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Common Lighting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Lighting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When planning the interior of a home, lighting is not the first thing that people think. However, it plays a decisive role in making your home look comfortable, warm, and inviting.

Here are some common lighting mistakes to avoid if you want your home to be appealing, attractive, and welcoming.


  1. Choosing the Wrong Size of a Lighting Fixture

Mistake: This is perhaps the most common mistake homeowners make and the reason for it is lack of planning. Hanging a very big chandelier or pendant lamp over a small kitchen island or dining table will not only mean excessive lighting but will also be uncomfortable. The opposite example: Placing a very small lamp next to a sofa or reading place will give out lighting that is inadequate.

How to Avoid: The solution is simple. Measure before installing a lighting fixture. If you are in doubt, consult a lighting professional.


  1. Installing one Single Light source

Mistake: Another common mistake homeowners make is using only one lighting source in every room. However, this lighting strategy frequently results in poorly-lit rooms. Some parts of the room are usually adequately lit, while other parts are not. This in turn not only causes inconvenience but also increases the chances of accidents.

How to Avoid: For an effective lighting layout, it is essential you use multiple lighting fixtures in a room.


  1. Overuse of Downlights

Mistake: Recessed downlights which are too bright can easily create a harsh, unpleasant onstage sensation.  

How to Avoid: Use soft bulbs that have dimming capabilities. Make sure you also use compatible dimmer switches. That way you can adjust the brightness level according to your needs. You can set the brightness to high for tasks which require a lot of attention and reduce the brightness when you just want to relax after a busy day.


  1. Not using Enough Light

Mistake: Lack of proper planning can lead to not enough light in a room. As a result, some parts of the room will not have proper illumination. For example, often homeowners only use the overhead lighting in their bedrooms. But that can be insufficient for the entire room and leave some areas shadowy and dark.

How to Avoid: Proper planning, having enough adequate lighting fixtures, and using a combination of ascent, task, and ambient lighting can help ensure your room has enough lighting.


  1. One-Dimensional Lighting

Mistake: One-dimensional lighting is a sure-shot way of making a space feel cluttered and uncomfortable.

How to Avoid: Different layers of light can help you properly illuminate a space. Most spaces need 3 layers of lighting: Task, Accent, and Ambient.

  • Task lighting is directed on a smaller space and are just about perfect for various task-intensive activities like reading, applying makeup, and cooking.
  • Accent lighting is also a kind of focused lighting used for highlighting features like artworks or architectural lines.
  • Ambient lighting sets the foundation of lighting in a space. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners do not go beyond ambient lighting, which is not adequate for activities that are task intensive, like reading, cooking, or working. For those, you need task lighting.


  1. Extra Use of Task Lighting

Mistake: Too much of task lighting can backfire. These lights are functional and beautiful when used in moderation. Installing them as cabinet lights in your kitchen or in scones at the sides of the bathroom mirror are just a few examples of how to use task lighting correctly. But many homeowners go overboard with task lighting, installing too many of them, making the room look unstylish and cluttered.

How to Avoid: Planning your lighting needs can go a long way in solving this problem. Think about your lighting needs in your kitchen and bathroom, and then set up task lighting if it is required.


  1. Not using Dimmers

Mistake: Most LED light bulbs are dimmable, but yet some homeowners ignore dimmers. Without a compatible dimmer, you cannot adjust the light output. As a result, you cannot use the same light fixture for multiple purposes. Also, not using the dimming capability inbuilt in your LED light bulb means that it will always run at its maximum brightness level, which in turn will increase your household’s electricity consumption and by extension your monthly energy expenditure.

How to Avoid: If you have purchased a dimmable LED light bulb — this information is typically displayed on the product label — use a compatible dimmer. Kindly note that old dimmers (that is, dimmers compatible with incandescent bulbs might not work properly or at all with LED light bulbs). Always, use a compatible LED dimmer with LED light bulbs.  


  1. Choosing wrong colour temperature

Mistake: The importance of colour temperature is something that many people miss. Colour temperature, in simple language, refers to the appearance of light that a light source provides. The colour temperature is measured in Kelvin and it can vary from one LED light bulb to another. Because the look and feel of a space is affected to a large extent by colour temperature, it is absolutely important to select right colour temperature as per your needs.

How to Avoid: For LED lighting there are three common colour temperature ranges: Daylight (5000K – 6500K), Cool White (3000K – 5000K) and Warm Light (2700K – 3000K). A LED light bulb with a lower colour temperature gives out a more relaxing and warmer light. Whereas, the higher the colour temperature, the cooler the lighting will appear. When determining which colour temperature will be right for a space, there are several factors you should consider, including the type of the room, your preferences, and the colour on the walls.

Different rooms require different light temperatures. Here are some general colour temperature strategies:

The kitchen usually requires cool white LED lights as they are perfect for tasks requires a lot of attention.

The living room usually requires warm LED lightings for creating a relaxing atmosphere.

The dining room can have warm white lighting and cool white lighting.

The bathroom typically require cool white LED light bulbs. For best results, consider using dimmable LED bulbs as that way you can adjust the brightness level according to your needs.

The bedroom is one place where warm white LED light bulbs are ideal.

The study/home office generally requires cool white LED light bulbs as they promote focus and attention.


  1. Poor Lighting in Small Spaces

Mistake: It is not uncommon for a lack of planning and attention in lighting small spaces such as closets, powder rooms, and pantries to lead to problems down the road. Usually what happens is that while some parts of the room are adequately lit, others remain shadowy and dark.

How to Avoid: Pay attention to the detail and create a thorough lighting plan before installing lighting fixtures can help avoid this issue.


  1. Forgetting About Shadows

Mistake: Placing a light in an improper place can create a lot of problems. For instance, if you set up an overhead light in the wrong place, that can cast shadows right on the face, which in turn would make applying makeup and shaving difficult. Likewise, installing only one light source in your study room can leave shadows on the desk, causing eye strain. Similarly, improperly installed lights in your kitchen can cast a lot of shadows, making it cooking difficult, even dangerous.

How to Avoid: Task lighting can help resolve this problem, like floor or desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, and vanity wall lights.


  1. Underestimating the Power of LED

Mistake: Many homeowners still opt for incandescent bulbs because they are cheaper upfront. However, they do not consider how much energy these bulbs consume, nor do they factor in the lifespan of these bulbs. LED light bulbs consume at least 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and they also last much longer. So, in the long run, you actually save money with LED light bulbs.

How to Avoid: Use LED light bulbs. They are more energy-efficient, long-lasting than incandescent bulbs. They are also environmentally-friendly.



Properly illuminating your home requires planning and paying attention to detail. That said, it is not something you cannot do yourself. Avoid the mistakes shared in this post and we guarantee you will have a house that is properly lit and is welcoming, warm, and inviting.