You have done your homework and are ready to buy lighting fixtures for your new home. You know the style you want, but now you are not sure what size and what type you need.
Please relax, and we’ll go over this together. There are some basic rules and tips that will help you get exactly what you need for your new home.
What Type Lighting Fixture?
Plan your new log home carefully, and you can take advantage of natural light during daylight hours. In some cases, you won’t need to turn a light on, until dusk.
Planning your home to have windows that capture natural light can save on energy and make your home brighter and pleasant.
When it does get dark, you will need lighting. Because log homes tend to absorb light with their wood walls and furnishings, they need extra lighting fixtures to combat the feeling of sitting in a dark cave.
Consider what you want to achieve for each room. Do you want to have ambience? Soft light, indirect lighting on walls, lights that highlight art work or sculptures or task lighting where you can get things done? Choose lighting for each part of a room. Don’t depend on one light to do it all.
The best way to add drama and excitement in a room is to use a combination of uplights, downlights, and spotlights to highlight your room’s best features and most pleasing aspects.
Below, I’ll talk about two of the most common log home lighting fixtures: chandeliers and pendants.
Buy Lighting Fixtures like Chandeliers for Maximum Impact
Chandeliers are used to create an impact. They are dramatic and appealing, and they take front and center in a room. They set a mood and establish style. Chandeliers are bold and make a strong statement.
However, a chandelier is not intended to provide all the light in a room—any room. It provides ambient light for the entire room, but you will still need other lights to fill in the lighting gaps and give you illumination where you need it.
Chandeliers are most often used alone, not in groups, as grouping them would lessen the drama of a magnificent light.
You can have too much of a good thing. Too many chandeliers have a busy appearance and are no longer special.
Purchase Lighting Fixtures by Size
Deciding what size chandelier to buy can be daunting, especially if you have never purchased one before. Fortunately experts agree on this and we can easily determine what size to buy.
If you are new to the world of chandeliers, as many of us are, it may be a surprise to learn that there are lots of sizes available. And so the fun begins! What size chandelier do you need for your particular room?
- Dining Room – A chandelier’s bottom edge should be about 30-36” from the table top. If your room’s ceiling is higher than 8’, raise the chandelier 3” for each additional foot of ceiling height. This will help keep your dining area balanced. The diameter of a dining room chandelier should be ½ to 2/3 the width of your dining table. To give you a general idea, the average size chandelier purchased for a dining area has 4-6 lights, and it is 26-30” in diameter. If your ceilings are quite high, a two or three tiered chandelier works nicely.
- Bedroom – To size a chandelier for a bedroom, you will need to take some measurements. This is pretty easy. Measure the length and width of your room and add them together. Let’s say your room is 15’ long x 10’ wide. When you them together and you get 25’. Now convert that into inches (1’ = 1”). You get 25”. That means that you can use a chandelier that is about 25” in diameter. For height, the installed chandelier’s bottom edge should be 7 ½’ from the floor.
- Entry or Foyer – The size of a chandelier in your entryway depends a lot on the size of your foyer. If your foyer is large and has a high ceiling, you can use a large antler chandelier or wrought iron candle chandelier to create a dramatic welcome to guests. Highlight these beautiful piece with a high window that frames your chandelier, becoming even more impressive at night. If your entryway is smaller with a lower ceiling, size it like you did for a bedroom (above).
- Living Room – Measure length of room and add to width of the room. Add together and convert to inches. For example, if your room measures 20’ x 25’, you get 45’ when you add the measurements together. And converted into inches, that is 45”. You should look for a chandelier that has a diameter of about 45” to scale it to your room size.
Keep in mind that you do want to make sure that your lighting fixture is the right size for your room. Too large and the room will be overwhelmed, and too small and your dramatic lighting will seem dwarfed and insignificant.
More about chandeliers in log homes here.
Pendants are used to provide a smaller mood impact, but mostly to provide task lighting where you need it.
They work well in groups of three or more, and can also be used singly. We often see pendants above islands or counters in a kitchen, and they provide a less formal look to the room.
Three pendants that are nicely spaced over a kitchen island and also hung at the correct height.
The bottom of a pendant should be about 30-36” from the table top. However, if there is an opening at the bottom with a bare light bulb, hang the fixture high enough to avoid a glaring light in diners’ eyes.
Many pendants sold for log homes have a silvered crown or panel, and this does reduce glare considerably. Look for that feature to avoid the glare issue.
Here’s another tip: Many log homes have high ceilings in the dining area. If your ceiling is higher than 8’, hanging a pendant or chandelier 30” from the table will make the area look cramped and off-balance.
If this is the case, you can balance the spacing by raising the lighting fixture 3” for each foot of ceiling height over 8 feet.
While this may seem like a lot to consider, it really is not that difficult. You need to size the lighting fixture to your room, figure out how high to hang it, and make sure that you have chosen a style that is appropriate for the room.
Dimmers are available on some lights, so you can add that level of ambience to your room, with the right choice.
So, if you are now ready to buy lighting fixtures for your home, choose the theme or style that you like, and have fun picking styles that reflect your taste and personality!