Northern Cult
6 min readMay 3, 2021


The lighting in your home or any space needs as much thought as the color or the furniture you choose if not more. Lighting can bring a space to life. So what do you do when you have no clue? Lighting Designers, Interior decorators, and lighting experts over the years have come up with a few do not do lists. Here’s a list of 5 common lighting mistakes to avoid while choosing the lights and maybe you could avoid these common lighting mistakes too:

01. Choosing the wrong color temperature

First in our list of common lighting mistakes is choosing the wrong color temperature. There is no right or wrong in selecting the light color temperature. You still might want to consider few things when selecting lights for your home. The most important rule is to trust yourself! Typical household lights should be something you like yourself and that makes you enjoy your home. If you don’t like ”daylight color” (over 5500K) then don’t choose them just because they are best by someone else.

While the 3000K warm white color might be nice in bedrooms and living rooms, what about other rooms? In spaces like bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and garages, it is often better to have truer white lights (over 4000K) with an overall brighter feel that is better suited. To areas where activities like preparing food, applying makeup, and performing auto repairs its always recommended to use light colors that are more white (5000K ~ 6500K).

Checkout out the detailed blog about color temperature and where to use them

Choosing the Light Color Temperature (2700K-6500K)

02. Relying on one light bulb / light source to light the whole room

The second common lighting mistakes we see over and over is people just using one light bulb and plugging into the center of the room, they don’t care about accent lighting or different layers of lighting, the reason why it’s they don’t care about different layers of lighting and the reason this is a mistake is that it doesn’t create lighting that’s really attractive or maybe really visually interesting.

So you’re just basically getting lighting playing off of one source it’s going to create a lot of really harsh shadows and it’s not going to create a space that’s visually interesting so the solution to that is to provide layers of lighting in your space so how to do that the three areas of lighting are;

Ambient lighting, task lighting, and Accent lighting so ambient lighting is everything from a chandelier could be pendants it could be recessed lighting in the ceiling it could be pot lights but basically, the ambient lighting is kind of the first light that really is there to serve the function of the kind of helping you navigate the space it’s there to basically light the room and again you might have several different types of ambient lighting in a space to make it a little bit more interesting.

We also got a detailed blog about –

What are the 3 layers of lighting? Accent, Ambient, and Task Lighting?

03. Sticking with builder-grade lighting fixtures

The third in the lighting mistakes that we see over and over again is people being content with just the builder grade fixtures that they’ve been given um specifically looking at your boob light you know what we mean like people just kind of taking the lighting that they were given maybe when they bought the place or when they moved in if they’re a renter and they just say okay well that’s the lighting that’s where we don’t have to do anything with it the biggest thing that people do the biggest mistake is they just don’t change it they don’t change their lighting.

They just stick with whatever crap is basically sitting in their ceiling and that’s not really that interesting and remember spaces are three dimensional so a lot of the times people just kind of think of their space as just going outward but you want the eye to travel up and down as well you want to be able to draw attention to you know the three-dimensional space that is your home.

So lighting is a really big part of that because it moves the eye up and down to create a space that’s more interesting so you’re really not doing yourself any favors by not swapping out that really builder grade basic lighting there are so many amazing lighting fixtures and by the way they’re not even super expensive we are going to link a bunch now we can link a bunch down in the description from amazon or wayfair or ikea lots of different places, there’s so much lighting it’s usually really quite affordable you don’t have to go crazy with lighting.

Most landlords will allow you to swap out the lighting so long as you just put the other lighting back, but don’t use an excuse just because you’re renting that you need to have crappy lighting you can absolutely upgrade it and just change it out at the end.

04. Not utilizing dimmers

It’s 2021. there are no excuses for this anymore there are light bulbs with apps attached there are dimmers that you can get on your wall there are lots of different ways that you can add a dimmer and again here although with the smart bulbs you can also change the color temperature.

So point one, yeah so this just means basically that during the daytime you can turn them down or turn them off but maybe you want a little bit of lighting in the day you know when there’s more natural light but then in the evening of course when it’s darker outside you can turn the brightness up and that goes a long way to just make sure that your space you know the brightness of the light lighting is going to work for the time of day and for the task that you are doing okay,

There’s a detailed blog about types of lighting control system:

5 Types of Lighting Control Systems and their Greatest Benefits?

05. Taking advice from wrong people

Last but not least in the list of common Lighting mistakes is about taking advice from the right people. Lighting design is a relatively new field in the construction industry and it may not be obvious why having a lighting designer on the design team is necessary. Earlier we used to take advices from interior designers, architects, electricians or even lighting suppliers and contractors too, but now we have many skilled lighting designers available,

Why should I pay for a lighting designer?

A lighting designer will analyze your space, the users, and their needs in order to provide a holistic lighting solution that considers many factors like glare, visual comfort, your budget, energy consumption, the environment, lighting standards, and light pollution among other aspects.

There are indeed many skilled architects who understand the importance of vertical illumination or how light affect the spatial perception of a space. Likewise, many engineers are well versed in concepts like LOR, the inverse square law or lux levels. A lighting designer will bridge the gap between the aesthetical and technical aspects of light and lighting to create a lighting solution that integrates as well with the architecture as it does with engineering services.

So to avoid any lighting mistakes while choosing the right lighting for your space, You can get assistance from our qualified Lighting Designers and Lighting Engineers, just drop an email to hello@northerncult.com.



Northern Cult

We create the best out-of-the-home decors items that transform your home, workspace, or anywhere you belong to, as beautiful and accented as you want.