How to Create the Perfect Lighting Design Scheme

Let’s be real – whether you are designing your dream house, selling, flipping, renting, or entering the world of air b n b, lighting is everything, literally everything we see is because light reflects off objects in our environment and enters our retinas. Do you see me?

Lighting Tips and Tricks for Beginners 

Color temperature is key. Decide on a color temperature and stick with it. Using the Kelvin scale, most light bulbs and fixtures fall between 2700K (warmer) and 5000K (cool). When I walk into a newly listed property with 4 different color temperatures, I’m instantly cringing. Our preferred color temperature at home is 2700K and always warm. 

Create lighting experiences for both day and night. A great way to figure out where you need more light is to walk around and take photos of dark spots. Then upload those photos in a design board and visualize what lighting may work in each area. 

Create different lighting schemes for various activities. Whether you’re hosting a gathering, curling up with a book, cleaning the house, or having a family meditation/yoga session, you’ll want lighting to be both functional and temperamental in helping you create the right mood.

Diversify your lighting sources: overhead, pendant, table and floor lamps, sconces, candles, task lighting, perforated lights, under cabinet lights, lanterns, wall washers, mounted lights, hanging lamps. Depending on the size of the room, I would include a few of these options in each space.

Maximize natural light that you have by opening window coverings during the day and cleaning windows. We installed commercial roller shades because you can control the percentage of light that comes through. Percentages generally range from 1% to 14% – lower percentages have a tighter weave and higher percentages have a more “open” weave. Also blackout shades are an option for those late sleepers. 

Reflect light around your house with mirrors. Mirrors are particularly useful on eastern and northern walls.  

Use paint with a higher LVR in rooms that receive some natural light. The higher the LVR of your paint , the more light it will reflect. Choosing paint is much more technical than one may think, so that’s a topic for another post. 

Consider scale as you choose your light fixtures. You’ll want to make sure your lighting fixture fits visually in the space. For example, a large pendant fixture in a small nook can feel crowding and overbearing. Likewise, fixtures that are too small can make a space feel uncomfortably disproportionate, like a tiny chandelier in an expansive ballroom. Again, a photo depiction is a helpful tool in creating your desired ambiance.  

Add dimmers to your compatible lighting fixtures. By replacing simple on/off switches with dimming devices, you can control customize your lighting mood even further with an endless combination of various brightnesses for different fixtures. 

Ok, now GO! I know you’re all running to your computers right now to create your dream lighting design. 

Camera: Photos from our home are a work in progress over a 6 week renovation period.