Do All Light Fixtures Have to Match & Have the Same Exact Finish?


When you're building a new home or remodeling an existing one, the number of design decisions to make can feel overwhelming. Step inside your local home improvement store, and you'll find seemingly endless options for lighting, including style, finish, bulb type and mounting style. Whether or not the fixtures need to match depends on several factors.

Lighting in the Same Room

  • Installed lights within the same room, such as chandeliers and pendants in a kitchen, should match in finish and style. Even if you select two light fixtures that are both brushed nickel, ensure the styles of both fixtures are consistent. For example, don't choose one very contemporary fixture and one antique. However, installed lighting does not necessarily need to match task lighting, such as lamps on a side table. See that your lighting has the same character and feel to keep your room cohesive.

Lighting Throughout a Home

  • Lights in one room do not have to match lights in another. If you can choose lighting fixtures that complement each other, you can create a home that feels interesting and layered, though achieving this look takes some skill and effort. If you'd prefer your home to feel cohesive but don't want the lighting finishes to match, find a common theme to tie them together. For example, choose similar styles in different finishes.

Bathrooms and Kitchens

  • Selecting lighting in your bathroom or kitchen may feel more complicated because you have faucets and cabinet hardware to consider as well. Try to match your lighting to the existing hardware; however, matching isn't absolutely necessary as the lights are separated visually from the faucets and cabinet knobs and pulls. If possible, aim for lights that keep in character of the room. For example, if your bathroom is traditional, do not choose an extremely modern light fixture even if the finishes are similar.

Other Considerations

  • Consider the finishes you'll be mixing as some finishes play better together than others. For example, oil-rubbed bronze can blend seamlessly with brushed nickel as both have a historic and traditional feel. Polished chrome and brushed nickel are similar in color, so differences will be more difficult to discern. Brass and silver are more likely to clash.

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