Selecting lighting can be quite a daunting task. First step to accomplishing this well, and not blow your budget, is to ask yourself, what types of lights do I really need and use? A well lit space uses lots of lighting options.
Here is a quick and easy guide to what certain type of lighting is for. Let's start from the top of a space and build down.
Option 1: Overhead/ceiling mount, chandeliers, and pendant lights fill a space with down light that is directional or bleeds.
Chandeliers and pendant lighting tend to have more directional lighting and are usually an attractive light fixture, which enhances your interior furnishings as well as give off a type of light which could be soft or strong. Overhead lights tend to be functional and can be various types of lighting like recessed, track, and finally, the single light fixture with cover.
One of the issues when shopping overhead lighting is how to navigate “Hard Wire” vs. “Plug In”. Most chandeliers are sold as hardwire, which means you need an electrical box in the ceiling to which the pendant attaches to for the electricity and the support. If you don’t have this in your ceiling, or if it is not in the location you need it to be, purchase the plug in option. All this is, is a socket attached to an electrical cord, which is long enough to reach your wall socket, where it will be plugged in. And to suspend the chandelier from the ceiling, you would need a ceiling screw. Try to get a cord cover or a color of cord, which is not unsightly. Your local lighting store can prepare a cord for you at your desired length. In San Francisco, I go to Yury's on Divisadero Street. Tell him I say hi.
Task, and task lamps, provide ambient light that might warm up a dreary corner and side table, or give off intense and direct light to a tasking area. Here is a nice and affordable table lamp that you can use from West Elm.
Wall sconces, floor lights, and cove lighting can display a type of pattern and or "highlight" an architectural detail or object.
The best-designed rooms have all of this type of lighting. As a rule of thumb, I like to use around 5 of the above lighting options when illuminating a space with electricity.