How to Brighten Your Home Using Wall Lights
Wall lights can make a great addition to any home. They’re attractive, minimally-invasive and work to add an extra layer of light, complementing other fixtures perfectly. They’re also ideal for brightening up a living space, working to reach nooks and crannies that central overhead fixtures might not illuminate.
Keep reading to hear our best tips on how to improve your home with wall lights.
What Can Wall Lights Be Used For?
Wall lights are not only an aesthetically-pleasing option when it comes to adding light to your home, but they also offer a range of practical functions.
Some of these include:
- Providing task lighting for jobs like cooking, cleaning, and reading.
- Adding an extra layer of light to complement other fixtures.
- Reaching areas of the room that general fixtures leave dimly lit, like alcoves and either side of a chimney breast.
- Accentuating pieces of artwork and design features like shelving units.
Placing a pair of wall lights on a major wall, like behind the couch, can provide additional brightness where needed. As seating is usually placed away from the center of the room, wall lights can ensure that relaxation areas receive adequate amounts of light, illuminating the spaces where you’ll be spending most of your time. Wall Lights can also be used in the bathroom as long as they are IP44 rated.
Wall lights can also be placed over the shoulder for reading and task purposes. Other stylistic locations include in front of the couch, in hallways and behind features like the television where they can provide a warming glow.
What Types of Wall Lights Are There?
Choosing from the range of wall lights available can seem tricky at first. There are lots of different types, but making the right choice for you doesn’t have to be difficult. By making yourself familiar with the styles available, an informed decision becomes easier.
Some popular wall lighting options include:
- Wall-washing uplights, which work to ‘wash’ walls with a soft, warm, evenly-balanced glow.
- Bathroom vanity lights, providing illumination for tasks like shaving, applying makeup and washing.
- Down-facing wall lights used to accentuate features, walls, or to illuminate the ground for task/safety purposes.
- Directional picture lights used to accentuate pieces of artwork and other design features like shelves and storage units.
- Bedside lights to provide a softer glow for reading and other tasks.
Although wall lights generally don’t provide strong enough illumination to serve as general sources on their own, coupled with ambient fixtures they can be used to add creative flair and practicality, complementing other lights to create an attractive overall aesthetic.
How Should I Position My Lights?
The correct placement of wall lights is critical to maximizing the illumination that they provide. Placed inappropriately, they’ll leave areas inadequately lit, detracting from the aesthetic and design of the rest of your room. A poorly positioned fixture is a sure way to compromise the overall aesthetic of a living space.
Generally speaking, you should aim to position wall lights at eye level. This tends to be around 5.5 to 6 feet off the ground, varying from person-to-person. The height of your ceiling should also be taken into account.
Be mindful that visitors should never be faced eye-to-eye with an exposed bulb. Be sure to cover bare bulbs with shading if they’ll be meeting people at eye-level, unless your lighting arrangement purposefully features bare bulbs.
And How Many Wall Lights Should I Have?
Improving your home using wall lights is always a good idea, but having too many or too few fixtures will only make your design look messy and unintentional.
The number of wall lights that you choose to implement will depend largely upon the style and aesthetic that you’re hoping to adopt, as well as how much illumination you require. The key is to avoid overdoing it. Too many lights will appear overly-bright and crowded, only making living spaces uncomfortable to be in.
This is often the case in hallways, where wall lights are used in excess and end up representing a runway. Instead, aiming for one fixture every 8 to 10 feet is a better option and avoids overcrowding.
Finally, you should consider how far away from your walls a fixture will protrude. If you’re short on space, opt for wall lights that stay flush to the walls as these will take up a lot less space. If you have the freedom of space, go ahead and experiment with larger fixtures.