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7 Lighting Trends That Will Shine Bright in 2021, According to Designers

Kitchen with spotlights.

Courtesy of Ketra; Photo: Andrea Calo Photography

When it comes to decorating your space, lighting often takes a backseat. Sure, it’s important to have a bright and cheery space, but few people spend time weighing the pros and cons of sconces or table lamps. But lighting truly has the power to make or break your space. Not only is it crucial to think about where to place your lighting, but also how your fixtures play into the rest of your home’s décor. 

We had a handful of design experts share the biggest lighting trends they're predicting for the upcoming year. From old-fashioned fixtures to energy-efficient bulbs—and everything in between—one thing’s for sure: 2021 is destined to shine.

01 of 07

Storied Silhouettes

Small lamp on shelf.

Dumais Made

“Looking towards the new year, we expect lighting to trend towards the familiar and nostalgic. Pieces that are warm, cozy and intimate. We have all been spending more time in our homes and are looking for simple ways to address those dark spots or make previously underutilized spaces functional. Decorative plug-in lamps are the perfect solution, especially ones that are unique or vintage. We like small table lamps that slip onto a book shelf or plug-in sconces that can be added over a crowded desk or work surface without taking up valuable space.” —Kevin Dumais and Charlie Dumais, co-founders of Dumais Made

02 of 07

Warm Glow

Side table lamp in bedroom.

Dumais Made

“As has been the trend for a while, sources of light are continuing to move more towards LED. But now we are seeing a lot more ‘warm dim’ or ‘warm glow’ bulbs in the market. These are especially nice for two reasons: They mimic the color temperature curve of an incandescent bulb when dimmed, and help to transition the mood of space from bright and ambient to soft and romantic. The key is to select a table or floor lamp with a dimmer switch.” —Kevin Dumais and Charlie Dumais, co-founders of Dumais Made

03 of 07

Hi-Tech Home

Kitchen with spotlights.

Courtesy of Ketra; Photo: Andrea Calo Photography

“Homeowners are looking for ways to bring the outdoors in, and light is one of the best vehicles to help us feel more connected with nature from within our homes. As smart lighting continues to become more sophisticated, solutions like Ketra—which I recently used to update my Hamptons home—can precisely mimic natural light. Natural light settings replicate the changing color and intensity of sunlight throughout the day, bathing any space in white light during the day and transitioning to warm, amber light in the evening, and can help make us feel more in-tune with nature and wind down as the day comes to a close."—Sasha Bikoff, interior designer

04 of 07

Mix and Match

Elegant hallway and lighting.

Design: Robin Baron Design; Photo: Phillip Ennis

“What I’m seeing for lighting trends for 2021 includes a unique mix of materials, finishes, and styles. Think: combining oil-rubbed bronze together with gold as well as using both hammered and smooth metals. 2021 is all about breaking away from what we typically expect in lighting and expanding our point of view. Lighting is like jewelry in a room—make it count.”—Robin Baron, principal of Robin Baron Design

05 of 07

Back to Nature

Neutral desk lamp.

Anne Sage, Original BTC

“People are also taking more interest in lights crafted from natural materials with longevity rather than cheaper, mass-produced lighting made of plastic. As we transition to a new normal, we should treat ourselves to beautiful pieces that improve our home environment, lift our spirits, and make every day enjoyable. Try to build up layers of illumination by integrating table lights, wall lights, pendants, and target lighting, and add maximum flexibility with dimmers for setting the mood.” —Peter Bowles, Founder and Managing Director, Original BTC

06 of 07

Get Creative With Color

Yellow ceiling lamp.

The Urban Electric Co.

“We think we'll continue to see painted finishes as a big trend in the coming year, so much so that we recently teamed up with renowned color expert Eve Ashcraft to create our own palette of ten signature colors, which will be launching early 2021. They range from the perfect, intense blue to a bold shade of curry.  We've always had a strong perspective on color and look forward to building on that trend with our design clients.”—Missy Hulsey, senior director of marketing for The Urban Electric Co.

07 of 07

Sustainable Shine

White room with intricate ceiling lighting.


“Lighting accounts for nearly six percent of global CO2 emissions. A global switch to energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology could save over 1,400 million tons of CO2. LEDs provided the opportunity to reinvent our product direction with a modern edge. It is no longer about style so much as it is about functional design achieving utility, application, and performance. We are driven to expand our conceptual development and our system-based approach to design which is evident in several of our recent introductions.” —Robert Sonneman, founder and chief creative officer of SONNEMAN