How many of us have struggled to find the perfect lighting fixture to go in our home or even at our office?

There are so many light fixtures out on the market and range in price, style, size and so much more. How do you even begin?

I have laid out my simple steps to finding the perfect fixture and even have a few suggestions on where I like to go to find those fixtures.

Step 1: Identify the type of lighting fixture you are looking for.

Are you looking for table lamps for your family room or bedroom or for a chandelier to go over your dining room table? Not sure what you are looking for or don’t know the different types of lighting? Let’s discuss.

  • Lamps, like what you see on the table, floor or desk, come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Lamps aren’t only functional, but they can transform a space. They can be used as ambient lighting, providing an overall lighting for the room, or can be used as task lighting, highlighting a specific function or task in a room like reading.
  • Chandeliers are hung from the ceiling and direct light upward. Chandeliers have been traditionally hung over tables but have become more popular hung over a bed or in a nursery.
  • A pendant light on the other hand, is hung from the ceiling but directs light downwards. Pendant lights are often seen in multiples and above kitchen islands or bars. Wall sconces are another type of lighting and these can be directed up or down.
  • Wall sconces are typically seen in bathrooms or beside a bed. Flush mount or semi-flush mount hang from the ceiling and add additional lighting to rooms or hallways. Semi-flush mount hang between 4-8” from the ceiling.

Knowing first what you are looking for is key in the search to finding your fixture. It is likely that you will need a combination of lighting for any one room.

Step 2: What style are you looking for?

Will this lighting fixture be going into a previously decorated room where a distinct style to the room already exists? Or will this light fixture be the centerpiece for the room, where it will set the trend for the style of the room? Or is for a new build or renovation where most of the accent elements haven’t been defined?

If you are looking for a piece to compliment the existing style of the room, then let’s try and identify what that style is. Do you lean more to modern style with clean lines, warm woods and pops of bold color? Are you more of a traditionalist with neutral color palettes, deep wood tones, and elegant furnishings? Do you find yourself enjoying a contemporary look with rounded and soft edges, tone-on-tone color, and solid or subtle pattern. Not sure what style you lean towards; give me a call and I can help.

If this piece is going into a room that isn’t done or will be the focal point for the room, then that is much easier. Again, it is important to figure out what style you like and that will help you narrow the selection down.

Step 3: What size should the lighting fixture be?

It will be important to figure out the size of the room or the size of the table that this fixture will be going over. A basic rule to figuring out the size of the width of the ceiling fixture is to measure the length and the width of the room. Add those two numbers together and then convert to inches. If you room is 12 feet by 8 feet, then the fixture should be 20 inches wide. As another resource, I love this chandelier tool from Lightology.

For table lamps, the basic size for a family/living room is 26-34 inches tall. You want the bottom of the lamp shade to be at eye level when you are sitting on the furniture in the room. For lamps in a bedroom that are on a nightstand next to the bed, the ideal size is 30”. For lamps on a buffet in a dining room or a more formal room, you want something taller and slimmer; try a 36” lamp size.

For pendants, figure out where you will be placing these. Will they be going above a long rectangular island? For this type of application, small pendants lined across the island make for a good statement piece. One larger, single pendant works best for above a square or round table. The fixture or pendant should be one foot shorter in width than the width of the table.

Again, if you need help figuring out this part of the process, I am here.

Step 4: Start Shopping

Once you have determined the style and size of the fixture you are looking for, it is time to start shopping.

If you feel overwhelmed by shopping online for the lighting fixture, try going into a local lighting retailer. While they can sometimes be more expensive than finding one online, it may be helpful for you to see the different styles in person. For those of you living in central Ohio, I like Capital Lighting off Polaris Parkway in Columbus or Northern Lighting off of Westerville Road in Westerville.

If you are looking for an online option, I love the selection that Wayfair has. I also love the customer service that Wayfair has and shipping and returns are a breeze. Overstock, like Wayfair, has a great selection of lights, and they make the shipping easy. It can be a bit overwhelming, so I would recommend filtering your search. I also love the look of Pottery Barn lights; however, their selection isn’t as large as some others.

Anthropologie online has some really cool and different lamps and pendants. Again, their selection isn’t as large as some others and their style is very unique, but a great option to check out.

CB2 has some really beautiful modern, sleek line lamps and pendants available online. I would recommend this retailer to anyone who finds themselves leaning more towards a Modern style.

Jonathan Adler’s lighting is beautiful and almost a work of art. These chandeliers would be an amazing statement piece in anyone’s home.

Surprisingly, World Market online has a wide variety of affordable options when it comes to lighting. They do charge for delivery, so be prepared to pay for that.

I stumbled across LuLu & Georgia’s selection of lighting, and I was surprised by how much of a selection they had and also how affordable they were.

As you can see, light fixtures are something I’m passionate about. While it may seem like one tiny detail, lighting can make or break the style and functionality of a room. I know selecting fixtures can be a difficult or overwhelming task, but I’d love to explore your upcoming project or just talk further. Leave a note in the comments or contact me. Good luck.


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