Lighting Design Tips

5 Lighting Design Rules: Keepin’ it Lit!

Whether you’re interested in designing a new space or upgrading your current one, there are some very important lighting design ideas to keep in mind.

Lighting can be the make or break of a beautiful, efficient, and functional space that you will either want to spend all your time in or be dying to get out of.

If you follow these simple lighting design rules, you’re sure to create an environment that you love and that is best set up to make your life a lot brighter!

If you’ve ever started from scratch with any type of design, it can be a little daunting. We suggest thinking about lighting as part of your entire design instead of adding it in as an afterthought.

When great lighting design ideas are implemented in a home, office, or other space, it can actually make a huge difference in the health and happiness of an individual or family interacting with it day in and day out.

If you’re interested in rehauling your lighting situation, follow these 5 simple lighting design rules to keep your spaces lit!

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#1:  Know Your Room:

Designing a lighting plan for different rooms requires completely different planning and implementation.

Consider what the most important thing you will be doing in this particular room is. Is it a space for sleeping, relaxing, or productivity? This is the first step to finding great lighting because once you know what you want out of your space, you can learn how different lights will help you optimize it for that function.

For instance, bright white and blue lighting is actually great for energizing a person to reach full efficiency and get more done.

Offices, kitchens, and creative spaces are great places to utilize blue lights. However, if used too late in the day, blue light can continue to keep you awake when its time to hit the hay.

In your bedroom, warm lighting and candles are far better suited for relaxation and good sleep.

If you think lighting design is entirely about which lamp most beautifully fits the aesthetic of the rest of your interior design, you’re missing the mark.

Light is a crucial component of any design. So when you’re planning your room, think about what you need it to do for you. Simple as that. Then you can begin searching out lighting design ideas that will make that plan a reality.

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#2: Functionality Comes First

There’s nothing more frustrating than living or working in a space that just doesn’t make sense… even if it’s beautiful. Your lighting design should always put functionality first. If you’re looking in the right places, you can still find a beautiful fixture to fit the function you need.

This applies to main lighting as well as the smaller details. Think of workspaces like countertops and bathroom vanities. Adding lights under cabinets or over mirrors will make a big difference in not only adequately lighting your space but ensuring your space is functioning the way you need it to.

All this is to say, don’t get too caught up with the look of your lighting before you think about the purpose it’s actually serving. We’ll get to the pretty stuff soon, don’t worry.

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#3: Mimic the Pattern of the Sun

This one may not make sense without a little bit of explanation:

Sunlight affects your body’s natural circadian rhythm by telling it when to wake up, when to be at full efficiency, and when to wind down.

This is why getting natural sunlight in the morning and afternoon is great for productivity and positivity! However, different color temperatures of light can actually mimic this to make sure your circadian rhythm isn’t thrown off by harsh or inappropriate lighting for the time of day you’re using it.

Sunlight follows a pattern throughout the day, changing from warm tones of the sunrise, to bright white lights midday, finally into dims and warmer tones in the evening. Color temperatures (measured in Kelvin) represent these different tones of light.

Your lighting design ideas should mimic the sun by utilizing different color temperatures at these different times during the day to help your body naturally function the way it was designed to.

Lighting between 1,500 and 2,700 Kelvin is similar to a sunrise and helps you more easily wake up and transition into go-getter mode.

The afternoon is all about bright, white overhead lighting between 3,000 and 4,000 Kelvin to keep energy up and productivity at an all-time high.

Finally, use warm, dim, lower-than-eye-level lamps and wall lighting fixtures in the evening to copy the cozy sunset feeling.

#4: Get Creative

Lighting Design Ideas

Great lighting design ideas include so much more than just overhead lights. Think chandeliers, pendants, spotlights, floor lamps, fairy lights, votives, and more! A great lighting company will have gorgeous lighting fixtures that still check all the boxes of the aforementioned.

Especially when it comes to task lighting, and evening mood setting, overhead lights aren’t the best at getting the job done.

Think outside the box with many different types of fixtures that are all working together to fulfill that larger purpose you established. If this seems overwhelming to you… well, let’s move on to step 5!

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#5: Ask Questions

Coming up with Lighting design ideas can be fun and exciting, but can often become stressful when you don’t know what you’re doing. Moreover, it’s possible to buy a bunch of lights that don’t end up working together or fulfilling your ‘functionality first’ intention.

There is no shame in asking for help. Professionals can help you make your vision a reality while ensuring your lighting design ideas are actually efficient and effective at appropriately lighting the most important areas in your life!


Lit Living follows the Danish principle of Hygge which is a way of utilizing your spaces to make them cozy and comfortable. By optimizing your lighting, you can actually improve the overall health and happiness of those living in your home.

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