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Closer Look: Dining Lighting


Happy Friday everyone!

Welcome to our design blog.


Time for a 'Closer Look' feature! Last week we talked about dining spaces, and this week we'll continue on the topic of dining but make a upward shift and talk about lighting. Layers of light will be an important topic in this article, and for some extra or preliminary reading, check out this article that goes more into depth about the topic. Let's dive in!

Accent lighting is necessary.

The first layer of light we'll be talking about is accent lighting. Accent lighting is a great way to divide an open concept floor plan into distinct areas and showcase individual style. It's fun, creative, and can really showcase your unique style. But it shouldn't stand alone! Let's talk about more layers that can be added to accent lighting to elevate a design.

Photo: If this is your photo, let us know and we will give you credit!

Don't forget a complete design.

The design of this dining area draws your eye upwards to the ceiling with its dramatic black paint. Incorporated here are three main styles of light. The white pendants act as a great contrasting accent light, the wall sconces provide style as well as task lighting, and the windows bring in great natural light.

Photo: Suburban B

Ambient light is VERY important.

This dining room demonstrates the importance of considering the ceiling plane in your design. Think outside the assumption that a ceiling is a flat, white expanse solely used as a placeholder for lighting. Molding, coffers, and dimension can add an architectural element to your home.

Ambient lighting is usually referring to recessed can lighting or an element that would be the primary lighting source in a space. Because many times the dining room is used after dusk when the outdoor lighting grows dimmer, it's important to consider the type of lighting that would be most appropriate to light your space. A single source or accent light usually won't cut it.

Photo: Amber Interiors

Use light to highlight the architecture of the space.

Here's another great feature ceiling. The hidden LED illumination provides ambient lighting that is also supported by the accent lighting over the table. Even though this space is open to the kitchen, it is clearly divided as its own space by the attention to lighting and the design of the ceiling.

Photo: N7A Architects

Two words - Natural. Light.

Natural light is arguably the best source of ambient lighting. However, natural lighting should be supplemental to other forms of lighting...unless you're interested in having a candlelit dinner every night. An abundance of light brings a spacious feeling to a space whereas less lighting can create a more intimate feel. Keep in mind which of these feelings you are going for in the design of your space and if you'd like the flexibility to alternate between the two.

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Make the space functional throughout the entire day.

This dining room skylight is incredible. When the sun is shining, no other lights in the space need to be illuminated. The energy savings in a space like this would be quite substantial. But, even as this room is completely illuminated by day, the designer knew that the natural light couldn't stand alone and added ambient recessed can lighting, accent lighting above the dining table, and even task lighting to showcase the artwork on the wall.


Always utilize more than one lighting source.

As you're beginning to think more critically about the lighting layers in a dining space (and other spaces as well) you may have noticed some slight problems in this dining space. This ceiling is beautifully bare...but sacrifices opportunity for ambient lighting. Another thing to consider when purchasing accent lighting is the cast shadow. After dark, without the aid of natural or ambient light, this hatched shade fixture would cast a checkerboard shadow onto the surrounding room. Interesting effect, but could be argued to be undesirable.

Photo: Inside Out

That concludes our talk about dining lighting! You can also use these principles in other areas of your home to elevate your design and change the mood of a space.

Let there be Leiht! I know it's awfully cheesy, but we couldn't resist!

Have a great weekend!

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