How to Choose the Best Light Fixtures: 7 Simple Tips

Choosing the best light fixtures can be challenging, especially when you're trying to select light fixtures for a whole house and ensure everything works well together. I get the stress over choosing light fixtures.

If selecting all the lighting fixtures for your home feels intimidating, I have good news. I have found some strategies that helped me, and I'm sharing them with you.

1. It's not life or death

Don't put too much pressure on yourself. If you get a fixture and don't like it, it's not too hard to change it. Sure, you want to get it right but don't stress yourself out. To change a light fixture requires no major demo. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a huge deal.

Hanging chandelier

2. Get your light fixture needs organized

First, go through your floor plan room by room. Make a list of all the rooms and all the fixtures and sizes needed for each room. Plenty of lighting sizing guides on Pinterest help you figure out what size fixture you need for your living room or how many pendants you might need over your kitchen island.

Using a spreadsheet to keep everything organized is helpful.

Using a spreadsheet to keep everything organized

3. Start a light fixture board on Pinterest

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Start pinning your heart out. Pin fixtures you love for specific rooms. The living room, dining room, kitchen, your daughter's room. Then, step back and look at the patterns.

What have you pinned? What do you seem to be drawn to? Do you like black, gold, nickel? What's attracted you? What styles?

Once you find your common color and style, search for more options in those areas and pin some more. Do these light fixtures work with your furniture and overall design in your home style?

Metal finish on a light fixture

4. Decide on metals and finishes

I recommend sticking to one metal for fixtures that can see each other. For example, my living room, dining room, and kitchen are all open-concept, and the fixtures are all within view of each other. So, I stuck with nickel for these.

However, some are polished nickel, and some are brushed nickel, which I think works. My guest bathroom, however, is not visible from these areas. So, I went with gold light fixtures there.

5. Stay within your budget

It's a fact of life. Most people have a budget they're trying to stick to. Lighting was one area where I was determined to save some money. So, it's pretty easy to upgrade or change light fixtures.

However, changing out fixtures later means you may be paying more in the long run. Once for the cheap fixture and then again for the upgrade. Versus starting with the right one, to begin with.

I advise going cheaper in the secondary and private spaces, like bathrooms, halls, and kids' rooms.

Then, get the best fixture for your budget in public areas, like the foyer, living room, dining room, and kitchen. Light fixtures in the hallways and vestibules often go unnoticed by you and your guests, so don't spend a lot in those areas.

Smaller light fixture

6. Shop outside the box

There are so many great options beyond the box stores to find great deals and amazing and unique fixtures for your home. If you don't want your home to look like everyone else's, then you need to shop a little differently.

Check out outlet stores, architectural salvage shops, resale shops, and even Facebook marketplace. This is a great way to save money and find unique statements or vintage light fixtures.

Our chandelier over the tub is an open box returned from Pottery Barn. Wayfair also has lots of open-box deals and lighting. Our pantry light fixture, which probably never gets noticed, is a super cute farmhouse-style pendant I bought for $5 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Findings like that can help if the living room fixture of your dreams is a bit over budget. It's all about balance. Save some on these five that will not be seen, and then you get to spend a little more on your showstopper living room fixture.

7. Order all your coordinating fixtures at one time

At this point, you should know which light fixtures you want for each space. I'd start with the main spaces and the most important ones that you need to coordinate well with each other.

In my case, and probably yours too, it's the foyer in the office, the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen. Those are all going to see each other. These are the ones that will be seen the most by you and your guests. And they'll probably take most of your budget.

Ordering at once, you'll be able to see if you would need to make any adjustments in your plan if something is out of stock, discontinued, or not going to work. Ordering all at once is not necessary, but in my experience, it's what I needed to do, so I wasn't just willy-nilly buying fixtures that wouldn't coordinate with each other or fit into my budget.

Other fixtures that don't need to coordinate with each other can be added later with the remaining budget. So, as you order, use that super fun spreadsheet and make sure they go well together and work within the budget.

Before you order, you need to know my secret search strategy for finding the best price for your favorite light fixtures:

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How to choose the best light fixtures

I hope these tips help you find the best light fixtures for your home. Do you have a particular style you're drawn to? Share your project ideas in the comments below.

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