Searching for the perfect way to boost a room’s overall look and feel? We recommend starting at the top. The right ceiling light can pull a room together with the perfect combination of function and style.
Types of Ceiling Lights
Ceiling lights have the unique ability to pull together any room with ample warmth and incredible style. From modern chandeliers to mini pendants, we offer a variety of ceiling lighting designs to suit any space.
Bold chandeliers and oversized pendant lights are well-suited for spacious areas with tall ceilings, while mini pendants and petite chandeliers are best for smaller rooms instead. Energy-efficient pendant lighting and LEDs are particularly ideal for illuminating the most frequently used areas of your home while using less power overall.
If your home has a sloped ceiling, you’ll want to look for slope-adaptable lights that are made to accommodate angled ceilings. Kitchen island lighting and track lighting are excellent choices for kitchen workspaces, while recessed, flush, and semi-flush lights are a sleek option for fans of minimalist décor.
You’ll also want to consider whether a room is best served by direct or indirect light. Many ceiling light fixtures (kitchen ceiling lights, for example) provide direct or downward-facing light, whereas some styles (like inverted bowl pendants) provide indirect light that shines on the ceiling or surrounding walls.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to use direct light in areas of your home that are task-oriented, like think reading nooks and kitchen islands. Indirect lighting, on the other hand, illuminates the entire space with a soft, ambient glow that’s more atmospheric in nature.
How to Choose Ceiling Lights
Once you’ve decided between direct and indirect lighting, it’s time to find the best ceiling light to meet your needs. If you prefer ambient light that fills the entire room, look for chandeliers and pendants with upturned lights for a swath of illumination.
If a room requires more direct overhead light, you may prefer a ceiling fixture with down-turned bulbs instead. Keep in mind that most rooms aren’t illuminated with a single light source and instead rely on layered lighting schemes. You can always complement living room ceiling lights with accent lighting like table lamps, torchieres, and wall sconces as needed.
You’ll also want to consider your personal style when choosing overhead lighting. Fans of vintage design may prefer an opulent crystal chandelier, while contemporary minimalists may gravitate toward sleek pendants and recessed lighting kits. Whatever your style, you’ll find a wide range of options from top brands like Kichler, Mill & Mason, and Elegant Lighting.
Here are some general lighting recommendations:
Living rooms: Ambient overhead lighting + accent lighting
Kitchens: Ambient overhead lighting + task lighting over workspaces, countertops or sinks
Bedrooms: Ambient overhead lighting + task lighting over nightstands & near dressing areas
Bathrooms: Ambient overhead lighting + task lighting near vanities
How to Choose the Right Bulbs for Your Ceiling Lights
When it comes to choosing the best light bulbs for different areas of your home, you’ll want to know your options.
First, there are four primary types of light bulbs:
Incandescent Bulbs: Provide warm, welcoming light but are less energy-efficient than LEDs.
CFLs (Compact Florescent Bulbs): Use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last longer; typically cooler in tone; contain mercury.
LEDs: More expensive but last up to three times longer than other bulbs; energy-efficient; ideal for frequently used rooms.
Next, you’ll need to consider your desired brightness. For traditional bulbs, this is measured in watts. The brightness of LED bulbs, on the other hand, is measured in lumens.
Watts reflect a light bulb’s power consumption, and they’re traditionally used when comparing incandescent light bulbs. Generally speaking, the higher the wattages, the brighter the bulb.
LED lights use lumens rather than watts to measure a bulb’s overall brightness, with higher ratings representing more brightness. An average LED bulb is around 800 lumens, which equates to 60 watts. You’ll most likely want to use multiple lights in each room of your house to ensure optimal illumination.
Here are some general guidelines for the total recommended lumens to provide in each room:
Living rooms: 1,500-3,000 lumens
Bedrooms: 2,000-4,000 lumens
Dining rooms: 3,000-6,000 lumens
Home offices: 3,000-6,000 lumens
Bathrooms: 4,000-8,000 lumens
Kitchens: 5,000-10,000 lumens
Finally, you’ll want to pay attention to a bulb’s Kelvin rating. Kelvins represent the color temperature of a bulb’s emitted light:
2700 Kelvin: Provides white light that’s soft and warm. Ideal for bedrooms and living rooms.
4100 Kelvin: Provides white light that’s bright and cool. Ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
5000-6000 Kelvin: Provides bright light that mimics daylight. Ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, reading areas, and basements.
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