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Last Updated on April 18, 2022 by Katherine
The wrong light in a newly decorated room can instantly undo all that hard work. In this blog post, we’re going to talk about how to pick a light fixture that will put a shining star on top of your room renovation.
Even if you haven’t planned to redecorate a room, but would like a simple project that can instantly change the look and feel, changing your light fixture can do that for you. The best part about it is that you don’t need to be an electrician to do this unless you need to rewire things in the room. A simple swap from that dated brass chandelier to a modern black one, though? Super easy to do!
Picking the right light fixture for your room is important because the wrong one can create odd shadows in your room once the sun goes down. The very last thing you’ll want is to have a beautifully decorated room ruined by a light that makes the room far too dark to enjoy on a cloudy day, right? The opposite can also happen, where your light fixture burns out the retinas of anyone who tries to sit down and relax!
So, are you ready to see your room in a whole new light? Let’s get started.
First Things First: What Type?
Lighting has many forms, and the first step in learning how to pick a light fixture is to know the type of fixture you’d like to replace!
Your options are going to depend on what type of existing light fixture you have. For example, you cannot power a ceiling light with a regular power outlet or plug a table lamp into a ceiling fixture socket!
These types of fixtures are most common in a kitchen or bathroom setting. They usually comprise three or more separate lights on a single track system.
Sometimes these tracks are adjustable, sometimes not. This style of light fixture can be useful if you’d like to shine some light on a piece of artwork and also on something else. I have one in my kitchen that you can move about easily to suit your needs.
You might also hear people call this style of lighting “pot lights”. These lights have a fixture that is “hidden” in your ceiling with an opening that is flush with it. You can use this style of light to create some beautiful ambient light that will shine down on certain areas of the room, such as a task area (i.e.: kitchen sink).
Most of us think of a bejeweled light fixture full of crystals when someone says the word chandelier. Chandelier style lights don’t always have to be quite that ornate, but they have multiple lights hung onto a branch like system.
Because they are bigger and usually hold a lot more lighting power, they can illuminate larger spaces, like a tall entryway.
A wall sconce is simply a light fixture that is secured to your wall, instead of the ceiling. You’ll most likely see these fixtures in hallways, stairwells and bathrooms.
These lights hang from a cord from your ceiling, with a single shade enclosing a lightbulb. You’ll often see these shining down over a table or a kitchen island.
Flush Mount or Semi-Flush Mount
These types of light fixtures either sit right flush with your ceiling or have a small space between. You’ll find this style in a hallway or sometimes in a bedroom.
You plug these free standing lamps into the wall. Typically, these lamps are taller and sometimes will have multiple lights that are adjustable to allow you to shine the light where you need it to be the most.
Table & Desk Lamp
Table and desk lamps sit on a surface. Table lamps are typically larger than a desk lamp that illuminates a work surface.
If you’re struggling to get inspired by lighting, one thing that I recommend is heading over to Pinterest (if you don’t have an account, it is free). You can find oodles of room inspiration there and you can create a board that’s just for your home design inspirations. You can even create multiple boards, one for each room design project you have on the go!
Pinterest is social media platform, but more like a visual search engine and behaves a lot more like google!
Offline or Online Shopping
Whether you choose to buy your new light fixture online or offline by heading down to your local Lowes or Home Depot, I highly recommend that you go into at least a few light stores to get an idea of what you’d like. Also, these stores will usually have samples of those lights hanging up and turned on, so you can see how bright (or not so bright) they are!
Some of my favorite places to shop are:
1StopLighting (Affiliate Link) has a beautiful selection of modern and timeless lights that you will love. I find their prices are quite comparable to the big box retailers, but with a ton more selection.
Ikea’s a great option if you have the option of one near you (or live near a pickup point). They have a wide variety of affordable lighting options. You should find something that inspires you.
I love Wayfair. The selection online is extensive, and if you spend over $75, you can snag some free shipping! They also conveniently organize their lighting into the types, so you can browse all the pendant lights or check out their many wall lights!
Antique Farm House
If you are a fan of farmhouse decor, you might consider Antique Farm House (Affiliate Link) as they offer a gorgeous selection of farmhouse inspired pieces, though they only ship to the USA.
Fifth Room (Affiliate Link) specializes in everything outdoors. They offer beautiful garden and patio furniture and they also have a great selection of outdoor lighting to consider if you’re wanting to upgrade your outdoor lighting! They offer international shipping as well.
Rona, Home Depot, Lowes
Big box hardware stores often have a lighting department where you can shop a selection of styles of lighting (typically the wired lighting, not the plug-in types).
Walmart, Target, Hudson’s Bay
Department Stores will usually have a home section where they offer a selection of table, desk, and floor lamps. They may also have wired lighting selections too.
Specialty Stores–Pier 1, Home Sense, Lighting Stores
These stores will be more expensive, usually, but they can offer some stunning pieces for your consideration.
Changing Out a Light Fixture
A simple lamp swap is easy to do. All you need to do is take away the old lamp and replace it with your fresh one!
If you are changing a ceiling or wall sconce, though, there is a bit more work required, as you don’t plug these into the wall, you wire them into your house’s electrical system.
To get started with this, you’ll need a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, and some wire nuts (your new light fixture might already come with these, so you may not need to buy these). Most light fixtures will include instructions on installation, so if you follow along there, you should be able to do this project yourself.
When in doubt though, I recommend checking out How to Replace a Light Fixture from The Family Handyman. Just note that you may not need everything listed in the article as it’s quite comprehensive, but I like to keep this handy as you never really know what you might encounter once you pull back that older light fixture!
How to Pick a Light Fixture – Final Thoughts
So now you know exactly how to pick a light fixture for your room that you will absolutely love and confidently install that fixture. You also have some brilliant ideas about where to go in search of your brand new light fixture!
If you enjoyed this content, please consider sharing it with your favorite social network and spread the inspiration out there. Also, be sure to pin this to Pinterest so you can refer to it when you need it.
Until next time, stay crafty, my friends!