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To Light or Not to Light

To Light or Not to Light

We understand that lighting is important in many aspects; for design, setting the mood and of course, functionality. However, can you have too much lighting? And can you have the wrong lighting? Lighting design experts at Pontem Interiors say, yes!


Lighting for a task area like a kitchen or bathroom can be much easier than designing the lighting for a bedroom or living room because these areas serve multiple functionalities. The lighting for these rooms needs to be flexible and yet capable of setting the mood.


Here are our tips and tricks to make sure you are not overusing lighting fixtures, spotlights, lamps and chandeliers and you are not using the wrong lighting.

1-    Start with a plan: Consider where your furniture goes, consider natural light and of course the functions that will take place in the space. Also, ceiling height plays a big role in what you choose. As a rule of thumb, the bottom of a light should hang about 30.5 to 51 cm inches below a standard 244 cm ceiling. For each additional 30 cm of ceiling height, add 7.5 cm.

2-    Layer your lighting: allow for different lights to serve different purposes. Use lamps at night to create a cozy atmosphere and use overhead lighting for functionality when you are working or hosting a party. Take it a step further by adding another layer of light by using it to highlight art, cabinet interiors, or walls. The Octa by Swarovski is a perfect example of another layer of lighting that adds a touch of luxe to any room.

3-    Use your dimmers: Dimmers can be overlooked however they can easily change the mood in a space from exciting to intimate.

4-    Don’t forget about shadows: Placing light in the wrong place can cause more darkness than light. In the bathroom you want to avoid overhead lighting, they cast a shadow on your face. Instead, try sconces on both sides of the bathroom mirror. In the kitchen, install under cabinet lighting to prevent your shadow from covering the counter.

5-    Size matters: You want to make sure the size of the light is proportional to the furniture you are placing it near. For example, don’t use small chandeliers on large dinner table, and don’t use a large lamp near a sofa, it will make it appear smaller.

6-    Height matters: For kitchen pendant lights, aim for 76 to 91 cm above the kitchen island. As for dining room chandeliers, the bottom of a chandelier should be 168 cm from the floor. In order not to get blinded by a light bulb when using a table lamp, make sure the bottom of the shade is at shoulder height.

7-    Light is not magic: When considering the light in a room make sure you realize that the wall color may be causing the room to stay dark no matter how much light you put in. If you are looking for the light open feel, stay clear of dark wall colors.

8-    Setting the mood: Recessed lighting will not create an intimate atmosphere. Choose wall sconces or ceiling lights to set the mood.

9-    Be bold: Don’t be afraid to make a statement with the chandeliers you hang, they are not there only to shine light. Consider them part of your décor and a reflection of your style.

10- Light below and light above: Turn the lights up to create a nice look and use toe-kick lighting in hallways, staircases, and the bathroom to create subtle warmth and a guide.


There are many things to consider when lighting a space that is why it is important to hire a professional. There is psychology that plays a role and little tricks designers use to influence how you, your family, and your guests feel when in your space.