Lighting Style and Trends Blog

Top 5 Tips for Lighting a Foyer

Posted by Heather Asiyanbi on Thu, February 04, 2010

If the light in your entry way screams 1980s hair band or makes you hum the theme to "Saturday Night Live" whenever you see it, you need to get a new fixture. Updating foyer lighting can be a fast and cost effective way to update your home. (The photo at right features the Acadia collection from Sea Gull Lighting.)

1. Wattage - Foyers should be warm and welcoming. To make sure you have the correct wattage* for your space, measure the area (length x width). Multiply that number by 1.5 to get the wattage for proper illumination. (*This is based on incandescent bulbs. CA residents will need to convert to CFL.)

2. Size - Believe it or not, size does matter when it comes to lighting an entry way. Add the length and width of the space together in feet to get the proper width of the light in inches. Example: 10 x 8 = 18 feet, or you'll need an 18-inch light.

3. Height - Ideally, you should never hang a foyer light less than seven feet from the floor. Ceiling height makes a difference, of course, but the general rule is to use either a flush-mount of semi-flush mount. If you have a very tall ceiling, using a two- or three-tiered chandelier will not just light the space, but also fill it up.

4. Windows and Additional Pieces - If there is a window above the front door, a foyer light should be centered to be seen from outside. If the entry way is large, sconces can and should be used for both form and function; they add character and more light. Sconces should be installed five feet from the floor and six to eight feet apart.

5. Energy Savings - Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) can improve energy efficiency of indoor lighting over traditional incandescent bulbs because they last up to 10 times longer. CFLs are also brighter and provide truer light (blues are blue, reds are red) than standard bulbs.

Choosing the correct lighting for a foyer doesn't have to feel like rocket science. Follow this guide, and the hardest part of the process will be picking out the pieces that most closely match your style.

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