Tag Archives: modern lighting

Recessed Lighting Mistakes

It is touted for its unobtrusive appearance, blending into the ceiling while lighting up a space.  These benefits helped to make the recessed light one of the most common type of fixtures found in many homes.  Unfortunately, all those benefits were the cause of its actual undoing.  For starters, down lighting make people look bad, almost ghoulish with deep shadows around the eyes.  It also a wildly inefficient form of general illumination since a single beam of of high wattage light is forced down causing the vertical surfaces to remain dark.  Most compensate for this lack of broad lighting by simply adding more “can lights” creating a ceiling peppered with a spots of glaring holes.

Recessed lighting mistakes

Fortunately with a little planning there are better ways to light a space.  While not all recessed lighting should be banned from lighting planning, it is best not to consider them as overhead fixtures.  Used as accent lighting, recessed fixtures can highlight art, architectural details or a decorative window treatment.

Living Room lighting

Utilizing a layered approach is best when lighting up most rooms.  A combination of recessed, up-lights, hanging and portable fixtures allow lighting levels to be adjusted based on the time of day or mood of the occupant.  Dimmer switches allow for complete control of lighting levels.

Layered lighting in living room design

Kitchen plans tend to be the largest abusers of recessed lights.  One substantial center fixture would have eliminated the majority of these down lights.

Overdone kitchen recessed lights

Better illumination is achieved with semi flush and hanging fixtures such as pendants and chandeliers.  Under cabinet lighting light up counter task areas.

Best kitchen lighting

Signature Custom Cabinetry

Minimal recessed lighting in kitchen

Retro Lights

Kitchen without can lights

Caves Kitchens

Bathrooms should almost never utilize recessed lighting.  Using down lights over the vanity without adding side lights creates exaggerated and unflattering shadows.  Wall lights installed at eye level is the best light for tasks like shaving and applying makeup.

Best bathroom lighting

Signature Kitchens and Baths

A decorative chandelier provide general illumination in this transitional style bathroom

Bathroom lighting

J. Rhodes Interior Design

Bedroom lighting should follow the same rules of light layering.

Bedroom lighting ideas


A center chandelier makes a statement in this bedroom.  Imagine the vaulted ceiling with “can” lights in it.

Bedroom lighting design

Mr. H says:  Those who fear darkness have no idea what the light can do-Enjoy!

Moderate Modern Lighting

For years, the lament that hip modern lighting was out of reach to so many has come to pass. Modern styles that were innovative and stylish seemed to be “designed” right out of most homeowners budgets. No longer must contemporary consumers be left in the dark thanks to a some visionary lighting companies that are offering up fresh concepts that are easy on the wallet.

Retailing under $875, Feiss Lighting’s Allier Pendant Suspension is named for the French forest that produces wood used for wine barrels.

Allier Pendant Suspension

The Lightology Collection presents the Lilly pendant is composed of a carbon steel body with polycarbonate white discs.  $1200 retail

Lightology Lilly pendant

Glow Lighting’s Silhouette six light chandelier features clear crystals, a white sheer drum shade and a silver pearl metal finish.  Retails at $937

Glow Lighting Silhouette chandelier

Robert Sonneman pioneered modern lighting by making it an art form. World renowned and acclaimed for his alliance to form and function, his award winning designs has been inspiring interior designers for over four decades. His Tuxedo chandelier has clear glass cylinders and chrome and black metal finishes. $987

Sonneman Tuxedo Chandelier

Since 2001, Philippines-based design collective, Hive has been producing organic modern lighting from locally sourced natural materials.  Each original fixture makes a bold statement while creating a captivating atmosphere.  For less than $1900 “Poppy” Suspension evokes a feminine grace with meticulously hand-folded paper blossoms attached to a metal frame forming a delicate floral globe.

Hive Poppy Suspension Light

Founded in 1974, Hubbardton Forge utilizes ancient hand-forging metal techniques to produce their simple, yet elegant light fixtures.  The Lisse Chandelier is available in six finishes highlighted by slim cylindrical Opal glass shades.  Retail: $1100

Hubbardton Forge Lisse Chandelier

The Cubist Chandelier from ELK Lighting is composed of offset Tiffany glass cubes in a brushed nickel framework.  Retail: $1227

ELK Lighting Cubist

Mr. H says: Design is not just what it looks like but how it works-Enjoy!