Lighting Your Home Room by Room

A close-up of a lamp with light in the background.

Are certain rooms in your house too bright with the lights on? Too dark? Simply feeling drab? Each area of the home requires a different type of lighting to make the most of the space. While light is a form of decoration, it is also a necessity. Plan your lighting room by room or analyze the lighting you currently have, in order to ensure that the spaces in your home have the most effective lighting possible.


large grey and white kitchen

In the kitchen, food and conversation are in abundance, so the light should be, too. Overhead light fixtures such as track lights, pendant lights, or recessed lighting can provide bright light across this open area of your home.

Whether your kitchen is large or small, several lights are needed in this space. Lighting should be directed toward the sink, the stove, and the countertops where food is prepared most often. Depending on the light fixtures you have installed, go for energy-saving bulbs that don’t give off too much heat.



The atmosphere in the bedroom should be cozy and warm, and lighting plays a big role in this. Big, bright lights do not set the mood for a comfortable place to sleep. Small lamps on nightstands or a dresser will do the trick, especially if you use low wattage bulbs, such as a 40 or 60-watt spiral bulbs, which not only save energy but give off a softer light than traditional, 150-watt light bulbs.

Any big, bright lights in the bedroom should not be used often, and these lights should be pointed away from the bed, if possible. A small light that gives off just enough light can create a relaxing bedroom space. Have a brighter reading light by the bed if you wish, but only use it when reading.


Adequate bathroom lighting is a must, as this is where you get ready to go out into the world every day. Lighting positioned above the mirror is adequate, but sometimes this abundance of overhead light can be too bright, especially in the early mornings. Install a dimmer for your bathroom light switch, in the case that you want to lower or brighten the lights.

If your sink area is separate from your bathtub or shower, additional lighting will be needed in this area. This light is typically a recessive lamp in the ceiling, so that water only minimally impacts the light fixture. Heat lamp bulbs are great for keeping shower spaces cozy, especially in the winter; the bulb can be changed to a regular bulb in warmer months, if you so choose.

Dining Area

dining room with white table and yellow chairs

The dining area typically has lighting that concentrates on just that--the dining area. Track lighting or light fixtures with moveable parts will allow you to point the light directly toward the table. Otherwise, dining room lighting should be installed above the table itself. Lighting isn’t needed at the edges of the dining area, but instead should focus on the food and the attendees.


Hallways are the pathways to all areas of your home, meaning they should be lit adequately at all times. Light switches should be accessible at both ends of the hall and the lights should illuminate all areas. Trying to make your way down a dark hallway is never fun.

If light fixtures are installed in your hallway, make sure they aren’t hung too low, so that someone could walk into them. Overhead lighting is also an option, but can sometimes be a bit too bright. Space the lighting fixtures every 25 feet or so, to ensure that all areas are lit properly.


One of the brightest rooms in your house should be the office. Too many times, just a small lamp on the desk is all that can be found. An office is an area of writing, thinking, reading, and learning. Have at least one lighting fixture in the room to give off plenty of light, and an additional lamp whose light focuses directly on the desk. It’s like mother always used to say, “How can you read in the dark?” You can’t. Brighten things up.