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What You Absolutely Need to Know About Luxury Light Fixtures

What You Absolutely Need to Know About Luxury Light Fixtures

What do interior designers, painters, property salesmen, photographers, and architects have in common? They all understand the power (and necessity) of good lighting.

Do you know how to light your home in a way that prioritizes luxury and style while maintaining functionality?

Designer lighting takes the basics of lighting design to the next level. Not only is your home visible after sunset, but it's transformed into a masterpiece of carefully honed design.

We created this all-inclusive guide to explain the ins and outs of luxury light fixtures and how you can use them to elevate your interiors and heighten your home's style. 

Types of Luxury Light Fixtures

To make your interior lighting design effective, you need to layer different types of lighting. The following three types of lighting work together to build a cohesive, functional, and eye-catching lighting design in a space.

1. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is mainly functional. This is your general lighting, typically provided by recessed lights, track lighting, or smaller wall-mounted fixtures spaced evenly apart.

It provides a wash of light as a base for your lighting designs. Many people think that ambient lighting is enough, but luxury designer lighting is known for its complexity and layers.

2. Accent Lighting

As the name suggests, accent lighting highlights accents in your space. Accent lighting can highlight or create focal points out of anything: wall art, a sculpture, textured wallpaper, or a statement piece of furniture.

Often, accent lighting overlaps with mood lighting. Its purpose is to define the space, add dimension, and tell a story about your interior design style.

3. Task Lighting

Task lighting helps you complete tasks. It’s really that simple! This includes desk lamps, pendant lights over a kitchen island, or reading lamps next to your bed.

Play around with the balance of these three types of indoor lighting to create a unique mood for each room in your home and to keep your interior from feeling flat and boring.

Luxury light fixtures take these three types of lighting and turn them into statements. Now, task lights capture your attention as you look around the room. Accent lights add to the mood they create by looking the part, too. Ambient lighting is dazzling and functional.

Types of Luxury Light Fixtures

Luxury light fixtures come in every shape, size, and color. Choosing the best design for your luxury space requires careful consideration – and more thought than typical lighting design calls for!

The thing that sets luxury lighting apart from regular lighting is that luxury fixtures draw the eye to them. Their design is more important than the light they give off.

We’ve compiled a list of the most common types of lighting fixtures to illustrate how luxury designers take basic concepts and expand them to create shining art pieces.

Chandeliers

The words luxury lighting typically bring to mind images of enormous, sparkling chandeliers. Chandeliers are the crowning glory of any home. Their inherent magnificence makes it easy to understand why chandeliers are the most popular hotel lighting option.

Luxury chandeliers cater to a range of different aesthetics, from ultra-modern to classic vintage.  

The classic chandelier consists of several branches ending in candles or light bulbs. The lights sometimes sit in regular layers, like shining stories in a sparkling building. Often, these chandeliers include dangling crystal details to play with the light and further enhance their beauty.

Modern chandeliers come in every shape, size, and style. Some mimic fireworks with their explosive designs. Others have simple circular bulbs hanging at various heights, or slim dangling bulbs all hung at the same level. 

Using Luxury Chandeliers in Your Home

If you enjoy playing around with organic shapes and textures in your interior design, a statement chandelier might be the thing to pull your room together.

A chandelier with beaded details can pick up on accent colors in the room. For example, stone or shell-inspired beads pay homage to biophilic design.

Modern light bulbs (such as fluorescent or LED bulbs) are much less likely to burn out than older incandescent bulbs. Regardless, if the thought of needing to replace several small bulbs all at once irritates you, look for a chandelier with a few bulbs surrounded by suspended crystals. You won't miss the extra bulbs when the crystals reflect and refract light so effortlessly!

Other chandeliers with few bulbs use ribbon-like strips of metal to create light pieces that celebrate movement. Others hang leaf-shaped cut-outs to dance around the bulbs whenever the wind blows.

Take advantage of any high ceilings in your home and install a statement luxury chandelier that reflects your style and taste. Chandeliers are perfect centerpieces for lavish dining rooms and above stairwells, and they add intrigue to bedrooms, living rooms, and even kitchens.

Avoid using low-hanging chandeliers in any areas with heavy foot traffic, such as living rooms or entryways that don’t have high ceilings. There are plenty of smaller chandeliers to choose from for smaller rooms; you don’t need to sacrifice practicality for style!

Pendant Lights

These lighting fixtures are similar to chandeliers in that they’re suspended from the ceiling, but there are key differences that separate the two.

  1. Pendant lights typically have one bulb, while chandeliers have many.
  2. Chandeliers are suspended from a chain that supports the weight of the fixture, while pendant lights have just the power cord.
  3. Pendant lights are typically more affordable than chandeliers.
  4. Chandeliers provide accent lighting, while pendant lights are mainly used for task lighting.

Pendant lights are basically chandeliers on vacation. Although they are more affordable than chandeliers, pendant lights can still make the mark of luxury in your home. They do this by using high-quality luxury materials and finding unique silhouettes.

Housings are made of anything from silvered brass or polished nickel to gleaming porcelain and frosted glass.

Pendant lights are often used over kitchen islands to provide ample light for food preparation. By installing several in a row, you can take even the simplest of pendant designs and elevate them into something glamorous.

You can use pendant lights in areas where you want to make a statement with your lighting but don’t have excess room to do so. This includes hallways, entryways, dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms.

If your chosen pendant fixture gives off a beam of light, you can use it to display paintings, photographs, sculptures, or fountains.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting sits flush with your wall or ceiling. Interior designers often use several smaller lights installed at routine intervals to provide an even wash of ambient light.

Recessed lights are perfect for rooms where you need to optimize every inch and can’t afford to have fixtures jutting out. Don’t let this limit you, though; recessed lighting is still gorgeous in rooms with endless space!

Look at each room individually and decide if the space is lacking something or if it’s becoming busy or cluttered. If you need to tone it down, recessed lighting is the way to go.

Although the nature of recessed lighting leans itself towards subtlety, there are ways to make this simple fixture a mark of opulence.

Most recessed lights have housings with sleek and seamless silhouettes that help them blend into the ceiling. One style of luxury recessed lighting steers away from this norm and uses texture to create extravagance.

You can find housings with ornate patterns cut from glass or crystal. These create dazzling patterns of light to shimmer and enchant your family and guests. Others use frosted glass to soften harsh lighting and build a cozy, serene atmosphere.

To cater to a more modern aesthetic, look for fixtures with simple, clean silhouettes. Long strips of gentle light used as a trim can transform a simple hallway into something off a movie set.

If none of these tickle your fancy, why not use led light design to create an indoor likeness of the night sky?

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are light fixtures that are attached to the wall. Each sconce design is made up of three components: i) the shade, ii) the backplate, and iii) the arm.

The shade has is the part that covers the bulb. Some luxury sconces use clear glass shades, while others turn to creative premium materials, such as brass, bronze, gold, nickel, porcelain, frosted glass, seashells, linen, and more.

The backplate covers unsightly wiring and the nails or screws which attach the light to the wall. Most wall sconces use simple backplate designs and let the other aspects do the talking. Luxury wall sconces play around with high-quality materials, various textures, and unique shapes.

The arm is the part of a wall sconce that juts out. They can be fixed or adjustable depending on your preferences and their design. Long, adjustable arms are useful for multi-purpose spaces that require different light levels throughout the day. When you’re done with your task light, you can simply move it out of the way again.

Using Luxury Wall Sconces in Your Home

Sconces can be installed at any height along your wall, giving you endless options for your lighting design.

Vintage-inspired sconces keep their shades and arms simple, making use of ornate backplate designs to sell their beauty. Modern wall sconces typically lean in the other direction; they use simple backplates and get creative with their shade materials or arm design.

Regularly spaced sconces are perfect for areas that need a wash of ambient light. If you’re planning to use multiple sconces along one wall, make sure their design isn’t too busy. This makes the room looks tacky and cluttered. You can afford to use more intricate designs if you use fewer sconces or if the room’s decor is understated and simple.

Wall sconce shades can direct light in certain directions to suit your needs. They typically send light upwards, downwards, upwards and downwards, or evenly across the room. You can use these properties to your advantage. For example, a wall sconce that directs light downwards can make a great picture light, while a sconce that provides uplighting can be used to bring a moody atmosphere.

Table Lamps

Table lamps provide task lighting and accent lighting. They are used in bedrooms and home offices. Table lamps are notorious for creating a cozy, inviting vibe.

You can find table lamps with glass bases inspired by moving water. Others lean into structure by using sharp angles and strong materials. If your interior design style makes use of statement vintage pieces, you can find table lamps with unique patterns to match the one-of-a-kind aesthetic of your room.

Table lamps are a great option for introducing color into a room. Their scale makes them an accessible way to play with bold colors and textures. Swirling bases with pops of color can be toned down with a simple white shade. On the other end of the scale, you can spice up a standard lamp base with a shade that calls for attention.

Floor Lamps 

Floor lamps are typically tall and slim. They are wonderful accent lighting fixtures and have a variety of styles for you to choose from.

One of the best features of a floor lamp is its scale. Floor lamps have more surface area for lighting designers to play with, leading to unique and dazzling designs that ooze luxury.

Very rarely, floor lamps have equally eye-catching bases and shades. These fixtures often match a very specific type of interior design style and aren’t versatile. Most floor lamp designers choose to focus their creative energy on one or the other.

Statement bases make use of intriguing silhouettes and luxury materials. You can find floor lamps with bases made from reclaimed wood, crystal beads, colored glass, brushed metal, and more! A tripod-style base helps ground the fixture. Other lamps have multiple arms that help spread light and create movement.

Statement lamp shades include eye-catching colored globes, organic materials such as linen or seashells, and industrial housings.

What Type of Light Bulb Should I Use?

While there is no universal “right answer” to this question, a common set of factors determine the type of light bulb best suited to your home and your lighting fixtures.

Let’s run through the different types of bulbs available:

LED

Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are popular for their extreme energy efficiency. While LED bulbs are incredibly bright, they only use a small amount of energy.

They work by passing electricity between semiconductors. This generates little to no heat – allowing all the electricity to go towards generating light.

Don’t let the higher price tag throw you off. LED bulbs are guaranteed to save you money in the long run because of their energy efficiency and 25,000-hour lifespan.

Incandescent

The bulb that started it all! Invented by Thomas Edison in 1879, incandescent bulbs are known for their visible filament.

Incandescent lightbulbs work by sending electricity through a tungsten filament. The filament heats up and begins to glow.

Unfortunately, around 95% of power goes towards generating heat. This makes them inefficient and expensive – especially when you consider the replacement costs that come with their shorter lifespan.

While initially much cheaper than other bulb options, incandescent bulbs are a tired technology that will cost you in the long run.

Halogen

A halogen bulb is a specific type of incandescent bulb that contains halogen gas.

When the tungsten filament heats up, it releases a gas. Halogen reacts with that gas to produce a brighter, whiter light.

These light bulbs are slightly more energy-efficient than typical incandescent lights and have double the lifespan (around 2,000 hours). They become extremely hot when left on.

Xenon

Using the same principle as halogen bulbs, xenon bulbs are incandescent bulbs that contain xenon gas.

These are much more energy-efficient than even halogen bulbs, emit very little heat, and have a lifespan of around 10,000 hours. Xenon bulbs emit a warm colored light.

Fluorescent

Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury vapor and they have a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb. They create light using a three-step process.

First, electricity removes electrons from the mercury vapor. This is known as ionization. The electrons then radiate photons at UV wavelengths. These wavelengths are invisible to the human eye, but the phosphor coating converts them into visible light.

Fluorescent bulbs use less electricity than incandescent and have a 10,000-hour lifespan. Because of the mercury they contain, they must be disposed of correctly.

HID

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs work by passing an electric current between two tungsten electrodes. They contain a gas (metal halide, high-pressure sodium, low-pressure sodium, or mercury vapor) and metallic salts.

The gas helps generate an electrical arc. This heats the metal salts to create a plasma that amplifies the light produced by the arc.

HID bulbs are highly energy-efficient but produce light unsuited to most interiors. They work well for outdoor lighting and other places where high levels of light are required over large areas.  

Understanding Brightness

If you have two bulbs next to each other, it’s usually simple to see if one is brighter than the other. When looking at their labels, however, you might run into some trouble. 

Watts vs Lumens

A bulbs’ wattage refers to its energy usage, not its brightness.

Before LEDs were invented, you could tell how bright the bulb would be by how much power it would consume. Higher wattage means the bulb uses more energy to generate light.

Lumens give an actual measure of brightness. They tell you the amount of light the bulb will emit.

It’s important to understand the space you’re going to be lighting up. A bulb with too many lumens can overpower a smaller room, and accent lighting is more effective when it doesn’t leave you squinting to see around it!

Creating Your Luxury Lighting Plan

Now that you have a better idea of what luxury light fixtures are available, as well as what bulbs to choose, it’s time to begin lighting by design.

Let’s look at how you can create your own luxury lighting plan.

1. Make a List of the Fixtures You Need

You need to determine what your current lighting plan is lacking.

Start by looking at each room and seeing if the space has adequate ambient lighting. Are there awkward dark corners?  Is everything visible when the sun goes down? Do you have spaces with inadequate natural light during the day?

If you aren’t satisfied with the level of light in a room, look into installing subtle recessed lighting to help create that wash of light to build off of. In smaller spaces, wall sconces, pendant lights, and chandeliers are other options for ambient lighting.

You now need to find the areas that require task lighting. Kitchens, bedrooms, and home offices are the most common rooms that utilize task lighting. Is your office sufficiently lit? Can you read in bed without needing the main lights to be switched on?

Once you’ve planned a sufficient and functional base, you can get creative with layering. Where do you want to bring in statement lighting fixtures?

Living rooms and dining rooms are great candidates for conversation pieces because most of your guests will utilize these spaces. If you want to build a subtle feeling of opulence, look into luxury lighting for your bathrooms, hallways, and entryway.

2. Outline Your Interior Design Style and Direction

The true sign of luxury lighting is cohesion. Your lighting fixtures need to work together to create an atmosphere. It’s no good having serene and calm wall lighting while a disco-inspired chandelier throws subtlety out the window!

Most luxury lighting brands create light fixtures that slot into specific design styles. Once you’ve chosen your style, you can find fixtures that work with each other.

3. Choose Your Luxury Lighting Fixtures

Now that you know what your space needs and the direction you want to take your lighting design in, it’s time to choose your light fixtures.

To create a cohesive lighting plan, find fixtures that have similar feels and lines. A minimalistic curved chandelier pairs wonderfully with island pendants that mimic that curve.

Floor lamps with organically shaped bases layer well on top of ceiling lights with frosted glass that imitates the softness of the lamp.

Transform Your Home With Luxury Light Fixtures  

In nature, light is as much about beauty as it is functional. When Edison first invented the lightbulb, he aimed to provide functional artificial light. In the years since then, we have rediscovered the beauty that every light source provides. 

If you’re ready to light up your home with gorgeous and timeless luxury light fixtures, we are here to make it happen. Have a look through our collection of luxury lighting brands and pick out the perfect fixtures to highlight the beauty of your home.

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