Join our Trade Program »
FREE SHIPPING on most orders*
Login | Sign Up

Modern Lighting Style Guide

Modern lighting has its place in almost any space. No matter your interior design style, a cool modern light fixture can refresh the look of your space. Even if your style tends to be more classic or traditional, a modern light fixture can be just the update you’ve been searching for.

If you're looking to illuminate your home with a modern light fixture, you're in the right place. We are breaking down the basics for how to light up your space with sleek and sexy light fixtures.

139744D 91 26 NO 4 n4ybhahl6p8k53d3al4vmqwnuipf6sb8kdco3lrfb4 n4zogg6yfdaet1yiuw9ghnunvbwcc5i0jlur1yjvqo Modern Lighting Style Guide
Ringo Accent Pendant from Vermont Modern

Modern Lighting Style Defined

First, let's explore what defines modern style. This interior design style is simplistic and minimalistic. Lines and shapes play a large role in modern design. Characteristics including sleek lines, soft curves and basic geometric shapes are commonly seen in this type of interior design style. These elements of design create a contemporary style that can withstand the test of time.

Modern lighting has some defining characteristics as well. Typically in a contemporary space, you'll find chrome finishes on hardware and appliances. Chrome is commonly seen as a modern finish because of the bright nature of the metal and the ability to beautifully reflect light. A ceiling light with a chrome canopy or a table lamp with a chrome base will pair perfectly with the modern decor of your home. While it is a popular finish in modern design, it is definitely not the only choice. Other finish colors can also achieve the contemporary look you're aiming to create.

Modern lighting includes fixtures that are well-designed, simple and functional. These pieces help create a clean, uncluttered space. On the other hand, modern lighting also includes fixtures that are abstract in shape and design. These fixtures can be considered statement pieces, as they are intended to be viewed as pieces of art. Contemporary and modern fixtures are often innovative in design and use the latest and most advanced technologies, such as LED bulbs and modules. Check out our LED Lighting Buying Guide for answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Modern Lighting for the Kitchen

Modern lighting works so well in the kitchen because it pairs well with the clean and crisp look that is often desired in a space where cooking and eating takes place.  A grouping of modern pendants above a kitchen island, such as below, is a stylish way to illuminate the area. Cylinder shaped pendants with clear glass are great options to achieve this look.

fj Talisma Kitchen Modern Lighting Style Guide
Tech Lighting Talisma Pendants

Modern Lighting for the Bathroom

Similar to illuminating a kitchen, you will also want your bathroom bathrooms to appear clean and bright. Modern bath vanities help to achieve this look, while providing the optimal amount of light for common tasks like daily grooming. Depending on the layout of your vanity and mirrors, you'll want to illuminate from both sides of the mirror as well as overhead. This will reduce shadows and cast the ideal amount of light.

final call md bath01 app 1 Modern Lighting Style Guide
Final Call Bathroom Sconces by LBL Lighting

Modern Lighting for Living Spaces

Contemporary lighting in your living space should fit in well with your existing furniture, such as the sofa in your family room or bed frame in your bedroom. Arc lamps immediately add a modern feel to a space. When arranged strategically, like behind a sofa, arc lamps are non-intrusive and elegant. Modern table and floor lamps that don't necessary look like typical lamps such as the Pablo Designs Contour, Vella and Clamp lamps are fun pieces to add to your living space.

038 ClampFloor Environment 300 1 Modern Lighting Style Guide
Clamp LED Floor Lamp by Pablo Designs

There are so many reasons to choose modern lighting for your space. We love the simplicity and brightness that these fixture types offer. If you're deciding whether or not the modern look is right for you, we're here to help. Contact our design experts by email at or call us at 888.602.7011.