Home Lighting Ideas: Inspiration for Every Room

Home Lighting Ideas: Inspiration for Every Room

Chandelier hung in a dining room
Lighting is the most important feature when you're trying to create ambiance. If your guest room is looking dark and dingy or your bathroom is overly harsh, you'll run off all your guests. To bathe every room with natural-looking light, you’re going to need at least one general fixture and one small accent. This inspirational guide is full of home lighting ideas to find the right style and fixture for each room.

Living Room Lighting to Brighten Conversations

Home Lighting Ideas for Your Living Room

To make your living area look lived-in, start with an overhead fixture. A dramatic chandelier will cloak your living room in timeless elegance and bring it out of the Dark Age. Simple track lights can make things look bright and inviting when guests come over. Looking for friendly evenings full of fur throws and board games? An even scattering of arched floor lamps and table lamps can soften your living room lighting with cozy, short-range warmth. If you need more tips on lighting for entertainment or relaxation, read more about our Best Floor Lamps for Stylish Lighting.

Dining Room Light Ideas for the Hostess With the Mostest

Gold chandelier hung above a dining room table

This is the room where your lighting can make as much of a statement as your signature cannelloni. Whether you’re going for a shadowy tavern or a grand hall fit to host the Queen of England, you need overhead lighting with scale and presence.

Match the shape to your table so the downlight is bright enough for homework, crafts, or trivia nights. For example, a long and linear table calls for multiple, staggered pendant lights. For accent lighting in your dining room, use candles, buffet lamps, or recessed lights in any built-in shelving. This can create romantic dimmable lighting for an intimate date night. Read about the Best Light Fixtures for Your Dining Room to get more specific ideas.

Kitchen Lighting to Up Your Chef Game

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Do you want a soft, familiar glow in your kitchen that your family will grow to know and love over the years? How about some back lighting in the cabinets that makes you feel at home, whether you’re reaching for a sippy cup or coffee mug? Maybe you’d prefer a cluster of down-lit pendant lights above your island to highlight fond moments of baking cookies with your kids.

If you prefer a sleek, professional kitchen without crumbs or sticky fingerprints, installing recessed ceiling cans in hollow spots over your gleaming counters or a stark flush mount over the spotless sink will provide a more modern, minimal ambiance. Read our Kitchen Lighting Guide for more on choosing fixtures.

Bedroom Lighting to Begin and End Your Day

Wall lamps hung above nightstands in a bedroom

So you’ve already got the crazy comfy sheets calling your name. Now you just need that warm, fuzzy feeling in lighting form. Wrap twinkly fairy lights around your headboard for something dim and gentle, perfect for sleeping in on a rainy day. Another idea is to flank your bed with space-saving lamps mounted above your nightstands. Wall lamps that have swing arms are perfect for bedtime reading or for switching on an instant glow when you need water in the middle of the night.

If you’re a hot sleeper, invest in an all-in-one ceiling fan. It’ll add a refreshing breeze and atmospheric lighting to help find your phone in the depths of your comforter. Already low on melatonin? Stay away from LED bulbs in the bedroom. Like the flicker of a TV screen, this type of lighting may disrupt your sleep schedule. Read more of our Best Bedroom Lighting Ideas to dream up the perfect fixtures for your sleep space.

Bathroom Lighting Ideas for Spa-Like Relaxation

Bathroom with a lighted mirror and recessed cans

Whether you’re brushing your teeth or doing your kids’ hair, bathroom lighting is key for readiness. If shaving or makeup application are daily rituals for you and your partner, install vanity lights that get rid of shadows. You don’t want to make it all the way to work or the carpool lane before you realize your beard is patchy or your face is orange compared to your neck.

An even mix of side and top lights around your mirror will give just enough of a reflective boost for simple, efficient routines. Looking for luxury bathroom lighting? Read our guide on How to Install Recessed Lighting Above a Shower. These types of specialty bathroom fixtures can also diffuse some low light when you’re settling in for a scented evening with your bath tray.

Hallway Lighting Fixtures to Guide Your Path

Home Lighting Ideas for Your Hallway

The ultimate host needs to wash their hallway walls with enough light so that no one is stumbling, feeling their way with their hands, or expecting to see the twins from “The Shining.” If you have a wide enough space to use wall lights, consider the thickness of lamp shades so they don’t swallow the brightness of your bulb.

You can also use uplights in your hallway to highlight art. For long passageways, use multiple fixtures so one bulb isn’t responsible for acting as a beacon. Nobody wants to venture down a hallway that has the intensity of an interrogation room or a creepy, buzzing glow that gives them a migraine. Read more of our Best Hallway Lighting Ideas and make sure no one gets left in the dark.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas for a Well-Lit Welcome

Home Lighting Ideas for Outside, String Lights

Good lighting is simply about living better. Not everything has to look sparkly and gilded, but your home lighting should at least make you feel safe and welcome. This starts with the front porch. Do you need path lighting or a big, bright ceiling light to guide visitors? Maybe you just want a pair of sconces for gentle background lighting when you’re rocking back with a glass of wine.

Think about how you use your back patio. Are you roasting s’mores beneath string lights with your little ones or hosting an evening BBQ lit by subtle post lamps? If you’re trying to decorate your backyard, read our Outdoor Lighting Ideas.

Got a vision for your lighting? Don’t leave the most important element of decor for last! Read our Home Lighting Design Tips guide to make sure you have the right lighting to bring a room to life.