4 Tips for Lighting Small Spaces

Small environments present unique challenges when it comes to lighting.

Katie Caron
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small space lighting
Translucent or other non-obtrusive pendants can help make a space seem larger.

Small environments present unique challenges when it comes to lighting. Chad Rothe, Founder and Owner of Lightform Lighting in Scottsdale, AZ, shared some insights on how to make every square foot count for small space dwellers.

Opt for multi-functional lighting.

From floor lamps with built-in shelving and trays to combination torchiere and task lighting, multi-purpose pieces can bring needed flexibility and convenience to a small space. For example, Rothe carries a bedside wall sconce from Kuzco that can eliminate the need for a bedside table and lamp. The sconce is adjustable for reading on one switch, has a backlight for ambience and features a cradle for a phone along with a USB port. 

Keep pendants non-obtrusive.

Rothe recommends opting for something translucent like clear glass or acrylic so the pendant doesn’t overwhelm the space. Another trend he’s seen is the use of delicate tubular pendants, which can be just a half inch to an inch in diameter and bring a touch of elegance to a small environment. 

Use recessed LED lighting.

Whether residential or commercial, Rothe says recessed LED lighting works great for both task lighting and general lighting. “You’re basically letting your drywall be your canvas,” he says, “so you’re not seeing any fixture per say, but you’re seeing linear lines of light that are strategically mounted in drywall.” As recessed lighting products get smaller and more powerful, they can pack a punch while complimenting the aesthetic of a small environment.

Use LED tape in the kitchen.

Putting a splash of light under the toe kick, above the cabinets for indirect lighting or under cabinets for task lighting can bring needed illumination to a small kitchen. “The LED tape is a sixteenth of an inch,” Rothe says. “It’s miniscule so you get a lot of bang for your buck and visual stimuli.”

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