What is Design? Week 3: Selecting Lighting Fixtures

Welcome back to our blog and the third installment of What is Design?!

In my previous posts you should have been able to gather some information that you can use to help you select the right fixtures. After calculating how many foot candles you need in a room/space and what kind of color temperature you’ll need.

Now it’s time to take that space and observe…

  • Define what the room is used for
    • Is it for work? Is it for living? Is it for cooking? Is it for getting dressed?
  • Define whether you need to highlight or darken a certain area
    • Do I want the entire space lit or do I want to create some drama and highlight a few key features of the room?
  • Will your light fixture be used as a focal point
    • Do I want people to notice my light fixture or do I want it to blend in?
  • What color temperature will you be using
    • Refer to my blog post two weeks ago (here)
  • Consider how would you want people to feel in the area
    • Should they be relaxed? Should they be focused? Both?
  • Consider natural sun light that shines into your space
    • Windows can provide a lot of light already. How will you accent the natural light?
  • Consider walkways, sidewalks and front entry hallways and perimeters of your building/home.
    • Do you want these to be highlighted for safety?
  • Consider using multiple light sources for one space to create the right amount of light (lumens) for each purpose the room/area is used for.
    • Light that is layered from the top down creates a professional look and completes a space.



Read about the Noribachi legacy bulbs the Wyatt family used in their Santa Fe home here.

Here are some key tips you should consider when choosing fixtures.

When selecting light fixtures there are two primary types; functional and decorative.

  1. Functional fixtures are purposely built to provide light. They allow us to function and add a layer of security to the area they illuminate. Functional fixtures are not intended for decor but are meant to blend in with their environment.
  2. Decorative fixtures are used as focal points in a space. They can also be used on walls, posts, entrances, and along pathways in outdoor/indoor areas. Fixtures should complement the area you’re trying to illuminate by providing enough lighting for functionality as well as safety and security. Let’s not forget our personal style!


Most of our standard fixtures are purely functional, although we continue to design and manufacture custom decorative fixtures such as the



  • Recessed lighting is perfect for general areas.sconce
  • Add additional light for functionality and/or decor with wall scones, floor lamps, table lamps.
  • Try spicing things up by choosing an accent color and choosing your fixture to play as your accent color.



Installing fixtures


Wall Lanterns / Sconces

  • When installing a wall lantern measure the surrounding space and from the fixture to the door.
  • Wall lanterns should be slightly above eye level (60″ – 66“) from the floor to the center of the fixture.
  • Some sconces have up and down light capabilities, but most are either one way or the other.
  • They can be used to highlight architectural elements of the space the are in.


 Chandeliers / Pendants


Pendant lighting in the Wyatt home.

  • Make sure that the chandelier is 6″ to 12″ smaller than the narrowest side of the table.
  • If placing it above a dining table, the bottom of the pendant or chandelier should be approximately 30″ above the table.
  • If you have an unusually high ceiling, go with a lower pendent/chandelier
  • You can always adjust fixtures; for example a larger light can be raised higher up while a smaller light can be lowered down.


Table and Floor Lamps

  • Lamps are like room jewelry–find the right piece or pieces to compliment the room’s style.
  • Consider the sizes and shapes that work with the size of the room–be mindful of scale.
  • Use shades that have bold or colorful patterns that work with the color scheme.
  • Correct placement of the light ensures the best coverage–take advantage of reflective surfaces to “boost” output.



  • Most functional lighting must satisfy certain requirements and technical aspects–consider these before going on a shopping spree (see last week’s post here)
  • True lighting designers will be able to help you decide the right type of fixture to use to maximize light coverage


Take a look at our 2013-2014 Product Catalog to see Noribachi’s line up of functional lighting fixtures.


Consider style, shape, color, and size when choosing a light fixture as the perfect accessory.



Randall Whitehead, American Lighting Designer


Additional Tips

Things to consider in Bathrooms wyatt_house4

  • Square footage and the color of your walls
  • Using several recessed down lights will help as an overall lighting source
  • Dimmer allow you to create a relaxing atmosphere when you want to soak in your tub
  • Decorative surface-mounted fixtures for areas over 100 square feet
  • Ideally mount mirror lighting to the sides of the mirror this will to help prevent shadows on your face (Especially ladies who like to do a little make up)
  • Don’t forget to light up your mirrors, bathtubs, and toilets too!


Things to consider in the Kitchen

  • Create additional lighting with recessed down lights 18″ from the edge he cabinets and about 3-4 inches on centers will create additional lighting
  • Use pendant/chandelier lighting over your dinner table or island.
  • Under cabinet lighting is another source of lighting
  • Create drama in a kitchen bathroom by adding track lighting under the toe space of cabinets. Use RGB LED to really change things up!



Noribachi is a premier, US based, LED lighting and engineering firm providing customized illumination solutions for commercial and industrial applications.
  1. Electrostar Electronics Reply

    Good information. I learn something from your blog

  2. Brightchoice Reply

    Installing fixtures is what I was interested in the most. I like decorating my rooms with lanterns and light pieces.

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