4 Functional Lighting Considerations For Your Home

Functional Lighting Considerations

At first it may seem like lighting up your home in a functional way is actually a very simple and intuitive task. The truth is that functional lighting fixtures can be a lot harder to choose on your own – professional designers even regard this type of lighting as the “secret sauce” to make personal living more functional, comfortable, and certainly more magnificent. In order to create your own custom lighting plan for your home, there’s a few considerations to keep in mind that will ensure success. Let’s get started:

Functional Living Room Lighting

Granada SP Pendant by Sillux


  1. Utilization

It comes as no surprise to us that different lighting is required for rooms of different utilizations, however another key aspect of this consideration is the different areas or “zones” of each room that you’ll be configuring. If you wish to remain attentive in a space centred in focus for work then you want to light up the room brightly, especially in areas you’ll be situated with a pen and paper in hand. If you’re setting the mood for a bubbly bath in a space centred in focus for relaxation, then you want to light up the room with a nice decorative LED fixture that’s dimmable and rated for damp locations.

Modern floor lamp used for zoning a living room

Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp by Artemide


  1. Type

Essentially, there are three basic types of lighting to keep in mind when answering this question. Those three types are general lighting, ambient lighting, and task lighting. Examples of general lighting include overhead chandeliers, pendants, or other ceiling lights. Task lighting is close to the task such as suspended pendants over an area for reading a book or preparing food. Ambient lighting should create a dim environment that makes it possible to calm the mind and body from the eyes inwards. The greatest lighting plans combine all three basic types of lighting so that they collaborate with one another effortlessly between zones and rooms.

Modern Camur LED Linear Suspension Pendant by Cerno

Camur Suspension Pendant by Cerno


  1. Brightness

To answer this question, we will be introducing a few guidelines from the IES Lighting Handbook, an official publication of the Illuminating Engineering Society. The reason for this is because LEDs use considerably less power to product the same amount of light as incandescent lights; brightness used to be measured in wattage with incandescent bulbs, whereas now brightness is measured in lumens with LEDs. These guidelines give us a good idea regarding the amount of lumens required to light a task or room:

  • To light a floor with general lighting, IES estimates 20 lumens per square foot. If you’re lighting a 10×10 foot living area for example, you will require 200 lumens (20 lumens x 100 square feet).
  • To light tables and raised surfaces, IES estimates 30 lumens per square foot. If you’re lighting a 6×3 foot dining table, you will require 540 lumens (30 lumens x 18 square feet).
  • To light a desk with task lighting, IES estimates 50-75 lumens per square foot depending on the task – there is a range with task lighting because different tasks require different levels of brightness. You ideally want to light a kitchen up very well, however that lighting may feel too stark and clinical for a bedroom or powder room.
  1. Colour

Colour should not be considered a purely aesthetic factor in the interior design of a space. Even on its own, colour can be very functional if leveraged effectively. Under the right light, certain fabrics and patterned surfaces can come alive. Conversely, the wrong light will fade and flatten even vibrant colours. As a result, it is very important to choose colour that is suited for specific situations in different rooms and areas.

A key measurement to know when deciding on colour is Degrees Kelvin, which measures the warmth of the light. To help you visualize the scale of this unit of measurement, imagine the warmth of the light is reflected through the yellowness of it, where a high number on the Kelvin scale is whiter and a low number on the Kelvin scale is yellower. A temperature is 2700K is considered “warm white” or “soft white”; most designers recommend 2700K to 3500K for living rooms and bedrooms. For kitchens and bathrooms, many designers opt for a cooler, brighter temperature of 4000k to 4500k.

For best results pair brighter white lights with cool colours like green and blue, and pair warmer yellowing lights with warm tones like yellow and red to keep your colours true.

Degrees Kelvin


Although incorporating functional lighting into your home can be a lot harder to do on your own, it’s certainly not impossible. Simply keep these four considerations in mind to make your home more functional, comfortable, and visually compelling. Make sure to check out our Pinterest to view the works of some of the best designers in functional lighting at: https://www.pinterest.ca/casadiluce/





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