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How to Choose Light Fixtures

A new lighting fixture brightens your space and adds timeless style that ties your space together. Our Hunter Lighting™ designers have expertly crafted styles that stand out on their own, work as a part of a collection, or pair perfectly with our ceiling fans. There are a variety of fixture sizes, types, and styles to choose from, and we’re here to guide you on how to choose light fixtures for your space.

Lighting is an easy way to update your space. It offers opportunities to get creative and layer lighting in unique ways that express your style. The options are endless, but this lighting buying guide walks you through the basics to help you choose light fixtures with confidence.

Lighting ideas for your space

You know you need to update your lighting fixtures but aren’t sure where to start. If your space is dark and needs illumination, we can help. When choosing light fixtures, start by finding some inspiration. Here are a few of our lighting ideas.

Foyer and entryway lighting ideas

Hunter Lighting helps a space feel welcoming, making it the perfect fit for entryways. Foyers with tall ceilings lend themselves to large pendant lighting with dramatic flair. For small entryways with lower ceilings, use flush mount lighting with an intriguing design element like a clear seeded glass shade or caged light element.

Kitchen lighting ideas

Instead of traditional recessed lighting above the kitchen sink, install flush mount lighting. The kitchen island is a natural space for stylish pendant lighting. The aesthetic you want and the size of your kitchen island will determine how many pendant lights you’ll need, but more on that in a moment.

Dining room lighting ideas

Dining room chandeliers are commonplace for their artistic look that serves as a conversation piece for dinner parties. For a unique dining room lighting idea, install two large pendant lights above the dining room table or two small pendant lights on either side of a single large one.

Bedroom lighting ideas

Make more space on your bedside nightstands by replacing table lamps with small pendant lighting or wall sconces. Choose lighting fixtures that complement your ceiling fan for well-planned coordination. It’s easy to do with Hunter Lighting’s fixtures that are designed to create a cohesive look with your Hunter ceiling fans.

Bathroom vanity lighting ideas

Add a wall sconce to either side of your bathroom mirror or frame it with bar-shaped vanity lighting for your own Hollywood-style lighted vanity mirror. For bathrooms with dual sinks and mirrors, install two-light vanity lighting above each mirror instead of one large vanity light.

Living room lighting ideas

Use large pendant lighting above side tables to leave more surface space for books or drinks. Highlight a statement fireplace or gallery photo wall with wall sconces on each side.

Step 1.

Determine where to hang your light fixtures

You’ll need three basic measurements to help choose your light:

  1. 01. Your room’s square footage
  2. 02. The width and length of the surface below your light
  3. 03. The width and diameter of the fixture

Measuring for light fixtures

Once you choose the space where you’re hanging your lighting fixtures, there are three basic measurements you need: the length and width of the room, the length and width of the surface the lights will hang above (like a table or kitchen island), and the width or diameter of the light fixture. You need to accommodate clearance height from any countertops as well as the space between multiple fixtures.

Most junction boxes are already built into your home. If not, consult a certified, professional electrician.

Here are guidelines for how high
to hang your light fixture:

  • When hanging multiple pendant lights, leave a minimum of 24 inches between each fixture.
  • Remember to account for the width of the pendant light fixtures when mapping it out over your space.
  • Install wall sconces 60 to 65 inches from the floor and 24 to 30 inches from the countertop.
  • Particularly in living rooms, keep seven feet of clearance from the bottom of the fixture to the floor.
  • In entryways and hallways, hang lights with the bottom at least six inches higher than the door.
  • Consider your space’s layout (you don’t want your dining room chandelier to block people’s views at the table.

Find more tips on hanging lighting fixtures in our installation guide.

How to layer lighting in your home

Your space’s current lighting and needs ultimately play a large role in choosing the right light fixture. Designers have a rule of thumb to layer lights in three levels in your space to help give you optimal lighting for every occasion, and it helps provide quality, everyday lighting.

01. Task Lighting

Task lighting illuminates a specific workspace. As its name suggests, it’s lighting that helps you see during activities like reading, cooking, and working. The pendant light above your kitchen sink or the vanity lights above your bathroom mirror are types of task lighting.

02. Ambient Lighting

Sometimes referred to as general lighting, ambient lighting brings balanced brightness to your space. It often serves as your main lighting source. For example, the recessed lighting in your living room, the dining room chandelier above your table, and the cluster pendant lighting in your kitchen provide ambient light.

03. Accent Lighting

Accent lighting highlights very specific features or design elements in your space. For example, wall sconces can showcase artwork in your hallway or border a statement fireplace in your living room. Use accent lighting to help illuminate dark corners where your ambient lighting doesn’t reach.

Step 2.

How to layer types of lighting

Use all three types of lighting together for optimal lighting in your room.

Types of light fixtures

Your space’s current lighting and needs ultimately play a large role in choosing the right light fixture. Designers have a rule of thumb to layer lights in three levels in your space to help give you optimal lighting for every occasion, and it helps provide quality, everyday lighting.

Choose your lighting style

Once you determine how many lights and the type of lighting you want to add to your space, it’s time to narrow down the style. A stylish light fixture is the icing on the cake. It helps pull together the look of a room and guide your eye around the space. Choosing light fixtures with similar finishes and design styles in each room helps create a cohesive look throughout your home.

Choosing the right light bulbs

You’ve narrowed down which light fixture to choose, but now how do you know which light bulb to buy to go with it? The light bulb you choose can impact the look of your fixture and your space. There are a variety of light bulb types on the market. Let’s break it down to make your decision easy. Here are things to consider when choosing the right light bulb:

Step 5.

Choose the right light bulbs

Along with the light bulb style, consider the following when choosing a light bulb:

A15 and A19 bulbs

Classic, rounded shapes you typically associate with light bulbs.

B10 Candle-flame bulbs

Common with candelabra bulb bases and ideal for chandeliers.

T12 bulbs

Short, tube-shaped bulbs with an Edison-inspired filament.

ST64 bulbs

Have a vintage-inspired filament but with a more robust top.

G-40 Globe-shaped bulbs

Short, tube-shaped bulbs with an Edison-inspired filament.

T12 bulbs are perfect for rustic, modern industrial, and farmhouse style light fixtures.

ST64 bulbs are ideal for open light fixtures or ones with clear glass shades.

G-40 bulbs look great with open light fixtures like chandeliers and especially vanity lights.

We utilized our 135 years of ceiling fan expertise to create lighting in a variety of styles and types for every budget. We crafted collections that complement and even match our ceiling fan designs. It makes choosing a light fixture that much simpler.

Once you use the above guide to help you navigate how to choose the right light fixture for your space, we’re here to guide you on installing your light fixture. It’s an easy weekend home project that will brighten up your space-use our Lighting Product Selector to pick your perfect fixture.