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The perfect lighting for a room is about more than price – there are a lot of different factors that deserve consideration before you decide what kind of fixtures are going to provide you with years and years (and years) of lighting.
In fact, once you really start thinking about it the task of choosing can start to feel overwhelming. After all, there are so many different lighting styles and designs! Ask these questions to make things easier:
1. What’s your price range?
Budget is usually the most important thing, but it doesn’t have to be your first consideration. We’re just listing it first because sometimes it helps to filter your options this way before you get into the look and feel of things.
TIP: Use price filters on websites to narrow your selection first, but keep your options open. If you don’t find the look you want right away, it doesn’t mean it’s not out there for the price you’re willing to pay.
2. How bright do you need the room to be at its brightest?
There are dozens of ways to manage a room's lighting, and you can always augment overhead lighting with sconces, floor lamps and table lamps, but your ceiling lights should be functional as well as a décor focal point.
In other words, the style should not hamper functionality. You can (and should) also manage this with dimmers, but that won’t address maximum brightness.
TIP: Consider how many bulbs and/or how large you need the fixture to be to provide the full amount of light you would ever need and let dimmers do the work on low-light occasions.
3. How do you want the finish to complement the room?
To match, or not to match – wasn’t that what Shakespeare was really talking about?
Most definitely not, but it’s a fair question when it comes to your lighting finish, or finishes. Will you match fixtures with the wallpaper? With the furniture? With one another, if you’re using more than one lighting source? Or, will you let them stand out with contrasting finishes?
TIP: Finish types are endless, so lump them into easy-to-manage groups like light, dark, shiny and matte and then work from there.
4. What kind of style do you prefer?
Your lighting style and design might match your furniture and décor or stand apart from it, and the direction you decide to go will have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of the space.
TIP: There are even more style and design combos than there are finishes, so first pin down the prevailing style of the room and then decide whether you want to stick with that style or break away. Once you decide that, the next decision should be easier.