An important message from the Brass Light Gallery family. SAFETY POLICY

How to Choose the Right Lighting for Your Home

How to Choose the proper lighting for your home
Tags: Interior Lighting Exterior Lighting

While many people don't give it much thought, choosing the right type of lights for your home makes a huge difference in the atmosphere and aesthetics. It's important to select lighting that provides the proper illumination and adds warmth and style to each room.

From primary to accent lighting, selecting the appropriate fixtures will significantly impact how your home looks. Even the choice of light bulbs can influence the mood the light creates. For function and style, every room should use at least two or even three types of lighting with an accent and/or a task light added to the ambient lighting. To help you sort through the confusion, here is a primer on choosing the right style of lighting for each room in your home:

Types of Home Lighting

Ambient Lights
From the kitchen to the bath, ambient light is the primary source of illumination in each room and plays a significant role in the lit space’s ambiance. This light is the primary lighting source that is turned on each time you enter the room. Ambient lighting can come from any type of light fixtures, such as an overhead ceiling light, chandelier, sconces, or table lamp. In addition, ambient lighting is often complemented with secondary lighting to accent the room or provide concentrated lighting for tasks.

Accent Lights
‘Mood’ or ‘decorative’ lighting are words often used to describe accent lighting. Accent lighting adds illumination to the ambient lighting and is commonly installed on the top of kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities. Accent lighting is also frequently used to draw attention to features like a bookshelf, artwork, or a fireplace. Sconces, chandeliers, and lamps can all be used as accent lights.

Task Lights
Task lights are intended to light up a small area and add additional light to an office, reading area, or writing space. You should have task lights that provide just enough brightness and directional light for completing these sorts of things. Since tasking lighting isn’t used as often as your ambient lighting, it’s essential to select fixtures that look beautiful when not in use.

Types of Lighting Fixtures

Wall Sconces are a tasteful and efficient way to add illumination and warmth to any room or entryway. For example, rows of sconces along a wall can be used as ambient lighting in a large room or hallway. A pair near a doorway or large window can add a tasteful accent, or they can be placed on either side of a bed for elegant and efficient task lighting.

Flush and Semi-Flush Mounts
Depending on the size, flush and semi-flush mount fixtures can be used as full-room lights or can be placed in transitional spaces like entryways. Whereas flush mount fixtures lie flush against the ceiling, semi-flush fixtures cast a more direct, downward glow, providing greater illumination. In addition, the spacing between the ceiling and light allows for light to reflect off the ceiling.

Pendant lights are suspended from the ceiling on a rod or chain. When placed over a kitchen island or dining table as a single unit or in a grouped multi-level configuration, they can create a dramatic impact as a bright task light. Pendant lights also make bold statements in foyers, bedrooms, and bathrooms.

Chandeliers are an elegant decorative home lighting option that provides an excellent ambient light source and an air of sophistication. Chandeliers suspend from the ceiling or an exposed beam where they can best be seen and cast light. Depending on the total wattage, chandeliers can be used as an all-purpose ambient, task, and accent light when attached to a dimmer switch.

Types of Light Bulbs

The type of bulb you choose for your fixtures can play an essential role in the function of the light. Light bulbs are categorized based on lumens and Kelvins, with lumens indicating the bulb’s brightness and Kelvins representing the bulb’s color temperature.

One lumen creates roughly the same amount of light as one burning candle, and Kelvins describe the bulb’s intensity as bright, warm, or soft white light. 2700K is considered a warm white, slightly amber color that creates a cozy, inviting ambiance. Best for living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. 3000K is also a warm white, yet is slightly brighter and works well in bathrooms, entryways, and outdoors.  5000K is a cooler, daylight color that feels crisp and refreshing with its blueish hue. It is ideal in garages, basements, or specific work areas.

The three main types of light bulbs used for residential lighting fixtures have various energy requirements and burn times.

Incandescent bulbs are familiar to the greatest number of people and are still the most common bulb type. However, while they are the most affordable, they use the most energy and burn out faster than others.

LED (standing for ‘light-emitting diode’) bulbs are more expensive to purchase than incandescent bulbs. However, these are far more energy-efficient and have a much longer life. In addition, LEDs are versatile and can be used in any fixture that takes an incandescent bulb.

Halogen bulbs have a warm glow, similar to an incandescent bulb, and are very energy efficient. However, they do not last as long as LED bulbs.

While choosing the right home lighting style does take some thought, keeping these things in mind will help you pick the correct type of light, fixture, and bulb. Taking your time and selecting the proper lighting will make your home a warm and inviting space where you will love spending time and be proud to entertain.

We invite you to contact us with any questions you may have in choosing the right lighting for your home. We can help you select the right style of fixtures for your home, inside and out.

Established in 1974, Brass Light Gallery is America's favorite made in USA source for premium handcrafted decorative interior and exterior lighting.

By ordering directly from us, the designer and manufacturer, you receive outstanding personalized service and made-to-order style with your high quality, made in the U.S.A. light fixtures.

Jun 30, 2021

Amy Joslin

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I have an older fixture no longer produced by Brass Light Gallery. Angie and the team were extremely helpful in identifying and producing the replacement (lost) parts to get my fixture up and functioning again. They did this all remotely and shipped the parts promptly. Highly recommend!
May 14, 2021

Will Heelan

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Brass Light Gallery is such an amazing resource: they can build your lighting dream. Angela in the sales room was just the best: listened carefully to what we were trying to accomplish and guided us through the process. She was a delight to work with and she persisted until she found EXACTLY what we were looking for: three sconces to match my Brass Light Gallery pendants from 20 years ago! We are so pleased!
Mar 17, 2021

Cathy Lindberg

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I loved Janel who assisted me. She was professional and friendly and super competent. Love my fixture! Perfect....and Made in the USA!
Feb 22, 2021

Trevor Santarius

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Always a fantastic experience with Brass Light Gallery. Their customer service goes above and beyond and their products are of the highest quality. It is great to support true artisans that create timeless and beautiful light fixtures that are made to last multiple generations. While certainly on the high end price-wise, their fixtures are well worth the investment.
Jan 22, 2021


Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
AMAZING!!! Breathtaking! Simply beautiful!! We are beyond impressed with the quality of these lovely fixtures and beyond impressed with the sales help from Janel. Janel was outstanding to work with! She took the time to understand that we wanted to modernize our 25 year old home with updated lighting. She asked about style, dimensions, pictures and layout information and helped us pick out coordinated fixtures for all rooms. Honest, very helpful but no pressure felt. We ordered 14 beautifully modern fixtures for the main level of our home. We live in MN and the lights came very well packaged and cared for. Our local electrician found installation easy and intuitive and commented many times on how high quality these fixtures were. "very well made, very very nice"!!! Am already planning the next lights we would like to update. We will definitely be ordering from brass light gallery again. HIGHLY recommend using this amazing company! Thank you Janel!!
Javascript is required for full website functionality.