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Calgary Residential Lighting Design | Key Dos and Don'ts

“If you think of lighting last, you’ve already damaged your possibility to be right. It should be part and parcel of the room, because lighting is an integral part of the room’s look.”

-Lighting expert David Gray


Follow these tips for a sophisticated and functional lighting setup.

  • Do: Make sure that all of your task lighting design uses correct lamp placement

Task lighting is a key part of lighting design. When you are deciding on the lighting design for areas that are dedicated to certain tasks, be sure to focus on the impact the lamp's placement can have.

For example:

  • Bathroom mirrors are best lit by sconces or lamps on either side to minimize unflattering shadows
  • When you are creating lighting for a desk or workspace, the light should be positioned in a way that avoids creating shadows on the workspace when an individual is seated in a chair
  • For kitchen cabinet under-lighting, you need to make sure that you have enough light for preparing food, but that the light does not create unpleasant amounts of reflection and glare on the countertops


  • Do: Take advantage of natural light

Using natural light is the ultimate energy-saver, and many specialists have noted the sun’s mood-enhancing effects. Top lighting consultants, decorators, and designers have laid out many ways to bring natural rays into your home. Our favourite tip is harnessing the sunlight by keeping the paint coat on walls light and slightly reflective. Additionally, keeping windows free of heavy drapes or cluttered decor can work wonders, especially in smaller rooms. f you’re planning a large-scale renovation, installing a skylight in a room or even in a narrow hallway can add some architectural interest while providing you with much more light than you'd get from a conventional window. 

  • Do: Replace your existing lighting with energy-efficient bulbs

If you’ve followed our blog for any length of time, you know we’re huge proponents of LED lights. They’re affordable, eco-friendly, and stylish. However, if you are replacing bulbs in fixtures that work with a dimmer, it is usually a good idea to have a professional lighting expert ensure that everything works correctly. This is especially true if your lighting design includes a dimmer. As LuxReview points out, the wrong combination of LED light and dimmer can result in:

  • Flicker
  • Flashing
  • Stuttering dimming
  • Insufficient dimming
  • A Failed LED driver
  • A Failed dimmer


Even if you're a beginner, our list of lighting pitfalls can help you avoid making rookie mistakes.

  • Don’t: Ignore the importance of lighting in low-traffic areas

We often categorize lighting by key areas in the home, such as “bedroom lighting”, “bathroom lighting” and so forth. These categories are so ubiquitous that it becomes easy to ignore other areas of the home that are not rooms, but that nonetheless need proper lighting for both safety and style. These areas include hallways, entryways, and staircases. It’s key to ensure that these high-traffic areas are well-lit, especially at night.

We recommend:

  • LED lighting on stairways for safety
  • Soft lighting in the entryways to create a pleasant transition between outdoors and indoors
  • Additional accent lighting in hallways that focuses on art or decor to add style and interest


  • Don’t: Focus only on bulb voltage and wattage

To shop for light bulbs and lighting products like a pro, be sure to check out the different colour temperatures available. Colour temperature is measured in Kelvin. 2700k is warm, while 6500k is cool.

You’ll also want to check out the colour rendering index. This indicates how accurately this lighting showcases colour. This important because accurate colour rendering is key for everything from showcasing decor, to helping food look appetizing,  to applying makeup or dressing in the morning. Colour rendering of 80 or above is considered accurate, and while 100 is considered excellent.

  • Don’t: Select light fixtures based on appearance

Selecting light fixtures that match your home is important, but appearance shouldn’t be your only priority. When you find a fixture that you love, you should ask yourself:

  • Is the fixture proportional to the room?
  • If the light is hanging, is there adequate clearance to set it up?
    • There should be 7 feet of clearance from the bottom to the floor
    • In open foyers, chandeliers’ bottoms should be at least 6” higher than the door
  • Is the fixture durable?
    • Bathroom lighting that may come into contact with water should be damp or even wet-certified
    • Outdoor lighting, especially the kind that will come into direct contact with unpredictable Calgary weather, should be rated for outdoor use. Any finishing on an outdoor lighting fixture should be rugged enough to avoid chipping, rusting, or bleaching in the sun. 

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For more tips about home lighting design, browse our blogs for inspiration. To learn more about our services, check out the rest of our site. Want to get in touch with our team? Call 403-863-8529 or send us a message online to schedule an appointment with a team lighting consultant.

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