#1 Steer Clear of Bulky Ceiling Fixtures Compact living spaces often have low ceilings. Light fixtures that are large or low-hanging will only make the room feel smaller and more closed in. Standard ceiling heights in South Africa are between 2.1m and 2.4. This means that you ideally want a ceiling fixture that is no more than 40cm in height and it should not be hung lower than 2m above the floor. Recessed downlights and flush mount ceiling lights are the best solutions as they won’t accentuate a low ceiling. If you have your heart set on a fixture that is more decorative then choose one that has a low profile but is large in diameter.
#2 Employ the Wall-Washing Technique Wall-washing is a simple lighting technique that makes a room feel larger. Direct lighting towards specific features on your wall, for example, a painting or architectural accent. This creates the illusion of expanded room boundaries and draws attention to interesting show-worthy features in your home. Recessed eyeball lights and multi-directional track lights work well to achieve this effect.
#3 Use Uplighting Direct light in an upward direction towards the ceiling to lead the eye vertically. This style of lighting gives a small space a visual lift and can easily be achieved using various fixtures. Certain designs of lamps and wall lights will offer uplight thanks to the shape of their shade. You can also install uplighting fixtures in the floor to create a dramatic effect.
#4 Don't Forget About Backlighting Backlighting is often overlooked when designing a lighting scheme in a smaller home but it really shouldn't be. Place strip lights or ropes lights in places like alcoves, cabinets, or behind a TV or artwork to create the illusion of depth.
#5 Use more than one Light Source A number of strategically placed light sources will eliminate shadows in a small room, making it appear larger. In addition to unobtrusive ceiling fixtures, use table lamps, wall lamps, and wall sconces to provide additional illumination - the goal is to create a layered lighting look (ambient, task, and accent lighting). Just remember to keep the scale of the room in mind when selecting these fixtures. You don’t want anything bulky or oversized as this will make the space feel cramped.