Menu Close

Retro Wave: What Kind of Lighting Would Be the Best for Mid-Century Modern Room?

You’ve got the perfect mid-century modern furniture, but is your lighting up to par?

The proper lighting can make or break an interior design, especially for a style as iconic as mid-century modern.

In today’s post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of mid-century modern lighting fixtures and show you how to choose the perfect lighting for your home.

best lighting works for mid century modern rooms

An Overview of the Mid-Century Modern Style

If you’re unfamiliar with mid-century modern style, it’s characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, and natural materials like wood and metal.

This style was popularized in the mid-20th century and has been returning in recent years. Mid-century modern lighting fixtures are typically minimalist and linear in design, but they can still make a bold statement.

Why Should You Consider Lighting for Mid-Modern Style Room?

Lighting is crucial in interior design; mid-century modern style is no exception.

The right lighting can highlight the best features of your furniture and architecture while also creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

With a mid-century modern style, you’ll want to choose lighting fixtures that complement the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic.

What Are Mid-Century Modern Style Lighting Fixtures?

Mid-century modern style lighting fixtures have stood the test of time, with many designs still in production today. Some iconic mid-century modern lighting designs include the Sputnik chandelier, Nelson cigar sconce, and bubble lamp sconce.

These fixtures add a touch of retro glam to any room while still maintaining a timeless appeal.

There are plenty of designers if you’re in the market for mid-century modern lighting fixtures.

Some of the most notable include George Nelson, who designed the bubble lamp series, and Gino Sarfatti, who designed the iconic Arteluce floor lamp.

These designers were known for their innovative and daring designs, which have become iconic pieces of mid-century modern style.

Popular Mid-Modern Style Lighting Fixtures for A Mid-Modern Style Room

Now that we’ve covered the basics of mid-century modern lighting let’s dive into the types of fixtures you can choose for your home.

These fixtures can be divided into four categories: overhead lighting, floor lamps, table lamps, and wall sconces.

Overhead Lighting: Sputnik Chandeliers, Globe Pendant Lamps

Overhead lighting is a fantastic way to create a statement in your mid-century modern home.

Two popular fixtures are the Sputnik chandelier, with its constellation-like design and spiky arms, and the globe pendant lamp, which features a spherical glass shade and can complement almost anything in your home.

Floor Lamps: Arc Lamps, Tripod Lamps

Mid-century modern floor lamps are a classic way to add a touch of elegance and functionality to any room.

Arc lamps, like the Arco lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, have an elegant arched design that extends over your furniture, perfect for reading or relaxing.

Meanwhile, tripod lamps, like the Adesso Bowery floor lamp, add a striking visual element to your space.

Table Lamps: Atomic Table Lamps, Cone Lamps

Table lamps are a great way to add a touch of mid-century modern style to side tables, dresser tops, or even a home office.

Atomic table lamps feature a distinctive atomic-age design, often with multiple metal arms and spherical globes.

Another popular choice is the cone lamp, which features a cone-shaped shade and adds a retro touch to your decor.

Wall Sconces: Nelson Cigar Sconces, Bubble Lamp Sconces

Finally, wall sconces are a subtle way to add mid-century modern lighting to your home. Nelson cigar sconces feature a tubular white or off-white powder-coated steel design.

In contrast, bubble lamp sconces have a playful and whimsical design, featuring a spherical shade made of translucent plastic.
Sure, here’s an expanded version of the Considerations for Choosing Lighting Fixtures for Mid-Century Modern Rooms section:

How to Find the Perfect Lighting Fixtures for Mid-Century Modern Rooms?

When selecting lighting fixtures for your mid-century modern home, consider the following factors:

Color Temperature and Color Rendering

Color temperature refers to the color of the light emitted by your bulb, ranging from warm yellow tones to cool blue tones.

For mid-century modern rooms, it’s recommended to choose warm white or soft white bulbs, which complement the warm wood tones and natural materials often found in mid-century modern furniture.

On the other hand, cool white bulbs may clash with the warmth of the space. Color rendering refers to how accurately the bulb renders colors.

With mid-century modern design, you’ll want to ensure that your lighting fixtures show off the richness and depth of any colors in the room.

Bulb Types

The type of bulb you choose can significantly impact your lighting fixtures’ style and function.

LED bulbs are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and versatile, making them an excellent choice for budget-saving.

While less efficient, incandescent bulbs produce a warm and cozy glow that’s ideal for creating a mid-modern warm and vivid ambiance.

Though LED bulbs are an excellent option for achieving high color rendering, incandescent give a better and more natural light vibe.

Placement and Spacing

The placement and spacing of your mid-century modern lighting fixtures can significantly impact the overall ambiance and flow of the room.

For example, you’ll want to ensure that your overhead lighting fixture is centered and proportionate to the size of the room. If using multiple fixtures, ensure they’re evenly spaced and don’t create an overcrowded effect.

Table lamps should be placed on surfaces that are comfortable for reading or working, while wall sconces should be placed at a height that complements the furniture below.

It’s also important to consider the placement of your fixtures in any artwork or architectural features you want to highlight.

Dimmer Controls

Dimmer controls are underrated but incredibly useful for mid-century modern lighting.

By allowing you to adjust the brightness of your lighting fixtures, you can create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

Dimmer controls can also help conserve energy and increase the lifespan of your bulbs.

When choosing a dimmer control, ensure that it’s compatible with the type of bulb you’re using and that it’s capable of controlling the wattage of your fixture.

By considering these factors when selecting lighting fixtures for your mid-century modern home, you can create a functional, stylish, and welcoming space.


Mid-century modern lighting fixtures are an essential aspect of any mid-century modern home. Whether you opt for iconic designs like the Sputnik chandelier or create your own DIY fixture, the right lighting can take your space from drab to fab.

Remember to consider factors like color temperature, bulb type and wattage, placement and spacing, and dimmer controls when selecting your fixtures, and let your creativity run wild when it comes to DIY projects.

With the right lighting, your mid-century modern home will look like a stylish blast from the past.

We hope you found this post informative and inspiring. Let us know in the comments what your favorite mid-century modern lighting fixture is!