Indoor Design  / Private Home

Determining the ideal height for appliqués: 7 methods

Posted On 24 October 2019

Appliqués are a very valid solution for ambient light, accent lighting or indirect lighting. They can be used in spaces such as corridors and for the most varied uses in halls and rooms.

Given the high versatility of this type of lamp, determining its ideal height is fundamental for the success of the type of atmosphere you want to recreate and to make the appliqué truly functional, instead of risking that it becomes a visual disturbance.

Let's take a look at the most suitable heights for the various types of appliqué uses and then analyse 7 effective methods to determine their height successfully.


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What is a good height for the installation of appliqués?

Before looking at the ideal heights for appliqués, you must keep in mind a general factor of fundamental importance, namely, that you should never install appliqués at eye level! If you don't follow this fundamental rule, appliqués will undoubtedly be bothersome and will cause your project to fail.

In this regard, appliqués should be installed above eye level, or above 150/180 cm; in this way, you will avoid the "dentist light" effect, with an annoying and unpleasant glare.

That said, there is no other rule that defines the "standard height" for appliqués since it depends on the type, the area you have decided illuminate and its function and the height of ceilings and doors.

Usually, we refer to a height between 190 and 220 cm, heights that represent a standard average from generic data such as the height of the ceiling, which on average is estimated at 270 cm, or the height of 210 cm for doors, always defined as a standard average.

It goes without saying that if the structure you intend to enrich with appliqués has very different dimensions, these guidelines also offer some information in this regard. So, to choose the various heights of the appliqués for the different areas, you should use specific criteria, based exclusively on the dimensions of the structure in question.

Another crucial aspect you should pay attention to in order to determine the ideal heights for appliqués is their specific use. If you intend to use an appliqué as an accent light to illuminate something specific, such as a sculpture, painting or other valuable decorative elements, to accentuate its prestige, you can place this type of light at a height that is higher or lower than the element. It will directly illuminate the desired object without creating reflections that distract and disturb those who look at it.

An example of practical use is to replace a bedside table lamp with an appliqué. In this case, it would be wise to place it at a very low height, to specifically illuminate the area around the bedside table, resulting as both relaxing and functional, for example, for evening reading.

Although there are no fixed rules to refer to in order to understand the best height for appliques, let's analyse 7 strategic methods that will allow you to install your appliqués in the most congenial way concerning the function of the light and the structure it is intended for.

7 methods for determining the ideal height for positioning appliqués

1. Ceilings

For 270 cm high ceilings, you can install your appliqués at a height between 190 and 220 cm.

If the rooms you intend to illuminate with appliqués have walls less or greater than 270 cm, you can adjust the lamps by calculating 10 or 20 cm higher or lower, depending on the height difference compared to the standard height.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Alì e Babà

Alì e Babà

2. Doors

In the event that the wall where you intend to install an appliqué has a door, you should make sure that the light is installed at the height of the upper threshold of the door or just below. However, bearing in mind that, on average, doors are 210 cm high, according to the most widespread standards, the ideal height for strategically placing an appliqué should be between 190 and 210 cm. These indications also apply if the door height is different from the standard height; what matters the most is that you compare these standard measures to those specific to your structure.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Alibabig


3. Furnishings

If your idea is to use an appliqué as an accent light to illuminate specific furnishing elements, focus more on the dimensions than on the height of the walls and the location of the element you want to illuminate. Adjust the position of the lamp based on the height that manages to show the value of the object in question in the best way.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Au Revoir

Au Revoir

4. Bathroom and Bedroom

When you have to install appliqués in a home, and you are faced with the question of the right position for each appliqué, the most "critical" areas are almost always the bathroom and the bedroom, due to the fact that they are two rooms with a specific and versatile utility and require a specific lighting project that is functional for the use they are subjected to every day.

As for the bathroom, the most suitable position for the installation of appliqués is between 160 and 180 cm above the floor: 160 cm, in particular, is ideal in the presence of a mixed wall, in which there are various supports, for example, towel rest solutions.

Turning our attention to the bedroom, instead, we have seen at what height to position appliqués if you intend to use them as a replacement for the classic bedside lampshades, but if you want to use this type of light for ambient lighting, you can use appliqués at a medium/low height, with the light diffuser directed upwards, to create a soft and suffused light effect through a beam of light that will redefine the size of the room and reflect off the walls and ceiling.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Norman


5. Living room

When it comes to large rooms within accommodation facilities or the living area of a private home, appliqués are a viable alternative to the classic suspended chandelier.

The same applies to catering establishments, where you can replace a suspension lamp with one or more appliqués, gaining in visual space and making the room bigger in the client's eyes.

In rooms as large as these, if the ceiling is 250 cm high, you should position the appliqués at about 180 cm from the floor; if, on the other hand, the height of the ceiling, as happens in older buildings, reachesa height of 280 cm, you can position it even 200 cm from the floor.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Ti Vedo

Ti Vedo

6. The distance between two or more appliqués

For the use of two or more appliqués in the same room or different rooms, you should ensure that all the lamps are positioned at the same height.

The exception to this general visual rule is the lighting of a non-linear joint wall, such as a stairway, for example. In this case, you should position the appliqués following an increasing order or find other solutions that follow the nature of the space for which it was created.

The distance between two or more appliqués must necessarily take into account the amount of light that the lamp emanates. Based on this parameter, you will understandthe minimum distance that the appliqués must have, making sure that the light beams do not overlap.

The ideal arrangement would create a minimum distance between the shadows from one appliqué to the next, without placing them so far apart that it would leave some areas in the dark.

Once you find the distance that respects these indications, if you intend to install a row of appliqués, you should respect the same distance for all of them, to create coherent and homogeneous lighting.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Ti Vedo and Ugo Rilla

Ti Vedo and Ugo Rilla

Determining the ideal height for your appliqués

We have seen how fundamentally important it is to accurately determine the ideal height for appliqués, based on the environment and their intended function.

Paying attention to parameters such as the height of the ceiling and doors and the type of room and furniture, as well as the environment and the structure itself, will allow you to position your appliqués so that they provide the correct quality and intensity of light for every type of environment you want to illuminate.

Another aspect that you should not underestimate is the vertical distance from the floor and the horizontal distance between multiple appliqués in order not to create luminous detachments, which are unpleasant to see and not very functional.

In addition, if your structure has valuable objects, you can use appliqués strategically to accentuate the value of the environment through accent lighting.

As you can see, appliqués have various functions, and there are multiple types, styles and designs, so carefully select the type of appliqué based on the environment you have and the functionality you want. Placing these lamps at a strategically designed ad hoc height will allow you to create successful lighting, making your spaces functional and pleasing, with just the right lustre.


Karman mini catalogo PRIVATE HOME


For more information, support and assistance in choosing the most suitable lamps for your lighting design project, do not hesitate to contact us at this link. We are at your complete disposal.

Camilla Rossi


Camilla Rossi



Karman, an Italian company, was founded in 2005 in Fossombrone. The company's world moves itself with simplicity towards an original and personal decorative use of lighting in both private surroundings and public spaces.