Many modern home projects include an open space: kitchen and dining room, living room, even the bedrooms. Choosing an open space means considerably broadening the perspectives, with the consequence of making even small, large and airy spaces appear. Opening the spaces and breaking down walls also allows a flood of natural light; but how to create a natural atmosphere in an open space even with artificial light?

In fact, lighting an open space is not a simple operation. Therefore we want to help you clarify your ideas with a few, but effective, guidelines for choosing the best type of lighting for your open space. So, pen and paper in hand, and let’s shed some light on the matter.


Different spaces have different lighting ratios. The greater the surface and height of your rooms, the more they must be adequately illuminated. Also consider that you will hardly use all the lights of your open space at the same time: so don’t overdo it.

Bundling the light points can be a damage from a technical point of view, but also an aesthetic one. With open space, too much is just around the corner.


When we talk about lighting an open space, planning is fundamental. Studying every corner and the particular lighting needs well, and arranging the systems according to this is fundamental.

If you plan to have a floor lamp or table lamp in the area you will use as a study corner, make sure you have enough sockets. Think that in that area you will probably place a PC, or maybe other electronic devices, so don’t skimp! In addition, if you have decided to do it yourself, without relying on a lighting professional, read carefully the technical data sheets of the products you plan to buy.

Make sure that the materials, finishes and colors of the lighting fixtures are in line with the style you have chosen for your open space. In this sense, there is no instruction manual, but the consistency of your mood will help you to balance the entire space in the best possible way.


The first difficulty that can be encountered trying to tidy up the thousands of proposals in terms of light design for open space is being able to imagine a layered illuminated environment. There are essentially three types of lighting that must be created:

  • environmental
  • functional
  • of atmosphere


Ambient lighting provides general lighting of the space. Recessed, linear, flush or similar lighting bodies are also good choices because they help guide the flow from one room to another. That said, if you have large spaces, don’t make your ceiling become an expanse of haste as far as the eye can see.

Let the false ceiling breathe and if you have a beautiful living room with pieces of furniture that are worth highlighting, nothing can be better than a beautiful chandelier. The risk of open spaces, especially when they are large in size, is to make the space very monotonous.

If you have an uneven or sloping ceiling, as well as sufficient heights, cable tensors are a nice choice. Prefer those with smaller and more graceful lighting bodies, perhaps with a star or sphere shape, to avoid the office effect.

Functional lighting is the light you need to carry out daily activities. This layer of lighting is concentrated where routine activities are carried out: for example the study area, the cooking area or the sink in the kitchen. This is why with functional lighting it is necessary to place the lighting fixtures around the cabinets or on the worktops, or at the table, or even at the desk.

You cannot expect to find comfort in daily activities using ambient lighting. Although LED spotlights may seem the simplest choice, pendant lamps or large floor lamps can help you a lot in avoiding the effect of the ocean of spotlights.


Mood lighting is the light that creates the right mood in your open space: it softens the environment and makes it enveloping and comfortable. It is decorative lighting with a purely aesthetic character: let yourself be guided by your taste and your style.

To achieve a nice atmosphere with light, wall lamps are perfect, even with up-down light orientation.

Use table lamps or floor lamps with dimmers. These luminaires allow you to adjust the intensity of the light flow and easily switch from ambient to atmosphere lighting. A particular solution to create a unique light is the lighting of the furniture plinth that defines and enhances the lines of the furniture, creating the illusion that the furniture is “floating”.

This type of light helps to enhance even a beautiful floor or an important carpet. Another plus? Safety. The wainscot lighting also acts as a night light.


With the lighting of open spaces, the chances of making mistakes are equal to the choices you have available. Lighting companies have created iconic and unique lighting projects and objects.

For example, a particular alternative to recessed spotlights for open space ceiling lighting can be a strip of light in mouldable steel. Cini & Nils created and patented such an article.

It is a lighting body that diffuses direct and indirect light, adjustable in a traditional way or with voice commands. Produced in different lengths, colors and temperatures, it is equipped with a diffuser, made from a thin layer of opalescent silver silk-screened polycarbonate to cover the LEDs and soften the light.


If you found the article interesting, leave a comment! Furthermore, if you need a guide for the design of your open space, send an email to valeriadesign@casaomnia.it!

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