The Lighting Guide: How to Design a Space that "Glows"

So how many of you have ever thought, "hey I'd like to update that light above the table", or "I'd love to replace those dated vanity lights in the Master Bath."  So you either do one of two things, or both:

1. Jump online and start searching for a cool looking chandelier, slowly becoming overwhelmed with the thousands of options, price ranges, and oh the size.... how do I know what size I need?

2. You decide you need to see some lights in person, that will totally help you figure out the size you need. So you hop in your car drive to town headed for the local light shop. You love all the pretty lights shining through the windows, but as soon as you walk in you get that same overwhelmed feeling as all those styles and sizes start to make your head hurt.

You decide that there's a lot more to lighting than you thought, and decide to be safe you'll just keep the light you already have hanging at home. You've had it this long, so whats another couple years, Right!?

Images via lizmarieblog & HGTV

My idea of comfort is a good lamp to read by.”
— Lucien Rees Roberts

The Basics:

So before you get your mind in the "too many options" cloud, let me give you a few basics to get you headed in the right direction. Did you know there are 3 basic types of lighting?  The 'General Rule' is that a well designed space will include all 3. They are:

1. General or Ambient Lighting: This is the main source of lighting in a room. It is accomplished with ceiling or wall mounted lights such as flush mounts, can lighting, or wall sconces.

2. Task Lighting: Provides lighting for a specific task, usually table lamps for reading or pendant lights over a bar for eating.

3. Accent Lighting: Provides light to a specific object such as a sculpture on a shelf, a mural on a wall, or a plant on a bookcase. Provides drama to a room by creating visual interest.

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The price range of a light fixture is huge!! It varies from $10 to $1000's. My best advice is to figure out your budget, then that will narrow your selection. If you find a light you love that's out of your budget, keep looking and I can guarantee you will find one very similar in your price range. Lighting Designers create similar lights in all price ranges, to keep them competitive.

Here's an example below of basically the same light in 3 price ranges (affiliate links included in this post):

Low: Haven 6LT from Wayfair
Med: Carrie Chandelier from Joss & Main
High: Hexagon Chandelier from One Kings Lane


There are sooooooo many lights to choose from. How do you pick a style? What's popular? What finish should I choose? These are all questions I know are running through your head, right!? To help you out a bit I recently created a list of my Top 10 Favorite Lights right now. I think there's a little something for everyone!

***All of these items are from (affiliate links are included)***

1. Birch Lane Charlton Pendant:

2. Thomasville Equinox 4LT Foyer Pendant:

3. Helene 1 LT Drum Pendant:

4. Break Water Bay 1 LT Pendant:

5. Lexington 3 Piece Mason Jar Pendant Set:

6. Jackson 4 LT Foyer Pendant: Discontinued, use this for inspiration.

7. 1 LT Foyer Pendant by A&B Home Group:

8. Penn 1 LT Globe Pendant:

9. Hi-Bay 1 LT Pendant:

10. 3 LT Drum Pendant by Harrison Lane:

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So I hope this guide has helped you feel a bit more confident the next time you plan a trip to your lighting store. Feel free to share and pin this post to save for later.  And as always if you have a space you would like me to design for you please Contact Me. I would love to be your Interior Designer and create your dream space!