How to Light Your Home Properly: 10 Effective Ways

Nothing beats the beauty of light – it’s why we feel more at home in a well lit room. It’s why we surround ourselves with tiny flickering lights at Christmas time. It’s why people in darker regions buy lamps that imitate the light of the sun. Light is important, to our well being, our mood and our ability to work comfortably in our environment.

how to light your home

When you design a room in your home, you’re incorporating dozens of factors. Where do you want your couch? Where should the chair be in relation to it? Do you want your curtains to match the couch or the couch pillows?

The point is, your living room alone is a work of art on your part. You didn’t just dump your furniture somewhere – you arranged and you rearranged it. You also settled on color, style and placement.

One thing that’s often an afterthought, but turns out to be hugely important, is where your light sources are. Oh, you think, “I’ve got this lamp. I’ll put this here and that there. I’ll call it a day.”

Oddly enough, lighting is even more important than the placement of furniture when determining the comfort of your home. A poorly lit room becomes eerily depressing. A sense of discomfort, of being displaced, nags at you while you try to relax. What was a perfect living room design in every other way, has been ruined by poorly placed lighting.

Never fear! There are multiple tips and tricks to turn a gloomy room into a haven. Here are 10 ways to get you started.

Ceiling Height

When you’re installing a hanging light, one of the first things you want to consider is how low it will hang. Most lights come with an adjustable cord, but you still have a limited range to work with.

The standard tip for hanging lights is that the bottom of the light should be 12 to 20 inches below an 8 foot ceiling. Got a ceiling taller than 8 feet? Just add 3 inches for every extra foot.

Above the Table

light your home

The rule listed above changes slightly when the hanging light is above a table. You’ll want to stick to this standard: the bottom of the light should be 28 to 34 inches from the top of your table. If the light is small, feel free to hang it a little lower.

If it’s large, feel free to hang it higher. But as a general rule of thumb, those are the inches you want to stick to.

Planned Lighting

If you’re building or remodeling, you’ll want to take care to design your lighting ahead of time. Do you want three pendant lights above the table, or only one?

All of that design needs to be incorporated into the build – plan ahead!


One of the worst lighting styles is a downlight-only room. Downlighting can cast harsh shadows, giving a room that eerie sense of discomfort. Change it up with sconces or lamps, giving your room a softer ambiance.

Type of Bulb

It’s not just placement that matters; a huge aspect of the room’s tone will be the shade of your light bulb. Whether you choose halogen, compact florescent, or LED, all bulbs come in a range of cool or warm tones.

If you have cool wall colors, you’ll want to contrast that with a warm bulb. If you have a warm wall, vice versa. The tone of your light bulb has a huge impact on the atmosphere of a room.

Light Your Staircase

It may seem like an odd idea at first, but after it saves you from stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night, you’ll be grateful you installed stairwell lighting.

Besides making nighttime trips a lot safer, a lit staircase is also a gorgeous home feature: a striking choice in lighting design.


Living room windows

You might be thinking, “How can I light my home with windows? They don’t run on electricity.” While that’s true, they can still be one of the best sources of light for a home.

Natural light is an excellent source and can even help improve your mood and productivity. Large picture, bay or bow windows in your family/living room can help brighten things up as well as make the room feel bigger.

It’s important to get the right windows and proper installation though. Vinyl windows are made to withstand all weather extremes and will keep your home comfortable all year long.

Also, make sure your windows are made with low-e glass to ensure that the sun’s harmful rays don’t fade your furniture or carpet. With low-e glass, you’ll be able to benefit from natural light and keep UV rays out.

Toe-kick Lighting

If you’ve stumbled into the corner of your kitchen cabinet one-too-many times in the dark, it might be time to consider toe-kick lighting. Besides just making life more comfortable for your feet, it’s also a stunning way to add glow and ambiance to a room.

Colored Shades

Don’t just play it safe – experiment! The tone of a light is more than just its location and bulb, you can add atmosphere through the color of its shade.

Some truly striking chandeliers come with colored glass exteriors, changing the shade of the room to something warmer or cooler. Whatever you decide to do, you have a myriad of design options, through lampshade coloring alone.


Lighting can be more than just a practical necessity, it can be used as home decor. Instead of art prints or a paint job, you can spark up a room with beautifully arranged lamps, string lights, or pendant lamps.

Light creates its own set of colors and shapes, making light-decor a kind of living art piece.

Effectively Light Your Home

You’ve put a lot of work into your home already, and by now you realize the importance of putting work into your lights as well. The great thing about lighting is that it’s easy to find, simple to install, and with the tips and tricks listed above, you won’t have any trouble deciding what lighting additions you need to make in your home.

Whether you want some stunning track lighting along your basement stairs, a breath-taking chandelier above your dining room table, or a number of sconces and lamps to take away the down-light gloom in your living room, you’re on your way to designing a haven of light in your home.

Does natural light sound more like your style? Then you can count on Feldco for the best window replacement around. Our vinyl windows are made with low-e glass to make sure your home gets only the good kind of light. Get a free quote now to start your next window replacement project.

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