Lighting is the finishing touch to a room’s design. It is the element that changes the mood of the room and gives life to the space. There are many options for home lighting, and it can be intimidating to think about making the right decisions for each room. The American Lighting Association (ALA) can help with a listing of local ALA-member lighting show- rooms with trained experts to help with design inspiration, lessons on the latest technology and selecting the perfect lighting for your space. Before visiting a lighting show- room, be prepared with basic infor- mation about your space. Some of the most important questions the showroom sales staff will ask are questions about size. Take as many measurements as possible. A little preparation will ensure that you select the perfect fixture for your space. Before leaving home, take the following measures. Ceiling height—When shopping for a hanging light for a high ceil- ing, make a note of the room’s ceiling height and the length and width of the room. If a fixture is already hanging in the space, give an estimation of its size. Bring pic- tures of the space, making sure that the picture gives some per- spective on the size of the room. Fixture Size—Keep in mind that
the new fixture needs to fit appro- priately in the space. A grand chandelier, for example, will not fit in a foyer with an 8- or 9-ft. ceiling height. If you have an 8-ft. ceiling, consider a flush-mounted fixture to achieve the clearance require- ments for the room. Depending on the room or placement of the fixture, the hang- ing length or height of a fixture is equally as important as the size. As a rule, keep 7 feet of clearance from the floor up to the bottom of the fixture in a space like a foyer, living room or bedroom where peo- ple typically walk underneath the fixture. In an open foyer or hallway, hang chandeliers or pendants with the bottom at least 6 inches high- er than the door. Bathrooms are another room where ceiling height measure- ments are extremely important. Hanging chandeliers and pen- dants over a bathtub adds a touch of elegance. Measure the height from ceiling to floor and measure the space between the top of the tub and the bottom of the fixture. At least 8 feet of clearance is required. If the bathroom is small and cannot accommodate this rule, consider using a smaller fix- ture. Or, do not hang the fixture directly over the tub; instead, install it at least 3 feet away from the tub.
Take Measures to Get Your
Perfect Light Fixture
This six-light linear chandelier from Kichler Lighting’s Marquee collection brings a contemporary spin to a farmhouse staple, mixing clean, simple lines with a smooth wood-tone finish. Photo © Kichler Lighting.