5 secrets to great lighting

Bright ideas from a pro.

Lighting can make or break a room design so we asked Ben Walters of Carolina Lanterns & Lighting for his professional advice to shed some light.

1. Layer your lighting

First impressions matter when it comes to lighting any space. It’s not about how grand or over the top the lighting fixture is but whethe you can see or not. Therefore, make sure you layer your lighting in every area of your house and that your light bulbs have the same color temperature and lumen output (light output) in each area. When you layer the lighting, you allow your space to come alive.

2. Focus on your taste, not what’s in style

When selecting lights, everyone will have an opinion about what you should put in your house. However, the only opinion that matters is yours. Pick what you like. If it matches, great. If it doesn’t, who cares? Pick what you like and run with it. Lighting styles change with the wind, but the secret to selecting lighting is to pick what you like. Besides, you are the one that has to look at it every day.

3. It all about the light bulb

Choosing the correct light bulb makes or breaks a space. Too bright and your guests start seeing spots. Too dark and everyone starts getting headaches from straining to see. Choose a light bulb that doesn’t have to be on a dimmer but can be to help create the proper moods.

4. Make your entryway inviting

The lighting of your entryway is very important. It either tells people to “Come on in!” or “Come back when it’s light outside!” Illuminating your driveway, garage or front door isn’t just a good idea, it is a MUST DO for great lighting. When you see your entryway at night, you should feel like you are being invited in, like you are returning home to a place of rest. Your guests should feel this too. Another space guests should feel invited into is your dining room.

5. Pick something you love

When selecting your dining room fixture, make sure you don’t settle. I always tell my clients to pick something they love, something they want to take with them when they move, something that makes them smile. Dining rooms are spaces where memories are made, and you must have a fixture there that helps make those memories joyful.

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