Choose the perfect lighting for an entryway

One of the most necessary elements of a welcoming entry is the right amount of light. Good lighting enables activity, enhances color and — most importantly — gives an entryway a sense of warmth and life.

Light interacts intimately with all elements of design, so choose bulbs that impact the colors and textures of your room in ways that best establish the mood you desire in your home. Keep in mind that incandescent, fluorescent and halogen bulbs each offer a different quality and temperature of illumination. Think like a painter: by adjusting the light palette, you can change the whole appearance of your small entry.

Accent lighting: This type of lighting allows you to create dramatic spots of light as well as efficiently illuminate an entire entry. Typically, using narrow–beam light bulbs lets you direct the eye to those objects or places in the room you find most visually appealing. Create atmosphere around artwork or photographs, as we have done here with our track lighting system. A flexible line–voltage design lets you place multiple pendant lights and spotlights anywhere along the track with 10" in between. Wall sconces are another option for a small entry. They attach to the wall, so no surface or floor space is used.

Overhead Lighting: Recessed ceiling fixtures are ideal for an entry where there is probably not enough space for lamps, and you need to be able to turn lights on easily when coming home in the dark. Recessed lights can be fitted with wall–washer bulbs or with spots that call attention to an architectural feature or a work of art. A small chandelier or lantern hung overhead can be a dramatic focal point that casts a warm glow. How big should an overhead light fixture be? Add up the length and width of the room and the number you get is, in inches, your guide for the fixture's diameter. For example, a 15–by–20 room would need a 35–inch wide overhead light.