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In-Home Lighting Checklist: A beginner's guide to choosing lights

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In-Home Lighting Checklist: A beginner's guide to choosing lights

Lighting a room or a home can be overwhelming. The experts at Metro Lighting make it easier, but you’ll want to educate yourself about lighting basics to choose the proper lighting by space and function.

What is light layering?

In lighting, there are three types of applications that fully complete the lighting design: Ambient light to provide general illumination and comfort, task lighting for utilitarian jobs and accent lighting to dress up any room. When these three elements are in harmony and executed correctly, it gives your space a depth and a “just right” feeling that is welcoming and comfortable. Incorporating SmartHome elements to your lighting also allows you to create different lighting schemes for different needs at the touch of a button. The experts at Metro Lighting are trained to help you achieve this room by room.

Light Layering by Room:

Below is a general suggested list of lighting by room to make sure you have your light layers covered, giving you maximum lighting choices.


Things to consider: dressing, relaxing, reading

  • Ambient/Overall: chandelier or ceiling fan with a light kit
  • Task: sconces, recessed cans, portable lamp
  • Accent: lamps, wall washers, art lighting


Things to consider: bathing/showering, applying makeup, using the toilet overnight

  • Ambient/Overall: ceiling fixture(s) spaced out depending on size of the room
  • Task: Vanity lights at eye or head height; recessed can lights
  • Accent: recessed can lights, lamp & dimmers


Things to consider: eating, entertaining,

  • Ambient/Overall: Statement Chandelier or multiple pendants complemented by recessed lighting
  • Task: Portable lamps or sconces flanking buffet or console
  • Accent: art lighting, or wall lights that highlight architectural elements, display shelves or cabinets

Living Room:

Things to consider: TV watching, entertaining, playing games, relaxing and reading

  • Ambient/Overall: Ceiling fixture(s) ceiling fan, semi-flush mount or flush mount determined by room size and ceiling height complemented by recessed lighting
  • Task: Recessed lighting and portable lamps
  • Accent: cove lighting, spotlight artwork, books or architectural elements


Things to consider: Cooking, food prep, cleaning, reading or homework, entertaining

  • Overall: Fixtures and recessed lighting above main workspace and eating areas as necessary
  • Task: Undercabinet and pendant or recessed lighting above prep and other work spaces
  • Accent: in-cabinet lights or toe-kick lights

There are so many lighting options, choosing the perfect one can be difficult! We're here to help!