Lighting Tips for Open Floor Plans

Progress Lighting explains why planning the right lighting is a crucial part of designing beautiful, light-filled and functional spaces that work for a family’s needs.

lighting tips open floor plans

In the past few years, homeowners have carved work and study from home spaces out of their existing floor plan. Because many home designs incorporate an open concept, planning the right lighting is crucial in designing beautiful, light-filled and functional spaces that work for your family’s needs. Here are some lighting tips for open floor plans.

Step One: Identify Zones for Your Lighting


CREDIT: Schumacher Homes and Possibilities for Design

Consider how each area will be utilized and how the architectural features of the open floor plan, such as high ceilings, lack of interior walls, and numerous windows, add to the overall light of the space. To avoid over-lighting an open floor plan, think in layers: ambient, task, and accent lighting. The first layer, ambient lighting, provides the general lighting for the space. Recessed downlights, linear lighting, flush mounted lighting or similar fixtures are good choices here, serving as both as an ambient source of light and helping to guide the flow from room to room.

Step Two: Select Task Lighting


CREDIT: Stephen Alexander Homes

Featuring Bonita, Moonrise and Undercabinet lighting

Functional light is crucial when lighting multi-use spaces. For example, in the kitchen, choose lighting fixtures that direct light onto countertops, islands, cooking surfaces, and other work areas. Undercabinet lighting, track lighting, pendant lighting, and recessed lighting are excellent selections, as they will give the ideal amount of light to complete tasks safely and efficiently.

In the dining area, use pendants and chandeliers to provide light for dining, homework, and other tasks that take place at the table. Try large pendants or chandeliers to highlight the kitchen island or dining table and cast vertical light onto those spaces. In the living area, choose statement-making fixtures to define the area, create intimacy, and add drama.

Step Three: Add Mood Lighting


Featuring Landree and Rainey

Finally, add a layer of accent lighting, such as wall sconces in the dining area and table and floor lamps in the living room to give comfort and a soft ambiance. Remember to include electrical outlets in the lighting plan for placing plug-in light fixtures.

Thoughtful lighting design is essential for every room and especially in an open concept plan, where it’s all about visual flow and functionality. Achieve a cohesive look by selecting lighting finished in the same, or closely related, finishes as the kitchen faucets and appliances. Try mixed-metal lighting fixtures that add personality and interest to the space or stick with lighting in a limited color palette to keep the area feeling connected.

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