Lighting 101

February 8, 2024

Lighting 101 with Jess Klein Studio

Lighting makes all the difference —

Creating a balanced lighting plan for a space involves a layered approach to ambient, task, and accent lighting. Layering the lighting in a single space by choosing fixtures of varying heights and installations —think sconces, a chandelier, and a floor lamp helps create ambiance and interest. We’re excited to provide you with the JKS formula to lighting. Lighting is one of our favorite elements to source for a project and can really bring a space to life. We love to make lighting a focal point in our client’s homes.

For both renovation and new build projects, our team will craft an electrical plan that ensures a well-thought-out lighting layout, along with strategically placed outlets and switches. We make sure to avoid design frustrations, like switches placed in the middle of a wall or in awkward spots. We’ve all had that moment of “why did they place that light / fire alarm / electrical box there???”

We have a love / hate relationship with recessed lighting but it does make sense in certain spaces. Recessed lighting can be too bright and some electricians overdo it by adding too many recessed cans in one space. If you are planning to incorporate recessed cans, we recommend putting them on a dimmer. A statement light fixture is our love language.

JKS Tips for Lighting —

  • Installation: If you are simply swapping an existing wired light fixture, this is likely straightforward for an electrician, so we recommend adding a few lights to the scope of work (since they are already there doing the work). Add a dimmer!
  • Installation: If you are adding sconces (for example: next to the bed) and there weren’t sconces there to begin with, the electrician will need to add a switch next to the sconces. Make sure you have the nightstands and bed you’re going to use in place before telling the electrician where to add the sconces / switches.
  • We love battery operated small lamps for small side tables and / or areas like the kitchen or bathroom – it’s unexpected and adds a moody element. 
  • If you have a dresser….go ahead and put a table lamp on it.
  • Layer Lighting: As mentioned above, we recommend layering lighting heights and sizes in a space. For example, in a living room (depending on the size), we’d recommend overhead lighting, a floor lamp and table lamp somewhere in the space. 
  • We love how floor lamps bridge the gap between art and furniture.
  • Also, we don’t hate the idea of hiding a recessed lighting switch with art (only slightly kidding! haha)
  • Placement: Depending on the size of your light fixture, we advise installing it so that the bottom sits between 32 to 38 inches above the surface of your dining table or island.
  • Shades vs Exposed Bulbs: We like to include a mix of light fixtures with shades vs. exposed bulbs/glass. Shades diffuse the light which creates ambiance so we opt for this more often than task lighting.
  • Smart Bulbs: We have smart bulbs in our studio and they are hooked up to an app so you can dim, change the color, put them on a schedule, etc. Life changing!
  • One more tip (that we must share): When it comes to the size of a light, we always suggest going bigger than you think. TRUST US.


Watts measure the amount of energy required to light the light bulb, whereas lumens measure the amount of light produced by the bulb. To determine the recommended lumens necessary (for lighting a room in your home) correctly, multiply the square footage of your space, by the number provided.

  • Bathroom: 70-80
  • Bedroom: 10-20
  • Kitchen: 60-70
  • Laundry: 70-80
  • Living Room: 10-20

For example, if your bedroom is 200 square feet you’ll want your light to be between 2000 and 4000 lumens. We love warmer lighting as everyone looks better with a warm glow. A 2700 lumen bulb is one of our go-to’s.

01. Orsay XL Chandelier | 02. Tamar Round Ceramic Sconce | 03. Polar White Cement Floor Lamp | 04. Warren Pendant | 05. Stevie Mixed Woven Pendant | 06. Cordless Table Lamp | 07. Tess Ceramic Table Lamp


Alice Lane: Podcast — The Jewelry of Your Home | How Lighting Can Elevate Your Space

Main Image — Photography: Joyelle West

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