Sealy Design 101 — Lighting

VIDEO: A Lesson in Lighting

Lighting Tips


  • Always do a furniture plan before finalizing your lighting (RCP) and electrical plan.
  • Pick your fixtures before finalizing your lighting (RCP) and electrical plan. Sconces are particularly important since the height of the floor is fixed (once installed) and can vary greatly with your specific choice. Some fixtures are very heavy and may require extra support behind the wall or ceiling.
  • Pick your casing/trim before the boxes for the switches are installed since wider casing may require moving these away from a doorway to allow for the casing and some wall space before the wall plate.
  • Everything on dimmers (different bulbs/lamps require different dimmers so make sure you pair these properly or you might blow the dimmer of get a buzzing sound).
  • Always do a site walk through with your electrical plan in hand before the final wall finishes go up to ensure it makes sense to you. Changes are fair easier and cheaper when the walls are open.

Lighting Terms

General Lighting Information:

The best lighting allows you to set the light levels based on your mood and/or specific function at the time within the space so that you can create a layered effect. This means all lights show be dimmable to give you the most control.

1. General/ Overall Lighting

  • General light throughout, most commonly as pot lights/recessed downs or other overhead lights
  • Pot lights are made to accommodate specific bulbs- MR16, PAR, LED, and have different features (size, tilting or fixed, light beam spread, colour of light from bluish to very warm white, energy requirements), so it’s important to know these features when placing these and selecting the one that’s right for the space.

    (L to R: MR16 Bulb, PAR Bulb, LED Pot)

2. Accent/ Decorative Lighting

  • Provides ambiance to a space and is generally a softer, muted light in comparison to general/overall lighting
  • Accent and decorative lighting comes in many forms including pendant lights, wall lights (such as sconces) and table or floor lamps.

    (L to R: Sconce, Pendant, Table Lamp)

3. Task Lighting

  • Provides lighting that is specific to a certain task such as desk lamps, reading lights or spot lights (used for highlighting architectural details, art, etc.) or under cabinet lights to remove shadows that are often created when we work with pot lights at our back.

    (L to R: Desk Lamp, Spot Light)

(All General Lighting Information from Francis D.K. Ching, Building Construction Illustrated, 4th Edition, 2008)

LED Information


  • Highly efficient - Electricity savings range from 50 to 82%
  • Long life - 32000 to 50000 hours (approx. 10-15 years). You never need to replace the bulb
  • Range of colours - LEDs are available in a range of colours, including warm white (3000 Kelvins ) , very warm white ( 2700K ) and RGB ( red, green and blue ), which can produce dramatic colour-changing effects in a single fixture.
  • Colour quality, or colour rendering index (CRI) - CRI indicates how well a light source shows true colour and is measured on scale from 1-100. The budget led soft strip has a CRI of around 70. The premium led soft strip has a CRI of 80+ to bring out the best colour in the space.
  • Dimming - available to dim down to 1% without flickering, with LED appropriate dimmer
  • No Mercury
  • No UV /IR emission (won’t harm art)
  • Low profile / compact size
  • Breakage and vibration resistant

Under Cabinet LED STRIP Light (Made in Chicago):

  • Strip lights stick on with a 3M tape, making it easy for a homeowner to install.
  • This product can be simply plugged in or hardwired in by an electrician
  • The strip lighting is customizable and can be cut every 1" to the size needed
  • The driver can be remote up to 40' away from the strip light (it's about the size of a chocolate bar)


  • wall washing option- to highlight accents, like art
  • under cabinet task lighting

Accent/ Under Cabinet LED Puck Light (Made in Chicago):

  • (produces no heat)
  • The Pucks are 3w, about equal to a halogen 10w


  • Puck and dot light- great for accent lighting in a closed cabinet (due to low profile and no creating any heat)
  • Dots are great to add to stairs to discreetly light the treads (an “eyelid” can be added to direct the beam of light)

Pot Light/Recessed downs Alternative:

  • There are many customizable beam spread options- with wider beam spreads than traditional pot lights/recessed downs meaning you can place them further apart
  • These can be recessed or surface mount
  • Come in a square or circular option, as well as singles, doubles or triple fixtures
  • A 20W LED, is brighter than a standard 50W bulb


  • As an overall lighting option, such as replacing regular pot lights/recessed downs
  • As accent lighting to highlight a specific area

Decorative Fixtures (Made in Germany)

  • You can design your own fixture, by adding as many fixtures onto one canopy as you want.
  • There range types of fixtures start at approx $250


  • Anywhere you’d use a pendant- over a kitchen island, flanking a sink, of either side of a bed…

Plans & Pictures (RCP & Pictures)

Sample of Kitchen Lighting

In this kitchen shot, you can see the use of incandescent under cabinet lights, small and large decorative pendant lights and pot lights. You can get the same look with more efficient LED lighting:
LED Strip from Eurolite for Under Cabinet Lighting
LED Decorative Pendant called Falling Water from Eurolite for over the Kitchen Island
LED Pot Light Alternative from Eurolite

Sample of Living Room Lighting

In this Living Room shot you can see the use of natural and artificial light. There is the use of table and floor lamps as well as directional pot lights to highlight art and pot lights to provide general lighting. You can get the same look with efficient LED lighting:
LED Pot Light Alternative from Eurolite
Directional LED Puck Lights from Eurolite (an Eyelid must be added, and these can be surface mount or recessed)

Sample of Dining Room Lighting

In this Dining Room shot, a mix of dimmable pot lights for general lighting and pendent lighting were used to create an intimate space. You could create the same look with LED lighting.

LED Pot Lights for general lighting from Eurolite

Sample of Bedroom Lighting

In this Master Bedroom shot you can see the mix of natural (windows) and artificial light. The artificial light includes task lighting beside the bed, overhead light (pot lights) and decorative pendant lighting. All of these sources could be replaces with more efficient LED lighting, for example:
LED Pot Light Alternative from Eurolite
LED Puck Light for task lighting at the Makeup Vanity from Eurolite