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  • Writer's pictureIconik Interiors

How to Light Your Room

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

Lighting in Interior Design is key: it can make or break a room. To light a room correctly, you need to use a mixture of lighting sources along with the natural light in the room to maximise function, set a mood and eliminate any dark areas.

There are many different levels and types of lighting that you should include in a design. These change depending on your room, the needs for that room and which direction the room faces.

Layer your Lighting

The easiest way to plan your lighting is to layer it and consider primary, task and accent lighting. ⁠

Primary Lighting

This is the light that is used for the entire space. Think of this as the light that you turn on first when you walk into a room. It is the primary source of light and provides overall brightness for the space.

Task Lighting

As it sounds, this helps you to perform tasks easier e.g. under-cabinet lighting, a desk lamp etc. Task lighting provides direct and focused illumination.

Accent Lighting

This is lighting that creates an ambiance for a space/room, whilst brightening dark corners e.g. lighting in glass cabinets, lights that accent artwork etc.

Lighting Tips by Room

Considerations for Every Room

  • Think about other light sources in your room, including overhead lights and natural light from windows or skylights and how the light changes throughout the day. Which direction does the room face?

  • Lighting with a dimmer switch allows you to adjust the light level, making it more versatile.

  • Use lightbulbs with the same colour temperature throughout a room for consistency.

Living Room Lighting Ideas

  1. Position table lamps or floor lamps so that the bottom of the lampshade is just below eye level when you’re sitting down. This will help you to avoid having to look directly into the lightbulb.

  2. Where possible, ensure that the main light pendant is a minimum of seven feet from the floor, or a foot taller than the tallest person in your home. This will mean everyone can walk beneath it easily and not bang their head!

  3. Place your task lighting next to areas where you often read or do similar work, so it can be utilised efficiently.

Dining Room and Kitchen Lighting Ideas

  1. When hanging pendants over a dining table or kitchen island, leave around 28”-34” between the tabletop and the bottom of the fixture for a clear view under the pendants so you can avoid staring directly into a bright bulb.

  2. Utilise layered kitchen lighting well. Use under cabinet lighting for task lighting t make it easier to chop and cook. Use accent lighting in crockery/glass cabinets or in the upper cabinets to highlight the kitchen beautifully.

Bedroom Lighting Ideas

  1. Task lighting is great for reading in bed. Ensure that bedsides tables have a lamp each so reading in bed is easy and clear. If you can, free up valuable bedside table space by having wall sconces or pendants next to your bed.

  2. If you have a standing lamp, get one with a dimmer switch so it can be used as a stand in for the primary light and function in the same way.

Study/Office Lighting Ideas

  1. Ensure that you position desk lamps so they provide a minimal a glare onto the monitor and desk.

  2. If the office is part of a multi-use room, use primary lighting for even illumination that supports all of the rooms functions.

I hope you found these tips useful. Lighting is an easy task, as long as you focus on layering and thinking of the function that the light will provide.

Iconik Interior Design Services Whatever the size of your project, I always begin with a 60 minute Design Consultation at your home. My services include anything from a complete ‘concept to completion’ service, to a colour consultation (where I help you choose the best paint colours for your room). I’ll talk through the scope of your project including the functionality, aesthetic, budget etc. and take a look at the area you want to transform. We can discuss initial design ideas, inspiration, recommendations and so on. Some people find this initial design consultation enough for what they need and are happy to move forward on their own, whilst others will have additional work they need me to help them with. Once I have a better idea of scope, I will then go away and prepare a fee proposal for any additional work you might need help with. You can then decide whether or not you would like to proceed on that additional work together. A Design Consultation with me is £200 (travel cost outside 30 mile radius of Ipswich, Suffolk will apply). Drop me an email to book -


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