The days are slowly getting longer and we can’t wait until there is more natural light streaming in our windows! In the meantime, our thoughts turn to brightening spaces indoors. Selecting the right light fixtures are crucial to the feel of your space – the fixture shouldn’t overpower, but needs to be large enough to balance the room. Correct sizing depends on the size of the room and its relationship to furniture and other items in the room.
Don’t be afraid to put in a larger fixture, the ideal size may surprise you! To determine the best diameter for ceiling lights add the length and width of the room together (in feet , ex: 8 by 12 foot room, 8+12 = 20 feet). Change the word “feet” to “inches” (20 feet = 20 inches) for the ideal diameter. Finding the height of the fixture is a little different. Multiply the height of the room (in feet) by 2 ½ to 3 (10 foot ceiling x 2.5, x 3 = 25 to 30). The best height fixture for this space is between 25 and 30 inches.
The right table lamp can make a room. Measure the diameter and height of the table where the lamp will sit. Generally, lamps can be up to 1 ½ times the height of the table and the lampshade should be no wider than the table top.
Spacing around each fixture is also important. Center chandeliers or pendants over dining tables. These fixtures should be 6 inches smaller than the table on all sides with 28-36 inches between the bottom of fixtures and the table. The same measurements apply to pendants hanging over islands. When hanging multiple pendants, be sure that spacing is equal around each fixture and to the table edges. In bathrooms, keep 3 inches between the top of the mirror and the bottom of fixtures and use sconces on sides of mirrors instead when possible.
With all fixtures, keep sight lines in mind, you don’t want glare in your eyes! Installing fixtures that are sized correctly for your rooms makes a big difference in the design and can really lift your mood.