Four Easy Tips for Choosing the Best Light Fixtures

June 9, 2013 Updated: June 9, 2013

Dear Marc:
My house needs renovating! I am slowly planning and buying things for the project but I am at a loss when it comes to light fixtures. How do I know what size of fixture I need? Do I have to match my ceiling fixture to my lamps? Help!
Cindy

Dear Cindy,
Designing and renovating our homes is not something we take lightly. For many of us our homes are the largest investment we will make in our lifetime, as well as where we spend most of our time. This is why it’s important for us to get it right.

In order to design a beautiful space, we need the right tools for the job. This is why I have compiled the following guidelines to help you select the best light fixture for any room in your home.

1. Mixing and matching fixtures
Gone are the days when everything had to be an exact match. As designers, we have been pushing the barriers of traditional design and pairing fixtures from different collections. To achieve this look, compare the fixtures’ finish and style. To create a unified look, ensure they have similar finishes and a common thread in their shape.

2. Size matters
The scale and proportion of the fixture will affect the overall look of the room. The rule of thumb is to add the room’s width and length in feet, then replace the total increment with inches. This will give us an approximate width of the fixture required to be in scale with the size of the room. For instance a 10-foot (length) by 10-foot (width) room will give us a total sum of 20-feet (length + width). Once the sum is calculated, replace the word feet with inches. In this case, it gives us a final measurement of 20-inches as the optimal width of the room’s light fixture.

3. Would you like a lamp with that fixture?
Changing floor lamps and table lamps is one of the most cost-effective ways to give a room a new look. Think of a lamp as an accessory that adds visual interest, colour, and texture to a room’s design. Look for a stunning fabric used on a shade or an architectural detail on the base of a lamp.

4. A question of wattage. 
Wattage is an area that leaves us a little muddled. Most assume that a bulb’s wattage is in direct relation to the amount of light output although wattage is actually a measure of power consumption. With the many new lighting technologies available today, we can now find 13-watt CFL bulbs and 7-watt LED bulbs that will deliver the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. Your best option when it comes to energy efficient lighting is to ask for advice from in-store personnel on lighting that will suit your needs.

Happy decorating!

Fixtures are available at LivingLighting.com

Marc Atiyolil is a celebrity designer, the Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Home Trends Magazine, a design expert on CTV, host of the TV series DIY Hotline and the host of the Marc Atiyolil Show on www.MarcAtiyolil.com. To subscribe to Home Trends Magazine visit www.CanadianHomeTrends.com.

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