BY Mary Jo Martin 

Lighting is often called the jewelry of the home. The lighting you choose should be a reflection of your style, accent your furniture and decor, and provide the appropriate mood and functionality for any space.

Because of that, numerous variables are involved in making new lighting selections and placement.

The most obvious, of course, is the design. Much like the jewelry that we wear, the style of jewelry for our homes can be classic, elegant, trendy, casual—whatever captures your home’s personality.

Here are five lighting trends to watch for this year.

Soft gold combines soft matte with the warm look of gold. It works well as an accent for neutral colors like gray and greige that have been so popular the last few years. Soft gold is an ideal alternative to the brushed silver and gold finishes that have been trending. Soft gold can be used in virtually any lighting setting — from large overhead fixtures to smaller accent or reading lamps. Designers expect this to be a lasting trend because of how well it blends with a wide range of looks from modern to farmhouse.

Kichler - The Brettin Collection
The Brettin Collection |

Mid-Century Modern and Art Deco styles are often go-to favorites used by interior designers, and now lighting fixtures are starting to pick up on that trend. These styles, originally popularized from the 1920s to 1970s, are known for their clean lines and minimal detailing that combines form and aesthetics. A great example is the Sputnik chandelier with its smooth lines and pared-down styling that has been filling the market. While Art Deco often has geometric designs and is ideal for statement-making overhead fixtures, Mid-Century Modern typically uses natural shapes and have an artsy, laid-back look.

Retro is “in” and the Edison-style light bulbs enables homeowners to combine the warmth and softness of a retro look without being too industrial. They bring a sense of nostalgia to kitchens ad living areas with their rounded cone shape. But Edison-style bulbs are also available in modern LED styles as well as some incandescent variations that are very inexpensive.

Bigger is better when selecting lighting fixtures. People want the “wow!” factor that comes from using lighting as the centerpiece of a space. Large fixtures are especially popular in the kitchen, dining room and foyer, and can be beautifully balanced with some smaller fixtures throughout those rooms. Some have ornate designs, elaborate designs. These require careful consideration during the selection process—the right fixture can give you the maximum, attention getting effect that you’re looking for.

Hinkley - The Brooklyn Pendant
The Brooklyn Pendant |

Digital technologies continue to play bigger roles in our everyday lives, and residential lighting is no exception. Tools like Caseta by Lutron can be easily paired with Alexa, Siri or other voice-activated systems to control lighting. Homeowners can set a schedule for their lighting, to make it appear that they are home even if they’re not. They can also be used in combination with homeowners’ GPS systems for automatic activation when returning home. Lutron doesn’t require wifi or special, more-expensive smart bulbs; it operates on its own hub so lights will still work if the wifi is disabled. The sleek and modern covers are more appealing than typical switches. Even if a homeowner may not want to go to the expense of arming their entire home, they are very effective and practical for the main living areas and kitchen.