Indoor Design  / Private Home

Determining the ideal height for wall lamps: here are 5 methods

Posted On 27 January 2023

Wall lamps represent an extremely versatile lighting solution.

In fact, they can be used as a source of ambient lighting (i.e. general lighting), accent lighting (capable of highlighting architectural details or valuable furnishing accessories), direct light to illuminate areas dedicated to particular activities (the so-called task lighting) and indirect light

From the connecting spaces like the corridors to the bedroom, or the living room to the bathroom: wall lights can be used everywhere.

However, to obtain the desired result both in terms of aesthetics and functionality, it is essential to understand what lighting needs these lamps have to satisfy.

This evaluation is essential to determine the ideal height for wall lamps and, as a result, the success of the project. You'll then be able to create the type of atmosphere you want and ensure that the wall lamp is truly functional and not risk it becoming an annoyance.

In this article, we'll talk about the most suitable heights to position the wall lamps, taking into account their specific use. Then we will analyze 5 effective methods used to determine the height successfully.

In particular, we will take a look at:




The right height for wall lamps

Before going into detail on how to determine the height for wall lamps and create the right atmosphere with the help of lighting, you must keep in mind a general rule: wall lamps should never be installed at eye level.

If you don't comply with this indication, you will make the light source a real nuisance. Consequently, the entire project will fail.

To avoid these "fatal" errors, the wall lamps must be installed higher than eye level, or above 150\180 cm, so you can rest assured that the light emitted does not become bothersome.

Without this premise, there is no other rule that will help you define a "standard height" for wall lamps since the decision depends on the evaluation of various factors, for example:

  • the type of lamp chosen;
  • the room and its function (ambient lighting, task lighting or accent lighting);
  • the height of the ceilings and the doors.

Usually, however, the ideal height for wall lamps is between 190 and 220 cm, indicative measures that are calculated using reference parameters such as the ceiling height (on average 270 cm) and the doors (210 cm), always defined based on a standard.

It goes without saying that if the environment has characteristics other than those mentioned, these guidelines will have to be re-evaluated based on those specific features. 

So, the ideal height for wall lamps should be established on the basis of specific criteria, based solely on the size of the room in question.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Alibabig


How to position the wall lamps according to their function

As we have mentioned, another very important aspect to consider when determining the ideal height for wall lamps is their specific function within the lighting project.

If, for example, you intend to use a wall lamp as an accent light to light up something specific like a sculpture, painting, or other decorative elements that deserve to be enhanced, the lighting fixture will be positioned at a higher or lower height compared to the piece of furniture in question. In this way, the direct beam of light will illuminate the desired object without creating reflections, which can distract and disturb the viewer.

On the other hand, an example of using a wall lamp as task lighting could be by the bedside table, replacing the table lamp, to light up the bedroom

In this specific case, the right height for wall lamps will be much lower because its function is to specifically illuminate the area around the bedside table to allow you, for example, to comfortably read a book in bed.

These examples serve to reiterate that there are no fixed rules regarding which height is generally correct for a wall lamp.

However, there are some strategies to help you install the wall lamps in the most congenial way when it comes to the function of this type of light, its intended environment, and finding the perfect balance between decorative lighting and technical lighting.

5 methods to determine the ideal height for wall lamps

The methods for determining the ideal height for wall lamps correspond to many elements that need to be taken into consideration before deciding on not only the right placement of the lamps but also the choice of the most suitable models based on their aesthetic taste and also their specific function.

Let's find out what they are.

1. Consider the ceiling height

As we have already seen, in the presence of “standard” ceilings of 270 cm, the right height for wall lamps is between 190 and 220 cm (provided it is compatible with the lights’ specific function).

If, on the other hand, the room you want to light up with the wall lamps has walls that are lower or higher than 270 cm, you will have to adjust, calculating 10 or 20 cm higher or lower, depending on the difference in height with respect to the standard.




2. Consider the doors

If there is a door where you are putting a lamp, the light should be installed at the upper threshold of the door or just below.

Therefore, taking into account that on average a door is 210 cm high, the ideal height for a wall lamp next to a door should be between 190 and 210 cm.

If the door isn't a standard height, the important thing is to maintain these ratios, calibrating them to the specific measures of the structure in question.


New call-to-action


3. Evaluate the decor items

A rule that is always valid is to match the lighting with the style of furniture.

In fact, everything must be in perfect harmony, both in terms of the style of the decorative lamps and the dimensions.

Therefore, if, for example, the idea of the lighting design project is to use wall lamps for accent lighting to illuminate specific furnishing elements, more than the height of the walls, it is important to focus on the size and location of the item that you want to emphasize.

The ideal height for wall lamps will be the one that manages to best enhance the value of the object in question.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Au Revoir

Au Revoir

4. Calculate the right distance between two or more wall lamps

Per the use of two or more wall lamps in the same room or in different rooms, it is necessary to make sure that all the lamps are positioned at the same height.

The lighting of a non-linear connecting wall, for example, an internal staircase, is an exception to this general visual rule.

In this case, the wall lamps should be installed following an ascending order of height.

Also, the distance between two or more wall lamps must take into account the amount of light that the lamp provides.

This parameter allows you to realize the minimum distance that the wall lamps must have, to make sure that the light beams do not overlap each other.

The beams of light should have a minimum distance of shadow from each other. However, this distance shouldn't be so large as to leave dark areas.

Once you find the position that respects these indications, if you intend to install a row of wall lamps, it would be good practice to respect the same distance for all of them, in order to create coherent and uniform designer lighting.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Ti Vedo

Ti Vedo

5. Consider the type of room and the function of the wall lamps

One of the more complicated issues you will face before determining the ideal height for the wall lamps is precisely how to choose the right wall lamps for the environment.

In addition, you have to consider the overall mood you want and your personal taste. In fact, each room has specific characteristics and needs.

Let's take a look at some ideas of Karman wall lamps you could take inspiration from for every room in the house.

Wall lamps for the living room

When it comes to illuminating the living room of a private home or a room inside an accommodation facility or restaurant, wall lamps can be a valid alternative to the classic suspension lamp as a source of general lighting, whether you use additional lighting fixtures to create task lighting or accent lighting.

An example? The wall lamps from the Alì e Babà collection, the richest Karman line in terms of dimensions and variation.

Inspired by the name and profile of the oriental fairy tales of One Thousand and One Nights, Alì e Babà, in white glazed ceramic, is perfect to highlight a wall or a detail, while with a linen lampshade instead, it will create a more diffused light.

In any case, it is capable of adapting perfectly to both more classic and more contemporary contexts.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Alì e Babà

Alì e Babà

Wall lamps for the bedroom

Regarding wall lamps in the bedroom, we have already said how, for example, it is possible to install these lamps near the bedside tables instead of the classic lampshades, as task lighting.

For the children's bedroom (but not only) Marnín is a wall lamp you wouldn't expect.

It is a deer with a white coat that has a light bulb in its mouth, which not only illuminates but also creates a fairytale dimension.

If you instead intend to create ambient lighting with the wall lamps, the ideal height to place them is medium\low, with the light directed upwards, to create a soft and suffused light effect through a beam of light that will redefine the volumes of the room by reflecting on the walls and ceiling.

Amarcord, with its base in white, rough, or gray concrete and the diffuser in transparent or satin glass, is a great example that recalls an object from other times and transports it to contemporary environments.

The variant with part of the etched glass allows you to use strong light sources without being blinded by them.


Determining the ideal height for appliqués Ti Vedo and Ugo Rilla

Ugo Rilla and Ti Vedo 

Wall lamps for the bathroom 

The bathroom has a very specific function and requires different light sources, positioned in different areas, for example:

  • the ceiling for general lighting;
  • around the mirror to provide the necessary task lighting (e.g. for shaving or make-up);
  • in all areas useful for the countless activities that take place within this area of the house.

A design idea for bathroom lighting is to use indirect light, using, for example, some wall lamps such as Work in Progress, made of white ceramic and whose design recalls the old construction site lamps covered with an unprecedented elegance, to be aimed at the ceiling from different directions, to create a diffused "reflected" light that envelops the bathroom like a warm embrace.



What is the ideal height for wall lamps?

We have seen how fundamental it is, for the success of a lighting design project, to accurately determine the ideal height for wall lamps, depending on the environment and their intended function.

Paying attention to variables such as the height of the ceiling and the doors, the type of room, and the style of furniture will allow you to give the correct quality and intensity of light for any type of environment.

Another aspect that shouldn’t be underestimated is the distance not only vertically from the ground but also horizontally between multiple wall lamps, so you don’t create unpleasant and impractical light contrasts.

Furthermore, if the room has prestigious objects or accessories, it is possible to use the wall lamps strategically as accent lighting, accentuating the value of these elements.

We have seen how wall lamps are truly multifunctional lighting solutions.

However, it is essential to carefully select the type of lamps depending on the environment and the goal you want to achieve.

Positioning the wall lamps at strategic heights will allow you to create successful lighting capable of making functional spaces that have a great aesthetic impact and making the most of any context.


New call-to-action


For more information, support, and assistance in choosing the most suitable lamps for the lighting design project you are working on, do not hesitate to contact us. 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.