a space captivated by the look and feel of the room and can’t quite figure out why. Well, consider this: It may be the lighting.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to lighting options. Most homeowners simply choose a style that fits their tastes or decor without giving thought to the size of each room or what will take place within.

Aesthetics matter, as we will see, but they should not be your first consideration.

Types of Lighting for Your Home

Indoor lighting works best when it’s used in layers, and each layer has a specific purpose. Of the three main types, each room in your San Diego home design can include all three in ideal situations.

The three types are:

  • Ambient—Or general lighting. This safely illuminates most of the room.
  • Accent—This highlights a particular focal point in the room, and these lights are often used with dimmers for mood lighting.
  • Task—This is a light located and directed to assist room users in completing particular functions.

Each type of light can provide differing amounts of illumination according to its function.

For example, ambient lighting is typically the brightest form used in a room because it is for general illumination. Therefore, to know how much illumination you need from each type of light, consider its job and the area it will be used to reveal.

Calculating the Necessary Light

Here’s a simple guide for choosing the amount of lighting you need for each room. (Tip: when choosing the amount of illumination you need, go by lumens and not wattage.)

To determine the lumens needed for each room in your San Diego home design, take the square footage of the room and multiply it by 40.

For example: a room measuring 10 x 12 feet = 120 square feet. 120 x 40 = 4,800 lumens.

  • 65 square feet = 2,600 lumens
  • 120 square feet = 4,800 lumens
  • 150 square feet = 6,000 lumens
  • 225 square feet = 9,000 lumens

Determining Room/Lighting Usage

The next objective is to determine the exact use for each room in your San Diego home design. Or, in other words, what will take place in each room and how much light is needed for these purposes?

Measure the square footage of each space and then determine the best type of lighting for each.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Entryway. Overhead lighting typically works best here, since this is usually a narrow space and lamps or tables can present a hazard. Consider a small to medium chandelier or pendant light.
  • Living room. Position any main ceiling fixture over the center of the main seating area. You may also wish to place floor or table lamps near shadowy corner areas for reading/task lighting. This area also is popular for dimmable accent lighting on a particular fixture, such as a painting. This is also a good place to use track or recessed lighting throughout for a well-lit, yet comforting ambiance.
  • Kitchen. Larger focal areas like an island or dining table should have overhead fixtures. Areas for cooking and food preparation are best lit with under-cabinet lighting. Plus, add specific task-focused lighting at the sink and stove.
  • Dining room. A seperate or formal dining room is best lit by a large fixture centered over the table. Soft accent lighting can also add to the atmosphere.
  • Bedrooms. Most bedrooms should have a main overhead light source as well as task lighting on tables where needed throughout the room.
  • Bathrooms. Recessed lighting works well in most bathroom spaces with additional task lighting over mirrors or showers/tubs.
  • Home office. If meetings will be conducted in this space, consider a ceiling- mounted fixture centered on the furnished meeting space. Otherwise, go with recessed lighting and task lights over main work areas.

Home Design Lighting: The Aesthetics

After calculating the necessary brightness and fixture locations needed for each room, it’s time to focus on adding beauty! Light fixtures aren’t just functional—they can be found in practically any shape, size, and color, with differing bulb designs.

Much of this step is up to your particular tastes, although there are a few guidelines you can follow for best results:

  • Choose colors or textures that blend with the room’s decor or furnishings.
  • When considering ceiling fans for rooms, ensure there is adequate height.
  • For overhead fixtures, add the length and width of the room to calculate the ideal diameter. For example, 10 ft. x 14 ft. room, 10+14=24. Your fixture should be 24 inches in diameter to fit the size of the room.
  • If centering an overhead fixture over a particular large furnishing, use the length and width of the item and not the whole room.

The correct lighting adds the perfect touch to your San Diego home design. If you follow these suggestions, your lighting will truly enhance and benefit your home for years to come.

Are you ready to take your home lighting to the next level? Call us at (858) 874-8779 or fill out the online contact form to arrange a free consultation!