Common Lighting Mistakes Homeowners Make

Ace’s Design Experts Katie Reynolds, Julie Richard and Nathan Fischer provide expert tips and recommendations for  lighting your home.

Katie Reynolds

  • Many homes rely too much on overhead lighting and do not have enough “human level” lighting, which includes table lamps, floor lamps and task lighting.
  • Often homeowners use the wrong type of light bulbs. Overusing bulbs like fluorescent lighting, which can give off an unpleasant white color, will keep a home from feeling warm and inviting.
  • Many homeowners hang light fixtures at the wrong height – either too high or too low. Hanging light fixtures should be no less than 7’ above the ground when hanging in a hallway or traffic path. A good rule for island lights over a task area is 36-42” above the work surface. And lastly a chandelier over a dining table should be 32-36” above the table surface.
  • Homeowners should avoid hanging mirrors in front of a directional light, a common feature over fireplace mantles. The light always reflects in an unpleasant way. Be sure to angle any directional lighting near mirrors downward.

Nathan Fischer

  • When it comes to lighting, it is always better to have more than you need than not enough. Whether recessed ceiling lighting or lamps, the more the merrier.
  • Add some lighting variety to your space and don’t rely only on ceiling lights. Mix in lamps, wall sconces, artwork accent lighting, etc. Try to get light fixtures in a room that project light down, up and sideways.
  • Replace outdated fixtures. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix that can make a big impact in any room.
  • If your dining room chandelier is not centered over the table this will probably the first thing visitors will notice. Relocating a chandelier can be fairly simple, and well worth the effort.

Julie Richard

  • Homeowners often only rely on one light source to illuminate their homes. It’s important to layer light by using it in various forms – overhead, lamps, task lighting, etc.
  • Having only a single level of light isn’t as functional or aesthetically pleasing as when it’s multi-dimensional. Add dimmers to your lamps, overhead and recessed light fixtures to create ambiance and atmosphere in the space.
  • Be sure to consider task lighting in work areas. Often times these areas are under-lit. These lights shine directly on your work/reading surface and make accomplishing any task easier.