Home / Style Guide / Learn About Lighting / Lighting 101 Lighting 101 5 Questions to Ask When Selecting Lighting Whether you’re shopping for a dining room chandelier, bedside lamp, bathroom fixture or a complete room full of lighting, chances are you want the fixture you choose to not only look stylish but also fill the room with the right amount of light. Here are a few questions to ask to make the selection a little easier. Lacey Collection 42385MIZ 1. What type of lighting typically works best in the room? While any type of lighting fixture can go in any type of room, it helps to have a general idea of what you’ll need. The chart below is a great starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment. For example: a chandelier might make a dramatic statement in an oversized closet. 2. How much light will I need? Twenty years ago, you’d pick up a light bulb box and see wattage listed – typically 25, 40, 60 or 100 watts. We all knew that a 100-watt incandescent bulb looked brighter than a 25-watt one. Yet, what we’re seeing isn’t wattage – it’s lumens (wattage is the amount of energy the bulb uses). To determine the lumens needed for a room, take the square footage of the room and multiply it by 40. Here’s a quick guide to lumens needed by room size – although you can use more lumens for work areas like bathrooms and kitchen islands and less for low-light areas like bedrooms: Aubrey Collection 43664NI 3. What am I doing in this room? This may seem like a logical question – but think beyond big-picture (I’m going to cook in my kitchen) to the TASK (I’m going to use a sharp knife to chop things). Tasks are important since general lighting won’t always be enough to see things clearly. Will you be reading in bed? Wall sconces beside the bed or a table lamp next to a chair adds task lighting where needed. Under cabinet lighting is essential to providing the correct light for food preparation. Everly Collection 42046OZ 4. What style are the surroundings? Are most of the furniture pieces in the room ornate and decorative or clean and minimal? Do you already have nickel finishes on cabinet knobs and faucets? While it’s not essential that everything match, you do want your space to feel put together and comfortable. Some style categories to consider are Traditional, Transitional, Modern/Contemporary, Rustic or Arts & Crafts. Interior LED Tape 5. Do you need accent lighting? Accent lighting adds visual interest to places that are decorative yet often overlooked: bookshelves, bar areas, kitchen/bath cabinets, alcoves and tray ceilings. When you add accent lighting, you tend to bring these areas into the light – while also creating more functional night and directional lighting. When choosing accent lighting, consider LED tape products; they can do the trick at a very reasonable cost.