Lighting Your “Great Room” – Louie Lighting Blog

Make your open concept floor plan your own by mixing several different lighting elements that complement both the space and the eye.

By Clarissa Allison | December 11th, 2015

If you are lucky enough to have a large family room or “great room”, you may encounter some exciting challenges when choosing home decor and lighting that complements and balances your space. A great room is a large room typically found in modern homes that combines the features of a living room with those of a dining room or family room.

Large, open spaces are very common to find in floorplans these days. The dining room incorporates the kitchen, which is part of the living room and leads into the den, etc.  This trend sees walls to separate activity spaces removed. You’ll find that the kitchen is no longer segregated from the rest of the home but may easily become a main focal point. As you’ll see, the key to lighting these types of spaces is variety. You’ll want to utilize ambient, task, wall, and spot lighting to eliminate a “cave-like” atmosphere and maintain a feeling of spaciousness and height.

Read on for tips on how to set up the perfect lighting scheme for functionality, elegance and entertaining.

Update Your Kitchen Island As An Activity Space

The kitchen island doesn’t just have to be a workspace. For the social butterfly, it can be elegant, entertaining and fun, too! Brighten this space with a cluster of unique pendant lighting fixtures in odd numbers, or even a unexpected and unusual chandelier. Find a way to buck the usual, and add eclectic seating to ensure your kitchen island is a warm, inviting space for friends and family to gather around while still being functional for cooking and other tasks. When choosing an island light, it’s important to know the configuration of your power source and junction box(es). Kitchen islands with one junction box are equipped to utilize a standard island light or a track lighting kit with pendants. However, some islands have many junction boxes which can be fitted with several small pendants.

4- Light Island In Polished Chrome By: ELK Lighting

4- Light Island In Polished Chrome
By: ELK Lighting

 Terrific Table Lamps

As the technology in life becomes tinier, all encompassing or simply more creative, many of us want to move away from the predictable and common even when it comes to how we decorate our homes. Table lamps are available in so many truly striking and avant garde designs now, that even the most eclectic of homeowners are sure to find a piece that doubles as usable artwork. In addition to aesthetic balance, table lamps provide much needed ambient and task lighting, and are a wonderful option for diffusing and softening lighting. There are even options with built-in USB ports and outlets for that hotel experience of convenience.

Bromi Design B1412 Lenox 1 Light Round Silver Table Lamp

Bromi Design B1412 Lenox 1 Light Round Silver Table Lamp

Point Your Recessed Lighting In A New Direction

Adjustable recessed down lights have a mechanism that adjusts typically from 35 to 45 degrees vertically and rotates 360 degrees horizontally. They are used with art lighting and accent lighting or whenever flexibility in angling or directing is needed. Adjustable down lights are normally equipped with reflector lamp types.

Multi-head Down lights generally have two to four fixture heads housed in a rectangular box and trim. This configuration provides for a more flexible application of the lights when multiple objects need to be illuminated. No lighting guide is complete without the phrase “energy efficient”. The benefits of LED lighting are well-known and ubiquitous these days, but the option is sometimes overlooked in recessed lighting. Recessed lighting has advanced with the use of LEDs, along with ceramic metal halide lamps, which are the newest lamp types used in this lighting option..

Recessed Lighting Tips:

  • Choosing the trim color and reflector type is an important decision as well.  Make sure to choose a trim color as close as possible to the ceiling color.
  • Recessed lights reflectors are selected based on a few considerations. White reflectors produce usually the most amount of glare, while black and clear reflectors minimize glare. Clear reflectors help make the fixture “disappear” into the ceiling. Some people prefer a black reflector since it seems to reduce the amount of visible light bouncing from the trim, reducing glare.  That said, black reflectors are more visible in the ceiling.
  • Open Down lights have an open reflector. They are used for general ambient lighting. All popular lamp types can be used, and a number of different finishes are available. They usually range in a trim diameter from a 3” to 6” aperture. Some low voltage open down lights have built-in 35-degree adjust-ability.
  • Recessed Wall Wash lights have a trim with spread lens that provides an even wall illumination from just below the ceiling plane, minimizing the scallop effect while creating a soft wash of the wall. They are used whenever uniform lighting is needed across a vertical surface and are not usually adjustable. Any lamp type can be used.
6W Solid Brass Adjustable LED Recessed Light 12V By: SPJ Lighting

6W Solid Brass Adjustable LED Recessed Light 12V
By: SPJ Lighting

Don’t Skimp On Elegance

Hanging a chandelier in your home is an opportunity to display an extravagant art piece – and they are so versatile! Kitchens, bathrooms and even walk-in closets are unexpected and fun places to showcase these brilliant beauties. Contemporary chandeliers go far beyond crystals and candleholders. Many designs now feature a variety of metals, rustic features, are made completely of glass, and have striking, defined art-deco details with lovely embellishments.

Follow the below tips to choose the right modern chandelier for your home.

1. Modern chandeliers do not have to be hung in a contemporary home. Juxtapose a stately Victorian home with a colorful metal or re-purposed fixture for a unique affect.

2. Choose the same elements for the chandelier if the surrounding space is furnished in a particular metal or color, such as silver or pewter accents.

3. Dot recessed lighting in key areas to avoid relying on the chandelier as the primary source of light in a room.

4. Be sure the size of your chandelier is proportionate to the size of your room. As an example: if your room is 12 feet by 12 feet, you should look for a chandelier with a diameter of at least 24 inches.

5. Measure carefully if you are hanging your chandelier in an area other than over a table for the proper height clearance.

Remember, at the end of the day with so many different spaces and functions all visible at once, the only rule is to relax and have fun with your decorating!  For help finding the right lighting fixtures for your space, please email us at or call us toll free at 1877-385-2104 Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm Arizona Time.

“Great Room” Lighting Tips

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