A general rule in lighting a room is to design the plan on a work plane. This helps to provide a nice even lighting for most tasks in any room.
You are doing a remodel and know that you want to add some lighting to the room, but your stumped. Where do I start is the most common question I get asked. There are some basic guidelines and factors that can help you determine where to start and how to proceed.
First let’s take the room and it’s needs. Different rooms require different lighting solutions. Rooms like bedrooms, living rooms, dens and basements can be properly illuminated with a simple general lighting plan. In rooms up to about 12′ x 12′, one ceiling light that can hold bulbs that combined equal about 120 watts is sufficient. For a better and more evenly disbursed light, 4 recessed lights about 40″ off each corner works wonderfully.
Kitchens and bathrooms require much more thought. In these rooms, where tasks are performed, it is important that the lighting level be high enough to perform these tasks safely and comfortably. In a good kitchen lighting plan all the work areas will be well lit. Placing the cans so that the centers line up directly above the outside edge of the cabinets is the best solution. This provides ample light and avoids shadows while working at the counters. Spacing in a kitchen is also very important. Keeping the recessed lights about 4 feet apart and no more than 5 feet, will assure you have even spread of light.
A living room or den may be a rectangle as opposed to a square. A room that is 15′ x 12′ would be more evenly lit with 6 recessed cans. In these rooms lighting can be supplemented with wall sconces and or table or floor lamps.