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Are you in the dark about the importance of lighting? While often overlooked as utilitarian, lighting fixtures are some of the most essential design elements. Not only do they allow you to see the space, the type, style and placement of lighting transforms the look.

“Without the right light, everything else gets lost in the home,” said Rusty Fortier, manager at Decor Lighting in Anchorage, Alaska. “Lighting is functional but in a way that makes small spaces look bigger, changes the mood, and adds dimensions and style.”

Select a Style Lighting fixtures set the scene for the style. If you want to achieve a certain look, make sure your lighting fits in. For example, a crystal chandelier would look out of place in a home with a lodge or cabin feel. If you’re going for sleek and contemporary, rustic fixtures won’t achieve that look. Understand the style you want and shop for fixtures that support it.

Set the Mood The term “mood lighting” is around for a reason. The amount of light that filters into your home creates emotions. A mix of a lot of natural and artificial light will create a bright and open feeling, while areas with less light can appear cozy or relaxing. If you’re someone who loves the light, make sure the room has enough light fixtures to create a bright space. If you prefer a cozier feel, utilize lamps. “Dimmers add instant flexibility to a room,” Fortier said. “The ability to dim the light can change the entire mood of the room depending on individual preference, necessity or activity.”

Use Directional Lighting Directional lighting highlights specific areas. This type of accent lighting is often used to illuminate artwork, entertainment centers or dark spaces like cupboards and hallways. Direction- al lighting can be used alone or complement general lighting. Track lighting is becoming increasingly popular be- cause it’s versatile, easy to install and adjust, and perfect for LED light bulbs.

Make a Statement Lighting can be used to make a bold statement. Think no further than the popular use of chandeliers. These hanging fixtures draw immediate attention and showcase style. While most commonly used in the kitchen, mounting a chandelier in the bathroom, entryway or patio is a fun way to decorate.

“A lot of people are surprised at how many options are on the market and how much fun it can be to find the right fit” Fortier said. “Good lighting really lets your home shine.”


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