Lighting Basics Broken Down!

When you break down the most important rules and basics for lighting design, and stick to them, your home lighting job will become a lot easier. The overwhelming task of making sure your space is appropriate illuminated can be a breeze if you just follow the easy guide laid out below.

Planning out the lighting in your home is crucial to setting the right mood. You want your home to feel warm and inviting – and lighting should be your first step to achieve this goal. Lighting should come first, then color scheme (paint, furniture, floor coverings and artwork), and then textiles and textures. Lighting isn’t a permanent decision, and oftentimes can be changed up to freshen up a space. This can be done seasonally, yearly, or just whenever you feel the need for change!

As always, layered lighting sources can help you switch up and create different moods for a space. Ambient, task and accent lighting should be used together to achieve a good balance for any activity needed to be performed in the room.

Every room or space should be considered separately. Think about what the main function of the space will most likely be and go from there. For example, the lighting needs in a hallway are much different than in the kitchen or bathroom. Keep a mental (or physical) list of individual tasks that will be routinely performed in the space and plan accordingly.

Lighting Basics Infographic

Ask a professional! Lighting design experts are your best resource! Our staff at the Harold’s Lighting store in Seattle loves to help out homeowners and business owners figure out the best lighting options for any space, no matter how challenging it may seem! We have the ability to create custom lighting options for any space and can even match materials or refurbish vintage fixtures to create a one-of-a-kind piece.

Want to switch to LEDs? Here’s How to Start…

You’ve made the choice to switch the bulbs in your home or office to LEDs. Congratulations and welcome to the world of saving money on electricity bills, and thanks for taking responsibility with helping save the environment!

LEDs have come a long way in the past few years. Technology has produced LED bulbs in different colors and sizes, many that can produce comparable illumination effects of that of traditional incandescents.

Now, how do you start this process? Imagine changing all of your bulbs now… you can expect to enjoy approximately 20 years of awesome performance from your light fixture! There are a few things you must determine before purchasing your new LEDs.

How bright do you want your LED bulbs to be? Most homeowners are used to buying bulbs based on Wattage measurements. When you switch to LED bulbs, you’ll need to switch to buying bulbs based on Lumen ratings. Use this helpful diagram for reference:

lumens and watt chart

Many experts use this rule for determining the right amount of lumens based on their previous incandescent purchases:

  • 25-watt incandescent: 250 lumens
  • 40-watt incandescent: 450 lumens
  • 60-watt incandescent: 800 lumens
  • 75-watt incandescent: 1100 lumens
  • 100-watt incandescent: 1600 lumens

After you decide the lumen measurement, you’ll need to consider the color you want. Do you want a warm or cool color given off by your bulb? LEDs use Kelvins to determine the color. The lower the number of kelvins, the warmer (yellower) the light given off will be. The higher the number, the cooler (bluer) the light will be. You can see how this works in the example below:

LED Kelvin Comparison

This guide can also be helpful for deciding on the LED bulbs based by the room/space. These are popular choices for each room:

Lumens for LED by Room


If you’ve made the choice to start saving money and to worry less about replacing your bulbs, great job! Follow the tips above to select the right LED bulbs for your house, and start saving money and helping the environment!

Light bulb bases and filament types

There are a TON of different types of bases and filament types for light bulbs. Knowing the difference between the different types and filaments can be a little tricky.

We found this awesome guide for breaking down what the different filament types and bases look like. This guide could be super helpful when you’re out shopping for a new bulb for your light fixture.

light bases and filament guide

When your bulb goes out, compare the base and/or filament to the chart above for replacement.

If you have a question about a bulb base or filament, ask a lighting expert at Harold’s Lighting in the Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford. We’ve been helping residents of Seattle and people across the nation with their lighting needs for over 60 years!

Stop on by our amazing showroom or call us today!

Do you know your symbols?

How well do you know your electrical symbols? Most homeowners aren’t very familiar with even the most basic electrical symbols that are commonly seen on blueprints and electrical product packaging. That’s okay – We don’t expect you to memorize these things!

We’ve found a few electrical symbol cheat sheets that you may find helpful when planning any lighting or constructional changes in your home! Check them out below:

Electrical Symbol Guide

When planning any improvements on your home, especially anything to do with lighting, you may come across some symbols you’ve never seen before. If you have any questions about these or any other symbols, ask a lighting expert at Harold’s Lighting by stopping by our showroom in Seattle (Wallingford) or call us today!