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Bright Ideas: Finding the Right Light


Lighting is one of the most important design elements in any room. Not only should it provide adequate brightness for the room, but it should also fit the space and tie the room together visually. It should serve as a focal point, but not to the point of distraction.

The right sized fixture is just as important as the look and construction of the light. There are a few formulas to keep in mind when you’re brightening up your space. Get your calculators out and get ready to transform your home!

If you need a simple way to make a big impact on your curb appeal, look to your outside fixtures. The right pick can quickly and affordably lift the mood for your entire home!  To find the right sized light for the front entrance, it should be less than one third of the size of the door or opening for a single light and roughly a quarter of the size for dual lights.

Moving inside, no dining room is complete without the perfect chandelier. Whether modern and sleek or an elegant crystal chandelier, the rule of thumb for size is the same. To determine the right piece, take the size of the room and add the feet together. For example, if the room is 10’ by 12’ the chandelier’s width should be 22”. Additionally, make sure the width is about 15” shorter than the dining room table.

If you’d like to hop on the pendant lighting trend, consider sticking to one large one that is about 1/2 to 3/4 the diameter of the table you’re placing it above. If you’d like to go smaller, apply the rule of 3 and line them up over an island or long dining table.

Ready to catch a breeze? Typical ceiling fan blades range from 29 inches to 54 inches, so a room with around 75 square feet can accommodate fans in the 29 to 36-inch range. If your space is between 76 and 144 square feet, select a fan that’s 36 to 42 inches in diameter. Going larger, rooms 144 and 225 square feet should have fans up to 44 inches in diameter and rooms between 225 and 400 square feet have room for a 50 to 54 inch sized fan.

For other rooms, the size is really more a matter of taste. The light should not create a visual barrier to the room or block design elements, but other than that, choose a light with provides good light and fits the style of the space.


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