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Lighting in your home is more than a practical detail. When done right, lighting is the unsung hero of design and contributes to the aesthetic value of a room. With all the different types of lighting and fixtures, how do you choose what will look best in your home? The designers at Bell's Ethan Allen Design Center are here to share some "bright" ideas.

Pendant Lighting: Practical and Picturesque

Pendant lighting can be elegant or casual, sophisticated or fun. Unlike recessed lighting or generic overhead fixtures, pendant lights are meant to make a statement. When choosing pendant lighting, there are a few helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Use the room size to help you determine what size fixture you need. Add the dimensions and change the unit from feet to inches - for a room that is 12x12 feet, the diameter of your pendant lights should be no more than 24". 
  • When hanging pendant lighting above a kitchen island or table, leave between 30-34" between the bottom of the light and the top of the surface. No one wants collisions between the light and your head. 
  • Multiple pendant lights can illuminate a more extended countertop or island, but keep the Rule of Three in mind. When using more than one design element, three looks better than two.
Lights built to look great and light up the whole room

What to Know About Wall Sconce Lighting

A wall sconce is one of the most versatile lighting fixtures. Being mounted to the ceiling allows wall sconces to illuminate a room without having to clutter your ceiling with overhead fixtures. You can place them in a hallway to add light and visual interest without taking up floor space.

A wall sconce gives the perfect amount of light to a reading corner. You can also use a wall sconce for decor and ambient lighting near an entryway table where you keep your keys and mail. Wall sconces are also a great choice to balance the bright light of a chandelier to keep it from being too harsh.

Enlightening Tips for Lamps

Consider the space you have before committing to a table or floor lamp. A table should be large enough to accommodate the lamp and small items like a coffee and remote. Floor lamps should not touch any surrounding furniture. The scale is important when selecting a size for your lamps, but also keep its function in mind.

A floor lamp is meant to provide light for a larger area, so it can be turned on and off when you enter and leave a room. A table lamp should be within arm's reach since it provides more task-specific lighting. Other activities requiring attention to detail, such as office work, reading, and food prep, should have bright task lamps nearby.

Crystal Clear Lighting with Chandeliers

Regardless of the size or style, a chandelier light is meant to make a statement. When a piece is a focal point, you want to ensure the size fits the space the lighting will be in. A little math will help you determine your chandelier light's ideal height and width. Add the length and width of your room, and convert it to inches.

For example, a 10x12 room should have a chandelier about 22" in diameter. A caveat to this is if you are placing a chandelier over a dining room table. In this instance, your lighting should be 12" more narrow than the table to ensure enough headroom for those seated around the table.

Next, we'll address finding the perfect height for your chandelier light. The general design rule to follow is 3" of height for every foot between the floor and ceiling of a room. Multiple that number by three and convert it to inches for a good size. A room with 8' high ceilings would need a 24" tall chandelier.

Layering Lighting

Every room can benefit from several sources of light. General or ambient lighting looks best when the space has accent lighting to draw attention to specific areas of the room, like interesting architecture or artwork. Wall sconces are a great source of accent lighting. The bright light of a kitchen can be offset with recessed track lighting. If you rely on a single lighting source, your room will have a brightly lit pool of space surrounded by darker corners.

Explore Luxurious Lighting at Bell's Ethan Allen Design Center

We are your premier local resource for premium Ethan Allen® furniture and Hunter Douglas window treatments. Schedule an interior design consultation to immerse yourself in our expansive selection of lighting, fabrics, and home accessories.

Visit us at 94 N. Plank Rd in Newburgh, NY. We're open seven days a week and serve Newburgh, Fishkill, Warrick, Middletown, New Paltz, Wappinger Falls, Rhinebeck, Monroe, Tuxedo, Warwick, Washingtonville, Poughkeepsie, Orange County, Dutchess County, and Ulster County, NY.