Putting together a lighting plan for your Denver home can be a daunting task. After all, so much depends on it! How a space looks, feels and performs its functions are all determined by your lighting choices.


Thankfully, with a little research, careful planning, and some helps with your friends here at Galleria, you can design a lighting scheme that complements both your lifestyle and the space you’re working with. Here are six tips for getting your lighting right.


Mix in the layers


You don’t always need to light the whole room. In fact, it’s best to build up your lighting in layers that blend well together and create the mood you’re looking for.


Start by mapping out the space. Consider what you’ll be doing in each part of the room and what kind of lighting you’ll need for it. Place a floor lamp next to the couch for reading, for instance, or some under-counter lighting in the kitchen for when you’re chopping the veggies. This is your task/directional lighting.


Next, use accent lights to add drama to your space by drawing attention to particular areas or objects. Bookcase lighting puts the focus on your ornaments and favourite treasures, while uplights placed on the floor can highlight plants or artwork.


Finally, add in the ambient or general lighting to add to the room’s overall glow. Use recessed spotlights to give clear, even lighting for the whole kitchen, for instance, or hang pendant lights or a chandelier over the dining table for more focused illumination.


Pro Tip: Great lighting can add function and beauty to a room. Don’t just create a lighting plan for what you currently use the room for, create a plan for what you want to use the room for. For example, good lighting can turn a formerly useless and dimly lit corner into the perfect reading nook.

Dim the lights


Dimmer switches are one of the most cost-effective ways to add important flexibility to your lighting plan, particularly if your options are limited to one or more ceiling fixtures.

Using a dimmer switch allows you to adapt a room’s lighting according to the time of day, activity and the mood you’re in. It also saves energy and helps your bulbs last longer.


Pro Tip: Traditional incandescent bulbs change to a warmer hue as they are dimmed. Because LED bulbs don’t work the same way, they generally did not look “warmer” as they were dimmed, sometimes looking slightly gray or odd. Now there are “warm dim” LED bulbs available, so you can still use LEDs and get that beautiful warm orang-y hue that we’re accustomed to.


The right placement


If you opt for a hanging light, it’s important to get the positioning right. Ultimately, you should go with what looks and feels right to you, but here are some guidelines to go by.


Over a kitchen island, you’ll want at least 30” to 32” clearance between your surface and the bottom of your fixtures. If you’re hanging multiple pendants, leave 30” to 32” between the lights.


For a dining table, leave about 33” to 36” from the bottom of the fixture to the table for an 8’ ceiling. Hang the light an extra 3” higher for each additional foot of ceiling. Traditionally, more formal dining rooms have lower hanging light fixtures. Consider hanging them a little higher for a more casual, modern feel.


Pro Tip: Have slightly lower ceilings? Consider a flush-mount or semi-flush mount fixture. This style of fixture has come a long, long way in recent years, with many unique and high-end flush-mounts now available.  The right flush-mount will still generate interest but preserve the room’s headspace and keep the eyelines wide open.


Light it up


You don’t have to rely on down-facing lights to illuminate a room. Add some upward-facing lights for a soft, warm glow that casts no shadows.


Wall sconces can disperse light over a wall without taking up surface space, while cove lighting can add some soft light and visual drama to the ceiling.


Pro Tip: Uplights typically are used for soft, even lights. However, if you’d like to get creative, consider using uplights that feature seeded glass for extra texture and interesting shadows.

Find your style


Just as lighting affects the mood of every room, it also contributes to the decoration. Try to match the style of your lighting fixtures to the theme of your room and the look of your furniture and finishes.


For instance, a brushed steel table lamp in the living room is the ideal complement to a clean, contemporary style, while an antique chandelier could be the perfect focal point of a traditionally furnished room.


Pro Tip: Even if you’re an experienced designer, finding a lighting fixture to match your room’s style can be difficult. Bring a photo of your room or a sketch of your room’s design with you to Galleria. Our experts average more than 20 years of experience in the industry and can help you pick the perfect fixture to match your room’s interior design and decoration.



Creating a lighting plan can be tricky, especially if you’re a first timer. Don’t let that slow you down! The hardest part is getting started. If you need some inspiration, we’d recommend visiting our showroom at 100 Rio Grande Boulevard. We have Denver’s widest selection of fixtures to help you get the wheels turning, and our lighting experts are always available to help.