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Entryway and Foyer Lighting Design

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Ambient Fixtures

As you plan out the design of your entryway, the first piece you need to consider will be your ambient lighting. This is one of the main lighting design elements, and it is often the most important. The ambient fixture or fixtures in your space will be the main source of light and set the overall mood of your foyer

Since people will often be traversing this space, you’ll want to make sure you choose fixtures that are the right size so they do not get in the way. If you have high ceilings above 10 feet, you can start looking at lights that hang down into your space to create a focal point as well as add plenty of illumination. Some great hanging options are pendant lights, and if your entryway is two-stories high, you could consider a chandelier that will set the design tone for your whole home.

If your ceilings are less than 10 feet tall, you will want to look into flush or semi-flush fixtures. Some semi-flush fixtures could include sconces that hang on the walls, and make a warm, welcoming feeling in the whole area. Otherwise, you may want to consider recessed lighting for the ceilings which can be pointed at focal areas, with finishing to match your home’s decor.

The main goal of your ambient fixture is to make sure that there is enough light in your entryway and foyer to always see easily, no matter what time of day it is. At Southern Lights, our experienced and friendly team can help to guide you in finding the perfect entryway ambient lighting that will welcome guests and make you feel comfortable in your house.


Accent Lighting

The accent lighting in your entryway will be more focused on bringing attention to details, creating atmosphere, and overall beauty rather than being the main source of light for the area. Even if you don’t have a lot of extra space in your foyer, simply utilizing one or two sconces or lamps can make a huge difference in the feeling of the space.

As you work to create the right accent feeling for your foyer, you must consider the daily use of the area. If you have pieces of furniture or decoration like coat racks or end tables that could get in the way of lamps and sconces, you will want to design your lighting around these things, or rearrange them so they are not in the way. While more light may always sound better, you don’t want to add too much to the space to make it overwhelming. You will want fixtures that add to the space and overall feel of your home to make your entryway much more welcoming as your guests enter your home.

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Entryway Decor

You may have been in many homes with mirrors in the entryway, and there is a good reason for this! Not only do mirrors allow you to get one last glance at your look before you leave, but they also add a lot to the feeling of a foyer. Their reflective surfaces can make your area feel larger than it actually is, and they also help to cast light throughout the entryway, which can make the task of implementing accent lighting much simpler for you.

As you choose your lighting options, you will want to think about the decor you have in your entryway or foyer as well. If you have artwork on the walls, you can utilize track lighting to ensure that it is given the proper amount of focus. Not only is track lighting a great way to draw attention to the details, but it can also add to the overall ambient or accent lighting of the entryway depending on how much you use. Another great way to add to your lighting is to choose a lamp that fits nicely on your favorite table to accentuate even further the overall look and design style of your house.

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Hallways and Stairs

Many home entryways lead directly into stairways or hallways. Because of this, you’ll need to think about how your foyer lighting can transition seamlessly into the rest of the home. You’ll want an overall uniform feeling as you go from one space to the next, and choosing matching fixtures throughout the home is important. Keeping an overall lighting theme as your lights bleed into the next area will draw visitors into other areas of the house and make you feel confident and comfortable as everything goes together, no matter where you are in the home.

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Choosing Your Lights

As we’ve mentioned, choosing the right lighting for your home is important, but it can also be complicated. Simply finding something that matches your design style might not be good enough because it could be the wrong size or not produce enough light for your entryway area. We already discussed ceiling height, and finding either hanging fixtures, a chandelier, or flush lighting for your space, but what about other types of lighting and options for the foyer?

One smart thing to do is to know the size of the space you are trying to light. Measure your entryway to help you determine how much light you will need to provide to the area. One helpful formula for finding the right amount of wattage you will need to illuminate your space is this: square footage times 1.5. So if your entryway is 10x10, your square footage is 100. Multiplied by 1.5, you’ll need an ambient fixture that provides at least 150 watts of light. 

Every area is different, and while you may love wall sconces, they might not work well if your entry is too narrow, as you or your guests could constantly be bonking heads on them. In these cases, flush or recessed lighting could be a great alternative to add vibrance to the area. You could also choose to illuminate the corners of the foyer rather than the main walls, which will reduce the risk of accident and also achieve your ambient lighting goals.

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Lighting Controls

Utilizing good lighting controls in your entryway will be extremely helpful so you can adjust the lighting for everyday usage, guests, and even the time of day. Having separate switches for each fixture or set of lights will allow you to only use the lights that you want and set the mood you are working to achieve for the occasion. For example, as you are leaving for work in the early morning, you may only need an accent light that will keep you on track, but not be too blinding in the dim or dark. 

Another great option for lighting controls is to choose smart lighting controls. Depending on what kind of lighting you choose, you can be able to control each individual light in your fixtures directly from your smart devices! Smart lighting can also be helpful as it can be activated without touch while you are entering if you are carrying anything in your arms.

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We Can Help You Find the Right Lighting

Whether you’re building your new home or simply updating a few rooms, we can help you complete your design plans with the ideal lighting for your space! With over 25,000 square feet of lighting displays and every lighting style imaginable, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fixtures to achieve the right look and feel for your home. Visit our showroom to work with an expert lighting designer for guidance on choosing the best lights for your projects!

Contact or visit us today to learn more about how lighting can enhance your living space!

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