What is Modern Lighting? Styles and Trends to Look For

What is Modern Lighting? Styles and Trends to Look For

A geometric modern chandelier

Do you want to make a statement to anyone entering your home? Then don’t just concentrate on the furniture; pay attention to your lighting fixtures as well. 

Think of the light fixtures you add to your home as jewelry that will highlight all of your home’s good features. In other words, you should see lighting not just in terms of functional illumination but as a statement. 

One style you can embrace to create that statement is modern lighting. But what is modern lighting? What is the difference between modern lighting and contemporary lighting? How do you use modern lighting in different rooms? What are the lighting design trends in 2022?

If you want to know the answers to these questions and more, it’s time to turn on the lights and read this article to the end. 

What Makes Lighting Modern?

When it comes to lighting solutions for contemporary homes, home design experts can choose from many styles. Modern lighting is one example. Others include rustic lighting, glam lighting, industrial lighting, and farmhouse lighting.

While modern lighting shares many similarities with other styles, it is often distinguished by its sophistication, clarity, and geometry.

The idea of clarity in modern lighting refers to making a space look much brighter than it actually is. This is why you will find this type of lighting in rooms that require enhanced clarity, such as the kitchen or study.

Another distinguishing feature of modern lighting is geometry. For instance, you will notice that these lights have elaborate shapes such as squares, circles, or cubes.

The elaborate and creative shapes used in modern lighting give the style a distinct kind of sophistication that makes these lighting features stand out so that it’s difficult for someone entering a room to ignore them.

The modern lighting style is associated with the broader modernist movement created to swerve from the traditional ways of experiencing art.

The Encyclopedia Britannica explains what modernism in the fine arts means:  “a break with the past and the concurrent search for new forms of expression.”

Based on the insights above, we could say modern lighting represents a break from tradition. It involves being bold and experimenting with new styles and materials. Because modern lighting is a break from tradition, it embraces new technologies bravely and boldly.

What is the Difference between Modern and Contemporary Lighting?

Generally, the terms “modern” and “contemporary” mean the same thing. However, in terms of home design, they mean two distinct ideas. 

Tonya Lee writes for the home design ideas website TheSpruce.com, and she explains the difference between modern and contemporary design styles. Lee writes, “Modern style is firmly rooted in the early to mid-1900s and involves strong lines with natural colors. Contemporary design involves the trends of the here and now.” 

Modern lighting and contemporary lighting share certain similarities, possibly explaining why the two are often confused. According to Lee, “Both styles tend to favor simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, clean lines and artistic flair.” 

What is Trending in Modern Lighting in 2022?  

If you look at what is trending in 2022, you will notice that the modern lighting trend is in full swing. Writing for the design, decoration, and style website, Homes & Gardens, Jennifer Ebert notes that the modern design trends in 2022 range “from overhead pendants, elegant sculptural shapes and styles, and bespoke fittings.”  

As with everything else, the way we design our homes has been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic we have lived through since the beginning of 2020.

Ebert acknowledges this, “Thanks to the pandemic, our focus has been drawn into our homes, and we’re acutely aware of how important it is for our homes to be both comfortable and beautiful.” She adds, “So while everything – including lighting – needs to have a purpose, it also needs to look good.” 

Let’s look at some of the modern lighting styles influencing home design trends this year. 

The Bold Modern Chandeliers Trend

According to Homebuilding.co.uk, even though we can expect to see “ornate chandeliers with lots of arms” for some time to come, “Maximalist lighting is in, and over-sized, and highly decorative pendant lights and chandeliers are set to continue to be a big trend in 2022.”  

An article published by the digital version of the New Zealand home and interior magazine, YourHomeAndGarden.co.nz, focuses on using bold lighting when styling a home.

The YourHomeAndGarden.co.nz article notes, “Over the past few years, lighting treatments have stepped out from the shadows, so to speak, to become the star attraction of a room.” 

Therefore, bold modern chandeliers are designed to ensure that lighting is not perceived as a supporting act in home design but rather a focal point. They have become the main factor in setting the mood and impressing those who walk in. 

Here are some tips on how you can use modern lighting in your home: 

  • Remember that lighting is part of a whole, and your bold lighting should live in harmony with other lighting fixtures like your table and floor lamps
  • Make your light arrangements unusual such as grabbing attention with “an elaborate fitting in the corner of a bathroom, or a pair of oversized light fittings in the center of a seating area…”
  • Invest in a dimmer switch to adjust the light depending on the mood you want. 

Modern Kitchen Lighting Trends

Gone are the days when all the dramatic and elaborate lighting was reserved for the sitting and dining rooms. Today, kitchens are getting the attention they deserve when it comes to lighting. 

This is a view also acknowledged by Katie Nolan, who writes for the home improvement website BobVila.com. She writes, “There are so many decisions to make when you’re remodeling a kitchen…that it’s easy to shortchange the lighting.” For her, “That would be a big mistake.” 

One style that Nolan believes will trend this year is modern farmhouse lighting. The lighting style is designed for the farmhouse home décor characterized by natural touches and warm tones. She notes that even though you want to retain the farmhouse feel, you need to add some modern elements. 

Another popular trend in modern kitchen design is light-emitting diodes (LEDs). 

A piece produced for Idealhome.co.uk, a UK home-design inspiration website, identifies some of the advantages that make LEDs popular among people looking for a modern lighting style:   

  • They emit low amounts of heat, making them energy efficient. 
  • They are ideal for places that are not easy to maintain because they last longer. 
  • They can be made smaller, making them easier to conceal compared to fluorescents. 

Trending Modern in the Living Room

For someone who wants to rock the modern lighting look in the lounge, there are ideas galore.  

In an article published by HomesAndGardens.com, Ailis Brennan cites home décor experts who suggest that you could merge modern with traditional in the lounge. Traditional denotes an old-fashioned look such as the Victorian and can be seen as the opposite of modern. 

In the living room, the bold theme is in vogue. The idea is to complete the living room with a striking centerpiece in the form of a giant chandelier that begs for attention. 

In supporting this idea, Elizabeth Stamp and Gabriela Ulloa of the decoration and renovation website ArchitecturalDigest.com advise, “Use the piece to brighten the seating area and create a focal point.” They add, “Install a dimmer switch to be able to switch up the atmosphere and set the mood.”

Attempting to incorporate modern lighting into living spaces is not always easy. For instance, Melissa Epifano of the website that provides decoration ideas, MyDomaine.com, attests to this. 

She writes, “Understandably, the guidelines for sourcing modern objects can often feel either super vague or overly specific, but thankfully there’s almost always a way for anyone to squeeze this certain look into their apartment or house.” 

Epifano’s article then suggests ways you can incorporate the modern lighting style into any room, including introducing eye-catching chandeliers, attention-grabbing lamps, sleek shapes, and statement table lamps, among others. 

The Future of Modern Lighting

Modern lighting allows home designers to push the envelope in terms of size and creativity, but what does the future hold? 

Craig DiLouie of Electric Contractor Magazine attempts to answer the question while discussing a 2021 report imagining the future of the lighting industry. He writes, “Media-driven environments, networked controls, DC power, and healthy lighting are just a few topics covered, providing a palette of fascinating possibilities for the future of light.”  

LEDs have become less expensive and widespread. Even though their initial costs are high, they require little to no maintenance, so you can expect to see more of those elaborate chandeliers hanging in sophisticated homes. 

While modern lighting provides home decor experts and homeowners with numerous opportunities to be creative, the reality is that your interior design should be holistic. 

The interior design services company, HOMMÉS, says, “The goal of holistic interior design is to design spaces that look good, feel good and actually promote your physical, mental, and spiritual health.”  

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