Lighting Tips

Lighting for Small Spaces: Tips and Tricks

Lighting for small spaces

Lighting is a crucial element in enhancing the ambiance and functionality of any living space. In small spaces, the right lighting can make a significant difference in how the room appears and feels. In this article, we share valuable tips and tricks for selecting and positioning lights to maximize the potential of your small living area.

Understanding the Three Types of Lighting

Before diving into specific tips and tricks, it’s essential to understand the three main types of lighting that you can incorporate in your small space:

  1. Ambient lighting: This is the primary light source in a room, providing general illumination. Examples include recessed lights, flush-mounted ceiling lights, and chandeliers.
  2. Task lighting: As the name suggests, task lighting is intended for specific tasks, such as reading or cooking. Examples include desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, and pendant lights above a kitchen island.
  3. Accent lighting: This type of lighting is used to highlight specific features or create visual interest in a room. Examples include wall sconces, track lighting, and picture lights.

Maximizing Natural Light in Small Spaces

Natural light is a valuable asset in small spaces, creating a sense of openness and airiness. To make the most of natural light, consider the following tips:

  • Use sheer curtains or blinds to allow sunlight to filter into the room while maintaining privacy.
  • Place mirrors strategically to reflect and amplify natural light.
  • Choose light-colored paint and furniture to brighten the room and make it appear larger.

Choosing the Right Fixtures for Small Spaces

Selecting the appropriate fixtures for your small space is crucial for achieving a well-lit, functional environment. Here are some suggestions:

  • Recessed lighting: In small rooms with low ceilings, recessed lights are an excellent choice, as they take up minimal visual space while providing ample ambient light.
  • Flush-mounted ceiling lights: These fixtures are ideal for small spaces because they don’t hang down, which can make a room feel cramped.
  • Wall sconces: Wall-mounted lighting is perfect for small spaces, as it frees up floor and surface space while providing either task or accent lighting.

Strategic Placement of Lights

Where you position your lights is just as important as the fixtures you choose. Follow these tips for strategic light placement in small spaces:

  • Layer your lighting by incorporating a mix of ambient, task, and accent lights to create a well-balanced and versatile lighting plan.
  • Place task lighting near work areas, such as desks and countertops, to ensure adequate illumination for specific tasks.
  • Use accent lighting to draw attention to architectural features or artwork, adding visual interest and depth to the room.

Using Dimmers and Smart Lighting Solutions

Dimmers and smart lighting solutions can help you create a versatile and customizable lighting environment in your small space. Here’s how:

  • Install dimmer switches to control the brightness of your lights, allowing you to adjust the ambiance as needed.
  • Invest in smart bulbs or lighting systems that can be controlled through a smartphone app or voice assistant, enabling you to create different lighting scenes for various activities or moods.

Lighting Solutions for Small Spaces


In narrow hallways, wall-mounted lights and sconces take up minimal space compared to floor lamps or other freestanding fixtures. By attaching directly to the wall, they allow for unobstructed passage and keep the floor area clear, which is particularly beneficial in tight spaces.


In small bathrooms, space is often at a premium. Mirrors with integrated lights eliminate the need for additional fixtures, such as wall sconces or vanity lights, conserving valuable wall and counter space. This streamlined design contributes to a less cluttered and more efficient bathroom layout.

Reading Nooks

If you have a small corner dedicated to reading or relaxing, proper lighting is crucial for comfort and reducing eye strain. Floor lamps with adjustable heads or wall-mounted reading lights can provide focused task lighting in these spaces.


Adequate lighting is essential in closets to help you find and organize your clothing and accessories. Recessed lighting, Puck Lights or LED strip lights are popular for illuminating these spaces. Amazon has a great collection of battery-operated and rechargeable lights for closets and other small spaces. Consider using motion-sensing lights so that when you open the closet door, the light turns on automatically.

Home Office

Good lighting is key for a productive home office. Not only does it reduce eye strain, but it can also optimise space. Some great options to consider are the classic angle-poise lamp, scissor wall light, or the modern over-monitor light bar.

Small Living Room

Maximise your small living room space with multiple lamps! Instead of an imposing central light fixture, try semi-flush lights. For ambient lighting, modern LED light walls work wonders.


With the right approach, you can create a beautifully lit, functional, and inviting small space. By understanding the types of lighting, maximizing natural light, choosing appropriate fixtures, positioning lights strategically, and using dimmers and smart solutions, you can transform your small living area into a well-lit haven.