Smart Design By Suzette: Lighting Tips for Every Room Part Two

Bedside and closet lighting are key in bedrooms. Courtesy image
Use ceiling mounted or recessed fixture or wall sconce in entryways. Courtesy image
Los Alamos
Hope you enjoyed Part One of Lighting Tips for Every Room which included the definition of lumens, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms. If you missed it, visit my website to read up on it.
I will reiterate that no matter the size of a space, how you light it can make all the difference in its function. There are two rules of thumb: Have a mix of light sources at different levels to create a flattering ambience; and have appropriate task lighting for whatever you do in that space (reading, sautéing, getting dressed.) In all rooms maximize natural daylight with windows and skylights whenever possible.
Bedside reading and closet lighting are two of the primary concerns in a bedroom lighting plan. For bedside reading, lighting experts suggest wall-mounted light fixtures with adjustable arms so that the light can be directed on the reading material. Each bedside light should operate on its own switch, either directly on the fixture or a wall switch within easy reach. Avoid central ceiling-mounted fixtures that might be perceived harshly when viewed from bed. For a closet, ceiling-mounted or recessed fixtures are best.
Lumens: Ambient lighting in the bedroom should be 2,000-4,000 lumens, with a minimum of 500 lumens for each reading light, and 400 lumens for closet lighting.
Home Offices
Identifying where particular tasks will take place in a home office is key – reading books or paperwork and working at the computer. A task light for the desk area should be positioned to minimize shadows and reflections, so place it to the right or left side of the  main work area.
Lumens: Ambient lighting for a home office should be 3,000-6,000 lumens, with task lighting at the desk a minimum of 1,200 lumens.
Entries, Hallways & Stairs
The entry points and pathways through a home typically require nothing more than ambient lighting, unless there are focal points such as artwork or architectural elements that should receive accent lighting.
A small entry may be sufficiently lighted by a ceiling-mounted or recessed fixture or a wall sconce. A double height entry with a staircase may require a chandelier with lighting controls at both the bottom and top of the stairs. Ambient lighting in hallways may be provided by recessed fixtures, ceiling-mounted fixtures or wall sconces.
Lumens: Ambient lighting for entries and stairways should be 1,200-4,000 lumens; ambient lighting for a hallway should be 1,200-2,500 lumens.
Several purposes are served by outdoor lighting, including safety (on pathways), security, and pure aesthetics (playing up a beautiful plant or tree).
The front door is one of the few outdoor areas where a brighter light is acceptable, with a traditional lighting plan calling for two wall-mounted fixtures flanking the door.
When planning landscape lighting think in threes: light something close to the house, something midrange in the yard, and something in a far corner. That way you create interesting focal points when viewed from the house at night. One overlooked benefit of outdoor lighting is that it minimizes the reflection of glass surfaces viewed from inside the house at night. If you provide something outside that is lit, even a plant just outside a French door, you will be looking beyond the glass reflection.
Lumens: Lighting at the front entry should be 1,000-2,000 lumens; on pathways, a minimum of 300 lumens is recommended.
I hope this article provided general guidelines for you. Each home is different and has different needs. Feel free to contact me directly to help you with your home.
Suzette Fox is a local interior designer and real estate broker. Visit her website Find her on Instagram and on Facebook at
Lighting can enhance the aesthetics of an outdoor space. Courtesy image
A unique way to provide outdoor lighting. Courtesy image
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