Design Trends

On Our Radar: Modern Lighting Trends for 2020

The new year is always a natural time to consider updating your home décor. It’s also a time to look forward to new trends.

So we surveyed the latest trends and expert predictions on what’s on the horizon for modern lighting—and what’s on its way out. Plus, we present tips and advice to help you incorporate these trends into your home or freshen up what feels stale.

From color and craftsmanship to texture and form, read on for a glimpse into 2020.

Out With the Old

Sometimes it’s true: You really can have too much of a good thing. Several popular trends over the past few years have peaked and are now on their way out.

Farewell, Bohemian

modern low ceiling chandelier ideas
Fulton Foyer Chandelier By Hinkley Lighting

Chief among them, bohemian chic. A product of its own success, the ubiquitous style saturated design magazines and televisions shows alike with its trademark macrame, tasseled linens, and studied clutter. These days it feels more formulaic than fresh and designers are moving in a new direction.

White Out

Boon LED Pendant Light from AFX Lighting

Another waning trend? All-white interiors. Embraced as versatile and fail-safe, it paired seamlessly with the understated modernist design aesthetic. Today, the pale palette comes off as more sterile than soothing, and yes, bit bland.

Less Is Less

Aviator LED Pendant Light from Access Lighting

West Coast minimalism, a consequence of the white color trend, is similarly losing steam. Streamlined and spare, the uncluttered look that defined California cool took the design world by fire in the last decade. But the well-worn aesthetic—characterized by rigorous, pared-down profiles and a restrained sensibility—leaves little room for personal style and a sense of soul.

In With the New

In their place, 2020 will usher in a number of new design trends, many of which offer opportunities to tweak outdated styles.

Color My World

Ballet LED Spreader Pendant Light from SONNEMAN Lighting

One of the biggest developments is the comeback of color. Playing counterpoint to the all-white craze, dark tones—including black, browns, and deep grey—are quickly becoming the neutral of choice. They lend richness and warmth to a space and can easily serve the same role as overused beige or ivory. Pantone’s choice of classic blue as 2020’s color of the year further reinforces the design trend.

Lighting represents an easy way to experiment with these hues while offering an antidote to the muted all-white look. Deploying a glossy black pendant, for instance, adds instant graphic impact and breaks up the monochromatic tones.

Bright Ideas

Dipping Light LED Table Lamp from Marset

Bright hues are also trending and offer an opportunity to infuse a low-key, minimalist space with a little drama. A fixture finished in bold, energizing tones—think red and yellow—delivers a welcome pop of color and personality, without overwhelming a room.

A Touch of Texture

Clarissa Pendant Light from Bruck Lighting

Texture is predicted to be big in 2020 as well. Like color, it represents a respite from the ever-present minimalist trend and allows for variety. Lighting made with natural materials captures this textural look, while adding visual interest and an organic touch to a space.

Wicker, Rattan, and Wood

Balboa Pendant Light from Troy Lighting Design Credit: Anne Sage & Caroline Lee

Newly popular wicker, rattan, and wood are excellent options for introducing texture and are a way to bring the outdoors in. Not your grandmother’s wicker, these textural materials are being reimagined in contemporary silhouettes, lending an on-trend look to farmhouse style. Although natural and earthy, they read as more exotic than rustic, offering a global twist on nostalgic barn décor.

Although not entirely new, the following trends will remain hot in 2020.

Staying Local

Penna LED Linear Suspension Light from Cerno

In the age of ready-made, mass manufacturing, there is a growing interest in artisanal craftsmanship that draws on local materials and exudes a sense of place. Lighting designers in well-known craft communities throughout the US, are highly regarded for their product authenticity and quality and their one-of-a-kind, custom fixtures often double as artwork.

A Study in Geometry

Facet 1 Light Pendant Light from Varaluz

Geometric designs are also showing staying power this year, and lighting represents a great way to experiment with the trend. The options are endless, ranging from simple, understated forms to designs featuring a complex array of angles and intersections. For a modest take on the trend, opt for a few clean lines; to offset a staid minimalist room, go big with a sprawling statement piece.

Whether it’s swapping out materials or introducing a new silhouette, sometimes a small change can reinvigorate a room. Armed with our insider’s look at what’s hot and what’s not in modern lighting, you’re ready to start the new year on-trend.

For more inspiration, see our modern lighting ideas on Pinterest:


Najib Benouar

Najib Benouar

Najib chooses to see the good in every design—from Rococo, to Bauhaus, to, yes, even the Memphis Group—but he always keeps coming back to those sweet, sweet, clean lines and studied minimalism of modern design. As Content Marketing Manager, he’s only content when creating content.

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