Apartment Lighting Ideas to Illuminate Your Space - Sonic Electric

So Cal Electrical was named a top Los Angeles,
CA apartment lighting expert by Redfin. Check
out the article we were featured in: [Apartment
Lighting Ideas to Illuminate Your Space |

Apartment Lighting Ideas to Illuminate Your Space

A good lighting design in your apartment can make a big difference in how comfortable and inviting your space feels. Whether you’re renting an apartment in Los Angeles, CA, or moving to Seattle, WA, there are a few things to remember when choosing lighting for your space. That’s why we gathered some of the best apartment lighting ideas and tips for you to try, along with some excellent expert insight. Keep reading to transform your dull and dark rental into a well-lit sanctuary.

How to choose lighting for your apartment

The function, style, size, and atmosphere of your apartment should be considered when choosing lighting. You will want to consider what activities will be done in the space, how much light will be needed, and the overall vibe you want to create.  

    • Function: Consider what you will be using the space for and how much light you will need. If you're mostly using the space for relaxing or watching TV, you'll want softer, more diffused lighting. If you're using the space for cooking or working, you'll want brighter, more focused lighting.
  • Style: Your lighting should complement the overall style of your apartment. If your apartment has a modern style, you'll want to choose sleek, minimalist lighting fixtures. If your apartment has a more traditional style, you may want to choose more ornate pieces.
    • Size: One of the most important things to consider when determining how to light your apartment is the size of the room. You need to ensure that the light fixtures you choose will not overwhelm the space. If you have a small room, you may want to consider using table lamps or wall sconces instead of chandeliers or track lighting.
    • Atmosphere: Another thing to keep in mind is the type of atmosphere you want to create in your apartment. If you want a more relaxed and romantic vibe, you may want to use softer, more subdued lighting. However, if you want a more energetic and vibrant space, opt for brighter, more intense lighting.

    Apartment lighting idea from a pro: “Just because you rent or are not planning on staying in a home or apartment long term doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from investing in quality light fixtures,” says  LOOP Lighting. “Removing and replacing basic light fixtures that came installed in your space with new fixtures that better suit your style and lighting preferences can be a great way to improve your lighting environment over the long term. Most light fixtures can be easily removed and replaced on your own with basic DIY tools. So, when it comes time to move, you can just reinstall the old fixture and bring your nice one to your next home.”

    What type of bulbs should I use? 

    There are many types of light bulbs available on the market. The type of light bulb you should use will depend on the style of your lamp, which room in your home you’ll be using it in, and which color tone you’re going for.

      • LED bulbs: These are popular because they last longer and use less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. If you’re looking for a light bulb that is environmentally friendly and will save you money in the long run, then an LED light bulb is a great choice.
      • CFL bulbs: This type of bulb is quite energy-efficient, using about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
      • Halogen bulbs: These are a type of incandescent bulb that uses less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. They last about twice as long as incandescent bulbs. 
  • Incandescent bulbs: A traditional bulb, incandescent bulbs are a type of lighting that uses a filament to produce light. Incandescent bulbs are being replaced by more energy-efficient bulbs that last longer, like LED bulbs.
    • Dimmable lighting: This type of bulb can be adjusted to create different levels of light. This can be done by using a dimmer switch or by using an app on your phone. Dimming your lights can create a more relaxing and inviting atmosphere in your home and help save on your energy bill. 

    Warm lighting vs. cool lighting

    The lighting in your apartment can have a major impact on the overall atmosphere. Warm lighting has a yellow or red hue, while cool lighting has a blue or white hue. Warm lighting is achieved by using a lower color temperature light source, such as an incandescent bulb. If you’re trying to create a cozy apartment atmosphere, opt for warm lighting. If you’re looking to create a more modern and sleek look, try cool lighting instead by opting for blue or white bulbs or a cool-toned light fixture. 

    Apartment lighting idea from a pro: “To create the best atmosphere in your home, start by switching out your light bulbs to dimmable LED bulbs in a soft white color. I recommend brands like Cree and Philips, and their Warm Glow line in particular,” shares Focus Lighting. “Once you have the new bulbs in place, add dimmers to as many lamps and fixtures as possible. If you're comfortable with a little do-it-yourself work, you can install plug-in or wall-box dimmers yourself. Or, for a truly seamless experience, go for wifi-enabled smart dimmers. Whichever route you choose, remember that a good light bulb that dims well is key to creating the perfect ambiance in your home.” 

    Types of lighting to consider 

    Ambient lighting: layer light sources to achieve the perfect balance

    Ambient light, also known as general lighting, is the kind of light that covers the entire room. There can be many ambient light sources, such as a chandelier or recessed lighting. Ambient light can also come from smaller light sources that contribute to the overall light in the room, like a table lamp or floor lamp. The mood of a room depends greatly on how you organize ambient lighting. Because of this, it is important to get the ambient light in your apartment correct.


    Apartment lighting idea from a pro: “We always recommend recessed lighting to all of our clients. It is the most efficient option for lighting up any space. When recessed lighting cannot be installed for whatever reason, it is time to get creative. Recently, we recommended wall sconces, track lighting installed on the wall, and strip lighting for a client who is unable to cut holes in their ceilings,” shares So Cal Electrical

    If you want to add some extra color to your home, consider using colored light bulbs or even colored LED lights in your ambient light plan. You can find these lights in a variety of colors and sizes to fit your needs. Strip lighting is another versatile and modern lighting solution that can be used to brighten up any room in your apartment. You can use strip lighting to accentuate your decor, create a warm and inviting atmosphere, or simply add some extra light to a room.

    Apartment lighting idea from a pro: “RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, White) LED strips can sync with Alexa or Google Home and can be great for highlighting things like TVs, cabinets, or steps. These lights can be synced together if used in multiple areas and have lots of fun modes to impress your guests,” recommends Primo Lighting and Sound

    Task lighting: properly light your working areas 

    Task lighting is a type of lighting that is designed to illuminate a specific area to improve visibility and make tasks easier to complete. For example, task lighting is often placed under cabinets and over work surfaces in the kitchen. There are a variety of ways to achieve task lighting, but some common methods include using vanity lighting, lamps, or pendant lighting.

    Accent lighting: highlight features in your space 

    Accent lighting is a type of lighting that is used to highlight a particular feature in a room. It is often used to accentuate a piece of art, an architectural feature, or a piece of furniture. These include spotlights, recessed lighting, track lighting, and pendant lighting.

    Architecture is important in any home, and using a track light is a great way to accentuate interesting architectural details. This will make your home feel more spacious and modern. Creating a focal point is also important, and you can do this by placing a pendant light over your dining room table or by placing a chandelier in your entryway. Highlighting art is another great way to use lighting to improve your home, and you can do this by using track lighting or wall sconces to highlight artwork in your home.

    Apartment lighting tip from a pro: “Lighting we love to include that people often forget about, is gallery lighting,” says Design Haus Interior. “Gallery lighting will instantly make your artwork look luxurious and can be super affordable.” A gallery wall with the right lighting can create a dramatic and elegant look in your apartment

    Natural lighting: how to use it  

    As the name suggests, this type of lighting comes from the sun or moon and can be used to light up a room naturally. To make use of your natural light and make your space feel brighter, use light-colored decor and take advantage of windows. Make sure to keep your windows clean so light can easily enter, and open up your curtains or blinds during the day to let in natural light. Mirrors can also help reflect light and make a space feel brighter.


    If you’re looking for an  apartment with good natural lighting, make sure to keep an eye out for the following: an apartment on the upper floor, a unit with large windows, an apartment that is either east or west facing, and avoid apartments with a lot of trees or buildings blocking the sun. 

    If your apartment has minimal natural light, you can use a variety of lighting fixtures to brighten it up. 

    Properly lit bathrooms

    Bathroom lighting can be a tricky business. There are a few things you need to consider when choosing the right lighting for your bathroom or a guest bathroom. The first thing to think about is the type of lighting you need. Do you need task lighting for shaving or applying makeup? Or do you need ambient lighting for relaxing in the tub? Once you know what type of lighting you need, you can start thinking about the style of lighting you want.

    Apartment lighting tip from a pro: "It's best to provide three levels of lighting in your bathroom," shares Larisa McShane. "Achieve overall illumination by using a dimmable chandelier, semi or flush mount fixture, depending on your style and size of your bathroom. Make sure your face is lit from both sides equally using linear pendants or sconces on a vanity mirror. Accent dimmable lighting can be accomplished with small, high-color rendering and neutral-color temperature recessed lights. Install them strategically to accent bathroom features, tile, vanities, and counters. The more walls space you light, the bigger your bathroom will feel in the evenings and brighter in the mornings, setting your mood for the day or night ahead."

    Hopefully, these expert tips will brighten your space

    No matter what kind of apartment lighting ideas you are looking for, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you want something simple and elegant or something more modern and flashy, you can find the perfect lighting fixtures to suit your taste and budget. By making a few simple changes, you can improve the overall look and feel of your space.


    Originally published by Redfin