Best Tips for Lighting Small Spaces

If your home or apartment is very small, it can be easy to light the whole space with a single fixture. However, this style of lighting can feel harsh and may make the space appear stark. Smaller lamps may provide a more subtle method of lighting your small home.

Light Bulbs

When possible, invest in LED lighting to reduce costs and heat build-up in small homes. Not only are LEDs cheap to use, but many offer the chance to change light colors as it suits your mood. For task lighting such as under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, a couple of LED fixtures can easily give you the light you need and keep your electric bill lower. LED lighting is also a great option for soffit or upper cabinet lighting. If your bathroom cabinet has open space above, consider putting in dimmable LED lighting above the cabinet. This can serve both as ambient lighting for the space and a nightlight for little ones.


A chair with a reading lamp offers users ideal placement for a place to sit and relax. Even if you use an e-reader, a reading lamp offers great task lighting and can even serve as an architectural feature. Lamps create pools of light and reduce shadows beside larger pieces of furniture. Make sure you include the right number of lamps in your plans to avoid creating unwanted shadows. When possible, put your table and standing lamps on a switched outlet so you can simply walk into the room, flip the switch and turn a dark space into a cozy room with plenty of light to help you cross the space safely.

Recessed Lighting

Small spaces will feel bigger if they are sleek and uncluttered. Features such as recessed light fixtures with simple trim can make even the tiniest kitchen feel more spacious. While lamps offer ideal task lighting, recessed lighting cans provide ideal ambient lighting. If possible, look for recessed lighting cans with filter screens so you can further diffuse the light. Finally, invest in dimmable LED bulbs and put a sliding dimmer switch in place of a regular flipped switch so you can enjoy a lower light to help you relax before bed.

Properly placed lamps and dimmable ambient lighting fixtures can make it easy to turn a small space into a cozy home. Fight shadows with task lighting and add indirect lighting above cabinets to brighten any space, no matter the size.

Here’s another article you might like: 20 Space Saving Furniture Ideas For Small Spaces—2020

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