Choosing the correct size fixture for your room is critical to the look and feel of it. Here are some handy guidelines to help you select the correct fixture size:
A hanging centerpiece fixture over the floor
A chandelier or pendant hung in the center of a room must be sized in proportion to the space itself. Simply measure the diagonal of the room (corner to corner) and the chandelier width should be more or less in inches what the diagonal measurement is in feet.
Example: a room measures 24 feet on the diagonal then the chandelier should measure approximately 24" in width.
Please bear in mind that heavy or bulky chandeliers can be on the small side whereas light and airy chandeliers should be on the large side. Also high ceilings ask for bigger fixtures.
So what about height? Hang chandeliers or pendants with the bottom at least 6" higher than the door height. If the door has a window over it, center the light in the window. Also do not hang wall sconces above a mirror and place them about 60" above the floor to put them on eye level.
A hanging fixture over an elevated surface (f.e. Table)
Choose a chandelier whose width is at least half the smallest diameter of your elevated surface or table. It should be no larger than the smallest diameter of your table less 12".
Also here heavy or bulky chandeliers can be on the small side, light and airy chandeliers should be on the large size. Over-sizing adds grandeur to the area but do not take it too far.
Hang a chandelier 30" to 36" from the top of the table to the bottom of the chandelier; for ceilings more than eight feet high, raise the chandelier 3" for each additional foot of ceiling height.
Hopefully these hints will get you on your way to choose and install the perfect hanging lamp. Was it a success or failure in your project? Share your comments, experiences, questions or feedback below or on our Facebook, Google+ or Twitter page. Or go visual, take a picture, load it to Houzz or Pinetrest and share with us!
In today's world there is an app for almost everything. No surprise that also for your home or professional lighting needs there are many handy applications that make you project so much easier. Here are our favorites!
LightMeter (Whitegoods) - Measure the light on any place. Simply point the camera and the app will tell you not only how lux or Klux (lighting in a certain direction) there is but also for what purpose is it suitable for. (tasks, lounge, ...). So no more guessing, just point, click and know where you are at.
Lightsmart (UL) - How would my room look with a higher or lower color temperature? How will it look with more or less light? The Lightsmart app from UL has the features ready to answer your question! Simple take a picture of the space and start exploring.How much money do I save by switching from incandescent to CFLI or LED bulbs? Again, just enter how many you can exchange and it tells you. Simple, fast and easy. Great app!
Best lighting (Architonic) - A huge selection of pictures and information of the world's best design lighting fixtures. Nicely sorted per category or manufacturer with easy catalog request or contact information access. Saves hours of surfing and start selecting in a second.
Are we missing any good app about lighting or design? Are you using any of the above and would like to share your experiences? Feel free to comment or suggest below or on our Facebook, Google+ or Twitter page.
Easy question isn't it?
Well, actually it is not. But if you do not want to read a long blogpost about this topic, then simply take the following rule of thumb. Multiply the length times the width of the room. Then, multiply that number times 1.5 which gives you the amount of wattage you need to light the room properly for general illumination.
A room is 12 ft. X 16 ft. (12 x 16 = 192). Then multiply 192 x 1.5 which is 288 watts. So go for a 300 watt solution, which can be five 60 what bulbs or eight 40w bulbs.
We advise to spread the light over at least three lights points minumum. So instead of one chandelier in the middle of the room emitting 300 watt. We suggest a mix of recessed spots, chandeliers or pendants, floor and table lamps.
So what if you use energy efficient light sources like CFLI or LED?
First of all, great choice! These bulbs are much more efficient when it comes to energy use (electricity) and transform it into light rather than heat. Also they last a lot longer compared to incandescent. A little bit more pricey on the shelf, but much cheaper over the lifetime!
Back to the question now, CFLI or LED bulbs often have the incandescent equivalent on the packaging which enables you to use the above rule of thumb. In case it does not, you have to look at the lumen value. Lumen represent the actual amount of ambient light coming from a lamp rather then the energy put into the bulb (which is watt). If we simply look at the lumen, an incandescent bulbs emits, 14.5 lumen per watt for a 60w bulb, We simple have to multiply our rule of thumb by 14.5 and be done with it. In most cases you will be good and have a clear lighting atmosphere in your room.
In our example above we need 288 x 14.5 = 4176 lumen for a 12ft by 16 ft room.
Great, we are all set? Yes, you are but if you want to optimize your lighting even further, read on. Using lumens gives us an great opportunity to adjust the light output to the purpose of the room. I guess it is no surprise if we tell you that you need more light in your kitchen then in your bedroom.
Based on the IESNA Lighting Handbook use the following rule of thumbs.
Floors: 20 Lumens per Square Foot
Tables and Raised Surfaces: 30 Lumens per Square Foot
Desks and Task Lighting: 50 Lumens per Square Foot
Going back to our example and in case your 12ft. by 16ft. room is a kitchen where you will be mostly doing tasks. Here you will need 12 x 16 x 50lm = 9600 lumen to light it up. On the other hand, in case this is your hallway, 12 x 16 x 20 = 3840 lumen should be sufficient.
As you probably already have noticed, you can use this technique to adapt lighting within a room. For example take your living room and suppose it is 250 ft. As a base lighting, you need 250 x 20 = 5000 lumen to light it up. However, you might want to read while sitting in your couch for which you need additional lighting. Therefor, we advise to add a floor lamp, table lamps or dedicated recessed spots around the seating area to increase the light output to (in case the couch is 4sq ft) 4ft x 50 = 200lm.
One last remark, when you buy light bulbs, please keep in mind that shades will lower the lumen output. Also dark walls and furniture as well as high ceiling will require you to have more light.
Need some help, here are some cool tools
- How do I measure how much light there is currently in my room? Oh yes, there is an app for that. See out other blog about the 'whitegoods light meter'.
- How do I identify where I need how much light? We always advise to make a floor plan from your home. Simply draw it or make it online for free on Floorplanner.com. Next, identify in which parts of the room you will do what and how much sq. feet that area is. Then simply do the math. Still struggling or you want our opinion, send you plan over to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you for free!
- Seeing is believing? Oh yes (again), there an app for that. See our other blog post about the 'lightsmart app'.
So, Have you ever thought about how many watt or lumens you need for your room? Let us know if our rules and hints worked for you? Share your comments below or on our Facebook, Google+ or Twitter page. Why not take a picture, load it to Houzz or Pinetrest and share with us!