How to Design and Plan Lighting for a New Home

Great lighting is transformational. It highlights your décor, draws the eye to art and architectural features, creates a balance with natural light, helps you focus on the work you do, and can set the scene and mood for any occasion. If you are planning to move into a new home and start from scratch, there are many things to consider where lighting is concerned. Where do you start? What’s essential?

There’s no question that lighting is an essential aspect of interior design, but if all the options seem overwhelming, never fear! We have answers to your most frequently asked questions about lighting a new home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Lighting

Our lighting designers have graciously compiled some of their most frequently asked questions along with their expert solutions.

When should I start to plan my home lighting project?

If you’re building a new home or in the process of renovating, the best time to start would be before the finishing stage, or what builders typically call the “fix” stage. The fix is the period before plastering and tiling occur, when the interior spaces are still fairly raw. Planning your lighting project at this stage means you can run wiring, install boxes, and place outlets in advance to make the finishing work less complicated.


To get this stage right, you’ll need to think about where furniture will be placed, which means you’ll have to consider all the likely ways you will use the room. For example, if you’re installing a large kitchen island, you’ll want pendant lights above it for task work.

What should my budget be?

Not everyone has the same budget, and the range of lighting options and pricing is vast. You’ll want to stay within your budget, but don’t compromise quality for price. Good quality light fixtures will last a lifetime, so you should consider it an investment in your home.

For new home builds, many contractors suggest that lighting investment is about equal to what you would spend on windows and doors.

What’s the difference between architectural and decorative lighting?


Decorative lighting adds to the interior design of a space and is often considered art in and of itself. Though decorative lighting can be practical, it is usually ambient and more along the lines of an accessory as opposed to an essential lighting source. Take Hailstone or Indra, for example. These crystal chandeliers make spectacular statements in the foyer, bringing the wow factor as soon as you enter the house.


Architectural lighting exists at the intersection of architecture and technology. It is usually used to highlight an architectural feature, such as a door, recessed ceiling, or crown moldings, or to draw attention to a piece of artwork. Architectural lighting is meant to work seamlessly with a room’s interior design and unique features, accentuating the spatial experience. Terri is an excellent example of architectural lighting used to articulate and frame the entryway.

How can I integrate lighting with smart home devices?


A connected home lighting system is convenient, design-friendly, and energy-saving. You’ll need to choose smart bulbs, sockets, or switches compatible with your preferred home hub system. Smart bulbs are compatible with most standard light fixtures, but ideally, you’ll want to choose dimmable fixtures to maximize compatibility.

What should I consider when choosing lights for outside my house?


Exterior lighting can be both practical and striking, and many homeowners choose a variety of outdoor light fixtures to ensure walkways, driveways, landscaping, and garages are stylishly well-lit. Haylen is one of our most popular and versatile fixtures for outdoor areas, as it offers RGB and dimmable options as well as cool or warm white light.

How do I light an open-plan space?


Open-plan spaces can be challenging as they may require several fixtures and layers of lighting to make each zone functional. For example, you’ll want overhead lighting or a chandelier in your living room zone to cast a cozy, ambient light. Pendant lighting is ideal for task-oriented areas, like office spaces or in the kitchen, and accent lighting works as architectural lighting to frame items or artwork you want people to notice.

Final Thoughts on Lighting Your Home

We hope we’ve provided some inspiration to help you plan the lighting design in your new home. If you are stuck for ideas or need advice and direction to bring your vision to life, our lighting experts are always here to help. Give us a call today, and let us help you light up your world!