How to Light your home

Residential Lighting Guide

No matter how good the design and furnitures in your home are ,only a good lighting design can bring life to your space. Selection of your light fixtures and positioning it on appropriate location can make huge difference in the ambiance and great aesthetic to your home. If you want to easily learn how to do Lighting design for your home, please continue reading

I will try to keep things simple here, rather than bombard you with lighting science.

Understand the basics of Lighting

See the different color temperature (k – Kelvin) for lights available in the market.

  • How you physically feel in a space has mostly to do with the lighting
  • More light isn’t necessarily better. Think more quality versus quantity.How you physically feel in a space has mostly to do with the lighting
  • Good design is about matching light levels to the tasks being performed in specific locations – think a brightly lit kitchen island versus a lamp in your living room for readingHow you physically feel in a space has mostly to do with the lighting
  • Try to put light where it’s really needed and keep lower ambient light levels elsewhereHow you physically feel in a space has mostly to do with the lighting
  • Always think about both natural and artificial light when designing your spaceHow you physically feel in a space has mostly to do with the lighting

Color Temperature

  • 2,700 K: Warm, similar to soft candlelight
  • 2,900 K to 3,200 K: Warm but brighter than a candlelight
  • 3,500 K: Neutral
  • 4,000K: Cool. Mimicking natural daylight starts here; the light gets colder depending on the time of day
  • 5,000 K: Cold

The color temperature of lights have major role in creating ambience inside the room. Warm color gives more relaxing and cool color gives energetic ambience inside the room. For residential buildings ,always choose warm colors from 2700k to 4000k and 3500 to 4500k is good for areas like play area,study and office. A high CRI (CRI 95+) lamp with 2700K and low CRI (CRI 80+) lamps with 3500K almost looks similar in color. But it is always better to choose high CRI Lamps for your home.

Types of Interior Lights

  • Ambient (soft lighting for overall ambient)
  • General (All sources of light but mainly overhead lighting)
  • Task/Directional (lighting a particular area where a task is performed)
  • Accent (adding drama to a space, decorative)
  • Downlights
  • Uplights
  • Linear strip lights
  • Wall lights
  • Pendant lights
  • Chandeliers
  • Table lamps
  • Floor lamps
  • Pathway lights
  • Steplights

Check the CRI of your lights

CRI – Color Rendering Index . To make it simple, just choose high CRI lamps for your home. Normal LED lamps in the market comes with CRI 80+.Please check the specification sheet or lamp cover to check the CRI Value. But try to choose lights with minimum of 85 CRI . As a suggestion you can choose Lights from John Cullen Lighting. They have minimum of 90+ CRI for all their Light fittings and they are the best Lighting Designer company and Manufactures for Residential Lighting.

If you want to learn more about CRI click here – ‘Why is CRI so important in Lighting ?

Lighting Controls

Dimmers are the best kept secret of Lighting Designers

I strongly recomment to use dimmers for all lights. If you dont have budget for it dont worry. Dimmers are available in market from just 4$ onwards and use it only for main areas like Bedroom, Living ,Dining etc.. Its hard to understand the importance of using a dimmer until anyone use it or see the difference in real.

Here are few tips and considerations for creating a well-lighted home.

Think in Layers

Think layered illumination: Every room should have a mix of lighting, including overhead, accent and task lights.

In the living room, for example, you might begin by hanging a decorative ceiling fixture at the center of the room.Then we look toward the walls for downlighting that can gently wash the walls, curtains and art with warm, functional brightness.
Depending on a room’s layout, accent lights could be used to highlight art, and table lamps could be placed beside seating to add another layer of light. Spreading light uniformly inside a room is not considered as a good lighting.Use downlights to highlight furnitures . Dark areas is equally important as bright for achiving diffetent layers inside a interior space.Use different types of lights inside rooms so you will be able to create different layers/scenes for every areas that can change as per time, events or mood.


Size of the room , height ,shape and color need to consider the selection of lights. If selecting a chandelier or pendant lights ,the drop lenght from the ceiling should consider. Same principle should use in the selection of decorative floor lamps & wall lights. This a common mistake I see homeowners make,like too-small chandelier over a large dining table or an oversized lamp on a table next to a sofa will make the area look disproportionate.When hanging a light over a table or a kitchen island, 28 to 34 inches is the recommended distance from the bottom of the light to the surface of the table or island.Take the measurement with you while you going to select lights. While choosing the downlights , check the beam angle with the ceiling height of light using.

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