This comes as a surprise to many people (and clients!), but you don’t have to keep the lighting that was in your home when you bought it. It’s true! There are so. Many. Options. Gone are the days when a single light fixture in a room was sufficient or that all the fixtures need to be the same throughout the house. Here are some ways to choose lighting for any room in your home, as well as some different types of fixtures to spark your imagination.

Size is a top thing to consider when choosing a fixture. A good basic equation to keep on hand is to add the length of the room plus the width of the room, and that measurement in inches should be the approximate diameter of your light fixture:

Width of room (10 feet) + Length of room (12 feet) = Diameter of light fixture (22 inches)

This equation will keep the light fixture on scale with the rest of the space, and keep lighting from either overpowering or looking oddly small.

Use is something else to make sure and consider before installing lighting. If the living area is used for relaxing and entertaining, there’s no need for lots of bright fluorescent lights. The kitchen, however, is not the place to be without adequate light.

Lastly, haven’t you always wondered how high lighting is supposed to be? For pendant lights, measure 66-72 inches from the floor to the bottom of the fixture. For lighting above a dining table, hang the fixture 28-36 inches from the table top to the bottom of the fixture. Where people may be walking underneath the fixtures, like in living areas, bedrooms or hallways, leave a 7-foot clearance when possible. If you have shorter 8-foot ceilings, a lower-profile fixture is the way to go (keep reading for more info!).

In addition to HOW to choose a light fixture, it can be hard to know what KIND to choose as well. Here are some basics:

Flush Mount/Semi-flush Mount

These fixtures hug the ceiling or hang just a few inches down. They offer the “low profile” mentioned above, and are great for smaller rooms or rooms with lower ceilings.


Pendant lighting has become more popular in the last few years, and it can often be seen in kitchens, though pendants are making their way into every room of the home. A pendant light – or grouping of pendant lights – hang from long cords or bars and can be quite dramatic.


A “classic” lighting fixture, the modern chandelier is a far cry fro your grandmother’s, dripping in crystals (though those are still around too!). Chandeliers can be made from anything now, and are often used to fill larger spaces.

Floor and table lamps

Lamps are another way to add light to a room without needing to hang anything. From architectural pieces to timeless lampshades, the possibilities are endless.

About Lagnappe Custom Interiors

Lagnappe Custom Interiors is a full-service interior design firm specializing in bringing the small niceties to a home or commercial space that make it memorable, functional and yours. Based out of St. Thomas, Lagnappe [LAN-YAP] is led by Tiffany Cassidy who enjoys working with clients to create a home that reflects their style and needs. Tiffany marries her artistic and scientific sides together to bring the residents of the Virgin Islands and continental U.S. an interior decorating service that manages the complex and turns it into beauty. Her goal is to not only make a home prettier, but in doing so, make your life better. Visit for more information.

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