Scandinavian Lighting Guide: how to style your home with Scandi lighting  

What is Scandinavian style?

Scandinavian lighting is a style borrowed from Scandinavian homes that has become popular all over the world in recent years. This style makes clever use of lighting, due to the long, dark winters and blindingly sunny summers in Scandinavia. Their lighting is defined by soft, warm light that is diffused evenly throughout the room to create mood.

There are three key aspects to remember – neutral colours, organic materials and warm candlelight effects.

Scandinavian style uses light closer to candlelight than cooler neon light tones. Look for fittings that give off orange or yellow light. Understand more about colour temperature by reading our helpful guide.

Scandinavian interiors are all about creating mood. Make use of floor lamps, table lamps and pendants that complement each other, rather than one overpowering light source.

How to use Scandinavian Lighting: understand the key elements of Scandi design

Emphasise simplicity and function

Scandinavian lighting goes hand in hand with minimalist style, with a few table lamps carefully placed to provide light to the areas that need it.

Focus on illuminating areas of a room instead of having one or two large ambient sources. Typically, light fixtures in Scandi interiors aren’t above head height, but instead are used to create eye-catching focal points in a room. Floor lamps are a staple – they’re a great choice for a living room’s ambient light source.

Use natural light to your advantage

Nordic homes often have large windows to make the most of the limited hours of sunshine. Scandi windows are well insulated and bare, without blinds or curtains, to allow as much light in as possible. Make use of as much natural light as you can, before looking at lighting fixtures.

Look for natural materials like wood and glass

Organic materials are common in Scandi interiors – lighting fixtures are often made from glass or bamboo. This gives the overall feel of nature, while looking sleek and stylish. You

have a wide range of styles and materials to select from, so enjoy expressing your creative side.

scandi lighting

Simple colour palettes

Scandi colour schemes often consist of simple, light, neutral tones. Look for natural colours like whites, browns and greys that match the organic materials found in Nordic homes. White and pale grey work in Scandi style as they make the most of the limited daylight.

scandi lighting

Mood lighting is key in Scandi style Make sure to build layers of light that work together to create a warm, comforting mood. Try using candles on mantelpieces, tables or windowsills to complement the artificial light with a warm, natural light source.

Add your personality

There are a variety of stylish Scandi lighting fixtures made from beautiful, organic materials. Scandi interiors have personality to them – you can feel the designer has put their touch on the room. When designing your room lighting, try and mark your personality on the room. Look for lamps that stand out to you and pick your favourite styles and materials.

Scandi lighting by room


Scandinavian kitchen lighting emphasises function. The style is simple and minimalistic, so the lighting should be too. Create pools of light with hanging, central pendants in kitchens or dining rooms. Use a softer, warmer light that’s more yellow or orange in colour, instead of brighter, white light.


Similar to kitchens, the focus is on functionality. Style is minimalist, with straight lines and simple white and grey tones. Lighting is understated, with a few lamps near the important areas like the sink, mirror and shower. Try out a simple globe lamp over the sink, two wall lights either side of a bathroom mirror and a flush mounted ceiling light for your main source of ambient light. This builds the layers of light you want, with a small number of fixtures.


Comfort is key in a Scandi-style bedroom. The concept of hygge (Danish for ‘fun’) is important in a Scandi bedroom, creating comfort with natural materials, warm lighting, rugs, throws and other decorative touches.

Lighting should be part of this hygge concept. Remembering the key concepts of Scandi lighting - creating pools of lights with well-placed desk and floor lamps. This illuminates the room softly, making a cosy atmosphere.

Dining and living room

Natural light is easier to come by in the living room and you should make use of as much as you can. Place lamps and mirrors around the room to work with the natural light and complement it.

Floor lamps provide a good spread of illumination but is also targeted, so you can place them in the areas that need it most. Create these pools of light with wall and desk lamps to give the room depth of light.

For your ambient light source try including a statement ceiling pendant, like a wicker birdcage light or amp lamps.

Scandi lighting ideas

Floor lamps

An easy starting point to build your Scandinavian style lighting is using floor lamps. There is a huge range of designs to choose from so you can stamp your personality on a room. Remember to focus on the neutral colours and natural textiles for a true Scandinavian look.

They can provide a general light source and are great for creating pools of light in key target areas, making them a versatile choice.

Desk lamps

Your best choice for task lighting, place desk lamps where they are most needed. Use desk lamps for reading or work areas, but keep in mind how the light complements the other light sources.

Desk lamps are portable, so play around with where to place them. Pay attention to how different placements accent the room and build layers of light. Perfectly layered lighting creates that warm, cosy feeling you’re looking for.

Get creative with designs and materials to change the mood of the room and add the finishing touches to your design.

Wicker lampshades

Get creative with wicker desk lamps and pendants. Wicker is commonly made from organic materials like bamboo so it’s a popular choice in Scandi interiors.

A great choice for that natural look that creates a joyful, calming feel in any room.

scandi lighting

Glass globes

Suitable for many modern interiors, glass globes are a great option to add a Scandinavian touch to your living or dining room. You can’t go wrong with their sleek, simple design, though there isn’t the same wide range of styles to choose from as other lights.

Typically seen as ceiling pendants, they adequately provide your room with an even spread of warm light. Try a glass globe for wall lighting or desk lamp if you’re looking for task or accent lighting.

An adjustable cord lets you set the pendant at a height that offers ideal light.

scandi lighting

scandi lighting

Cage pendants

These beautiful and elegant designs will catch the eye of guests and bring a sense of calm to the room. Available in wood and metal, you can pick the right style to fit the look you are going for.

You’ll find most wood products use LED lamps, because they are the safest bulbs in terms of fire risk. Of course, with all lights there is always some risk, but rest assured that LED bulbs are very safe when it comes to flammable materials like wood.

scandi lighting

Amp lamps

Trendy and eye-catching, amp lamps fit perfectly into a contemporary style. These stylish coloured-glass lamps are versatile in a Scandinavian interior.

You can choose from wall lights to accent and complement other light sources, desk lamps for reading or other tasks, and hanging pendants in the kitchen or dining room for an ambient light source.

Made from glass for that natural look and available in black, grey and white, amp lamps are a staple of Scandinavian interiors.

How can our lighting experts help you? Get in touch today.
Without JavaScript enabled you won't be able to enjoy all of this website's features.
payment types
© 2024 The Lighting Superstore Ltd. Company Number: 07649594. VAT Number: 328 2420 76 | Site Map | TLS6