Whether you’re trying to keep up with lighting trends or just buying lighting for the first time, trendy lighting is important so you can optimize the light in your space while keeping it current, classy and inviting, no matter the season. Today we’ll talk about popular light trends, covering the home’s five most important rooms: the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, the bedroom, and the bathroom.
But first, we need to address a couple of general considerations that are crucial to lighting design in the home. Then we’ll discuss a few trends that work for any room.
Lighting choices matter. A home is meant to feel lived in and cozy, so our first recommendation here is to use warm, rather than cool, light. Since most rooms of the home are used for multiple activities, our second recommendation is to layer the light. You want to account for every purpose the room will serve. For many, this means having a ceiling-mounted central light, a couple of lamps near couches, desks and corners, and accent lighting for artistic pieces. Whatever this looks like for you, know that having a variety is preferred because no two light types are created equal.
Lighting trends for the whole house
1. Smart lighting
This trend is rising quickly. You can now easily control your lights through the traditional light switch, your voice, or an app on your phone! It not only eliminates the need for a dimmer switch, depending on the bulbs you use, but also allows you a greater range of control, including color changes, an “at home” or “away” feature that will automatically turn your lights on and off based on your phone’s location, mimicking your presence in your house while you’re gone on vacation, and more.
But smart bulbs aren’t just smart for their features; they’re also smart because they consume much less energy than traditional lighting, which is crucial for both the cost savings and going green.
2. Statement lighting
We’ll admit, there are some pretty eccentric pieces out there (like the marquee lit sign shaped like a bike, or the teacup shades on a ceiling), but that’s really the point of statement lighting: to grab people’s attention and start conversations. Statement lights range in levels of boldness and uniqueness. The goal is to be able to showcase who you are and what you like. If you want to follow this trend, you might consider partnering with a professional or researching what makes a good statement. The main principles that should guide you are style (including the wider style of your room), design, and functionality.
3. Bring nature in with eco-friendly, functional lights
Whether you emphasize natural light through larger windows or incorporate lighting pieces that utilize natural materials, nature is back! Nowadays, sustainability is a huge focus, so the more natural your lighting and fixtures, and the less power they consume, the better.
Materials like wood, cotton strings, bamboo, cloth, rattan, beads, fake antlers, and twine are common. The style can be found in lamps, chandeliers, and wall sconces through shapes like mushrooms, flowers, leaves, flowers, tree branches, jellyfish, feathers, stones, and basically anything else you might see in nature. Innovative designers have created truly unique pieces, and their inspiration is 100% natural.
Did you have a favorite “oldie but goodie” lighting style? Well, you’re in luck, because “newstalgia” is all about reviving classics with a new interpretation. And the reasons for incorporating it are great. You can:
- Personalize your space however you want it, without rules.
- Tell your story with your home in a more authentic way.
- Upcycle (increase an object’s value through reuse).
Some of the most popular light fixtures we see in this category are mushroom lamps, glass bubble chandeliers, bespoke fixtures (custom lighting tailor-made for your specific space), sputnik lights, and more. There’s a huge range of takes on this because each individual and family is unique (and it can get pretty weird, like “laundry detergent bottle lamp” weird).
5. Wellness design
You’ve probably heard that blue light from devices makes it difficult to sleep at night, but did you know that lighting can affect mood, productivity, circadian rhythms, and more? It should come as no surprise, then, that smart-enabled color lights are trending. Initially created for entertainment purposes, they now help increase our overall wellness and, with the aid of doctors, may soon be used as a form of light therapy.
Lighting trends by room
Now that we’ve covered a few lighting trends that work anywhere in the home, let’s get down to lighting trends by room. Note that some of these trends can cross over into other rooms. We’ll start with the kitchen.
1. LED strip lights
The first kitchen lighting trend is LED strip lights. Popular positioning includes: below and above upper cabinets, under islands, at the foot of bottom cabinets, inside cabinets, drawers, and pantries, and around windows. If you opt to include this style into your kitchen, just be mindful of potential snags: interference of cabinet doors or drawers, tacky cord management, and light positioning mistakes (be careful not to blind yourself!).
2. Ceiling lights
Many people prefer chandeliers and pendants because of the added decorative benefit, and now that they are more mainstream, you can find pretty affordable ceiling light options easily, such as the chandeliers we have here. If you’re tall, or just don’t like the look of hanging lights, flush-mounted lights or recessed lighting are both great solutions. The key is to provide as much ambient light as possible. And even if you’re not a fan of hanging lights as the centerpiece of the kitchen, pendants over the sink are definitely in.
3. Decorative lighting
People today want their lighting to double as decoration. In some cases, this means accent lighting that highlights plants, art, or other features of the kitchen. In others, this means using lighting along the furniture (especially cabinets and glass doors), which makes everything in the room look more elegant.
The Dining room
1. Make it sensational
Since overhead dining room lighting is generally protected from kids and pets, you can choose any material you like—even glass, ceramic, or crystals! Whether you style the room first, or branch your design from a statement piece, don’t hold back! Some ideas are to add a splash of color to an otherwise neutral room or vice versa, harmonize with room tones, pick a sculpture, or just deviate from the typical.
Whatever you choose, your centerpiece should go well with the shape of your dining table, especially if it’s a chandelier. Circular pieces go with both round and circular tables, but rectangular pieces do not.
2. Don’t forget accents
Centerpieces usually call all the attention in a dining room. While they are a great start towards well-balanced lighting, make sure the whole room is covered. Lamps and wall-mounted sconces are a great way to increase that balance in your dining room. Sconces in particular are helpful for making art and other design pieces pop. Some, however, prefer recessed lighting around the perimeter of the room. The point here is to build flexibility with different light sources.
3. Bubble lights
Globes have always been a popular shape for lighting, but bubble lights are gaining popularity. Most fixtures incorporating bubble lights are chic, cultured, and bright, while remaining more subtle than most statement pieces. The biggest drawback with bubble lights is that they can be extremely tedious and difficult to clean, but they nevertheless remain a worthy choice as they are often arranged in unique ways that can’t be replicated.
The Living room
1. Spice up the room with color
The living room serves as the room where you’re most free to liven up your home and life through diverse tones and shades. Painting walls and changing furniture is a great way to add color since light reflects differently depending on the color used. That said, don’t be afraid to give colorful light fixtures and lamps a go when it comes to your living room lighting. Only you can know what will suit your tastes and needs best (though it can be helpful to ask a professional and others for advice).
2. Add a touch of art
Artistic pieces look extra fine in living rooms because most consider this room to be the heart of the home. What better place to start showing people your individual or family identity and personality? Plus, adding art to your living room helps you fill the room’s purpose: to bring peace and calm to its visitors. A plethora of options for making the room yours are within reach with a quick web search, so we won’t go into a lot of detail here. There are tons of exquisite artsy lighting choices (and many extraordinarily weird ones too) so eat your heart out!
1. Space-saving lights
This bedroom lighting trend leans heavily into the minimalist style. Hanging pendants, chandeliers, and wall sconces are a great way to free up much-needed nightstand space. Floor lamps are also great because they often offer better overall lighting, whereas the former offer better light for specific tasks, such as reading and writing. Each has their pros and cons, but a particular con we consider worth mentioning is that both pendants and chandeliers depend on your bedroom having a reasonably high ceiling.
2. To match, or not to match
This tip is useful especially in the bedroom because you want your room to be unique to you. As such, choosing to match can be great if you are particularly interested in symmetry and matching colors, styles, and designs, but it is definitely not a must. In fact, choosing not to match can create a dynamic look you can only get from doing so. The key here is to ensure that there is a commonality between the different lights you have and the overall room design.
When choosing bathroom lighting, you’ll want to look for lights that are UL or ETL listed (safe for use) and appropriately IP rated (safe from water damage). IP65 and above is a must for areas inside or above the bath or shower, while IP20 and above is recommended for everywhere else. Also, since natural light in particular is normally pretty scarce in most bathrooms, you should layer the light. Even if your windows provide plenty of light, they don’t lend themselves to privacy.
You might be surprised, but adding a chandelier to your bathroom is trendy, adds a touch of whimsy, and looks downright fancy. Whether the chandelier you choose has a charming traditional style, non-traditional shapes, or a minimalistic look, it is sure to stand out and impress visitors. If your piece is small enough, you could even have two!
Some prefer wall-mounted sconces over overhead lights, especially if those lights are large. These fixtures go best above your vanity, ideally above or next to the mirror(s), as this helps reflect the light, making the room seem spacious and bright. What materials and finishes you use will ultimately depend on your bathroom’s interior design style, but popular choices for materials are crystal, metal, glass, and wood, while popular finishes include brushed gold, chrome, satin brass, and wood or wood-like finishes.
A final word on lighting trends
Getting on board with light trends doesn’t have to be difficult. Now that you’re armed with some of the best lighting trends out there, you should feel ready to create the perfect ambience in every room of your home. Your choices can and will illuminate well, all while looking first-class and modern in every season.