How Bright Should A Foyer Light Be?

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Your foyer is the first thing you see when you get home. It’s a place to remove your shoes, your jacket, and to keep your keys, so you don’t want to be fumbling around in the dark when you walk in or when you’re trying to leave— you need appropriate lighting to help guide you! But how bright should a foyer light be? Well, we’ve researched the topic in-depth and have an answer for you. 

If you don’t want to calculate the number of lumens yourself, you can expect to need around 500 to 1000 lumens for a standard hallway. The equation to calculate lumens is ‘total square feet x number of recommended foot-candles.’ The number of recommended foot-candles for a hallway is 5 to 10. So, if your foyer is 80 sq.ft., you will need 400 to 800 lumens.

That might seem a little complicated, and you probably didn’t expect to have to do the math to figure out how bright your foyer light should be, so keep reading as we explain this further. We’ll also answer some other questions you might have, including how to choose appropriate entryway lighting and how bright 1000 lumens are.

A bright foyer with chandelier and curved staircase, How Bright Should A Foyer Light Be?

Lumens For A Foyer

Lumens are a measure of brightness. For a room like a kitchen or a garage, you can expect to need around 8000 lumens because these are areas where you’re likely to be working or doing an activity that requires a high level of brightness. A hallway or entryway doesn’t need to be that bright; you just need enough light to be able to see where you’re going when you enter or leave your home.

You also need to consider the style of lighting you’d like to use. If you have a large foyer, you will either need a single brighter light or multiple lights— chandeliers or hanging lights are a great option if you have a foyer with high ceilings. 

Click here to see TZOE Orb 6-Light Chandelier on Amazon.

Click here to see Sefinn Four High Ceiling Light on Amazon.

If you have a smaller entryway, you may want to consider flush mount lights, sconces, or lamps.

Click here to see Viluxy Flush Mount Ceiling Light on Amazon.

We’ll discuss how to choose appropriate entryway lighting more later. First, you need to know how many lumens you need, so you have a general idea of what kind of lighting will be sufficient. 

Calculating Lumens

To calculate the number of lumens the room needs, you will need to understand the number of foot-candles the room needs. A foot-candle is how bright a light is when standing one foot away. As we mentioned above, the recommended number of foot-candles for a hallway is 5 to 10. If you measure your foyer’s width and length and then multiply it together, you will have the total number of square feet. Multiply this by the foot-candles to calculate exactly how many lumens you will need to sufficiently light your space.

If you’re still in doubt or unsure, consider installing a dimmer switch and choosing bulbs with higher lumens. That way, you can adjust it to your preferred brightness. 

Click here to see QPLUS Dimmer Switch on Amazon.

How Bright Is 1000 Lumens?

How bright 1000 lumens depends on the type of bulb and beam. For example, a 1000 lumen flashlight is bright enough to illuminate 500 to 800 feet ahead, but while it would be a bright flashlight, a 1000 lumen streetlight would be pretty dim because of how the light is dispersed. One-thousand lumens is bright enough for use in the home, and if you have a small foyer, a 1000 lumen bulb or multiple bulbs totaling 1000 lumens would probably be adequate for you. 

Click here to see OMAYKEY 400 Lumen Dimmable LED Edison Bulb on Amazon.

How To Choose Entryway Lighting

Once you’ve figured out how much brightness you need in your entryway and how many bulbs you will need, you can begin to think about the style of light you’d like, and there are a few things to consider when choosing your entryway lighting.

If you choose to light your foyer with lamps, do you have enough space for one? Or two? Will you choose floor lamps or lamps to go on a console table? What about if you only want to use ceiling lights? Do you want something subtle or a statement piece?

You need to think about how your lighting will fit in with your overall design. If you want a warm, welcoming feel, opt for yellow bulbs, but choose a white bulb if you want a modern, minimalistic feel.

Luxury Foyer

Curved stairway leading down into foyer

This chandelier emits elegance and grandeur in this luxury home. It is paired with sconces for additional lighting in areas that might not be illuminated by the chandelier or when turning on the chandelier isn’t as necessary. 

Long Foyer

Foyer with french doors

If you have a longer entryway, you might need to add multiple lights like in this example. If you have one light in the center, you could always add lamps on either end of the hallway!

Keeping It Simple

Entryway in light tones with mosaic tile floor

While lights can add to your decor, they don’t have to. Their first job is to help us see, so if you want to keep it simple with recessed ceiling lights, there’s no reason you can’t!

Using Lights To Highlight Design

Modern front entrance interior

Lighting is also a great way to highlight areas you want people to notice. If you have a console table or a decorated space, you can use lights like in the image above to draw attention to those highly decorated areas. 

As we mentioned earlier, your lighting needs to match the size of your space. If you have standard ceilings, a chandelier or low hanging light will overwhelm your space, and likewise, if you have a high ceiling, a flush mount light may be lost in the space. For more ideas on entryway lighting, check out “18 Entrance Hall Lighting Ideas You Should Check Out.”

What Is The Best Size Light For A Foyer?

Let’s talk about math again. If you decide on ceiling lights for your foyer, you can do a simple calculation to figure out the recommended diameter of your light.  According to The Lighting Company, a good way to calculate your ceiling light’s size is by adding your room’s width and length. For example, if you have a 13′ x 15′ room. You will have 13+15= 28. You will need a light that is 28″ in diameter.

Another good rule to remember is that your lighting should be at least seven feet from the ground. This can help you choose whether a hanging light or chandelier is appropriate for your space.

Does Lighting Have To Match Throughout The House?

While it’s good to keep a similar feel with lighting throughout your house, it doesn’t have to be an exact match. In fact, matching all of your lights will create more of a showroom look than a welcoming family environment. Lighting is a great way to add your personality to a room, and you can use it to create the ambiance you seek.

The best approach is to keep the lighting similar. The entryway is the first thing people see when they walk into your home, so you can use it to set their expectations for the rest of your home. If your home has a modern design throughout the living room and kitchen, a rustic light fixture in your entryway probably isn’t a good choice. Similarly, if the rest of your home has a charming rustic vibe, a glamourous chandelier right as you walk in won’t make sense. 

Final Thoughts

Your entryway needs to be bright enough to see where you’re going and what you’re doing, but it doesn’t need to be as bright as other rooms like the kitchen or dining room. Experiment with different bulbs, so you can create the exact feel you want. Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas on how to do that! Remember, a dimmer switch is a great addition if you want to have multiple levels of brightness in your foyer!

Now that you’ve got some ideas for your entryway lights, check out our other blog post on dining room lighting “What Is The Best Lighting For A Dining Room?

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