Good lighting should multitask and set the mood:

Lighting in Layers

A perfectly lit room has three basic layers:

  1. Overhead lighting
  2. Task lighting
  3. Accent lighting

An example for the bedroom would be — a chandelier for overhead, bedside reading lamps as task lighting, and accent lights above the headboard and artwork.

In the Living Room

Ideally you want 2,000-3,000 lumens. The measure of brightness is lumens and called and LED bulb. An LED of 800 lumens is comparable to a 60-watt bulb.

Think about where you want to aim your light; shades angled up will light the entire room and those pointing down, like a reading lamp, will brighten a contained space.

The height of Table Lamps is key; the bottom of the shade should be just below eye level when sitting by it. Otherwise the light will be shining in your face.

Highlight something unexpected, a nook or bookcase. Keep it mellow with a 500-lumen bulb.

In the Bathroom

A perfect light scheme includes lights above AND on both sides of the mirror. Lights on either side help to fill in the shadows from the overhead light.

In the Dining Room

A chandelier in the dining room should hang 30 to 36 inches above the dining table. The width of the chandelier should be at least one half the width of the table or it will feel too small.

Mirrors help a small space seem lighter. Light will bounce off the mirror and make the room appear bigger and brighter.

Adding sconces always make a dining room more elegant. You can even use the plug-in kind and hide the cord with a decorative object.

2,500 lumens of light is ideal for dining –about three 60-watt bulbs.

In the Kitchen

Translucent glass shades on pendant fixtures will reduce glare in the kitchen.

Hanging overhead lighting fixtures such as pendants should sit 30 to 36 inches above the island work surface. This will keep you and your guests from hitting their heads.


The quickest fix for every room of your home? Changing all of your switches to dimmers. A dimmer is an inexpensive ($20 to $25) and an essential tool that puts you in control of the quality and quantity of light. You can install a dimming system either as a whole-house lighting control or by adding a wall box dimmer in each room and lamps with dimmer switches. Another bonus, dimming your lights 50 percent can save approximately 40 percent in electricity and increase the life of your bulb. Be sure to have dimmer bulbs!

Regina DiLauro-Fay has over 15 years of design experience. Her company, DF Designs, specializes in Interior Design, Home Staging & Color Consultanting. She can be reached at (843)906-9663 or