Foyer Lighting – What is guests’ first reaction when they enter your home? No doubt, you want to get that initial “Wow” from your visitors (and future homebuyers), and the proper foyer lighting should be at the top of your home improvement list. From functional flush mounts to elaborate crystal chandeliers, there are a plethora of foyer lighting options available. Read on for advice on selecting the perfect foyer lighting for your place.
What Type of Foyer Lighting Fixture?
Because they provide plenty of light and have such an elegant presence, chandeliers are the timeless choice for foyer lighting. Other fixtures, like bowl pendants, are quickly gaining popularity because they offer a slightly more casual look and diffused light quality.
If your foyer ceiling isn’t quite high enough for a hanging fixture, consider a semi-flush mount. Semi-flush lights offer a more widespread illumination than flush lights, and are available in highly upscale styles. There are even semi-flush “convertibles” combining the sophistication of a chandelier with the versatility of a flush-to-the-ceiling light.
How Much Light?
More light is needed in the foyer (than, say, a bedroom) because of its large space. While you want to be sure to provide plenty of light in this area, it should not all be from the same fixture. Too much wattage from a single light results in an unpleasant glare.
For the absolute best results, always apply the lighting layer method to your foyer lighting. Think about where you need light the most. If there is a staircase in your foyer, what about a pair of sconces on the wall for an added measure of safety? A stylish lamp to draw attention to your favorite portrait?
Determining the Correct Size
To determine the ideal width of your foyer light, take the sum of the width and length dimensions of the room. The width of the foyer light should be close to this number, in inches.
When looking at height, consider the height of your foyer’s ceiling. A hanging fixture should fall at least 7′ from the floor, but be tall enough not to look “flat” in the large space.
What Style is Best?
Your home’s entry sets the tone for the rest of your home, so choose a high-quality design that truly represents your unique style! Traditionally, home lighting is more formal in the front of the home (the dining room and foyer) and more casual toward the back (the breakfast area or kitchen).
Once you find a style you love, take a look at the other fixtures in the design “family.” If you plan on supplementing your main light with other fixtures, like wall sconces, you may want to go ahead and purchase them at the same time. Lighting manufacturers discontinue designs frequently.
Fluorescent vs. Incandescent
If you’ve chosen a fixture with clear glass, you’re pretty much limited to incandescent bulbs; fluorescent bulbs look tacky when exposed.
However, if your light has frosted/etched glass to diffuse the light, you can consider substituting your bulbs for easy-to-install compact fluorescents. This is particularly useful in foyer lighting that is high above the ground, because you won’t need to change the bulbs nearly as often.
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