The right lighting can make an indoor space look more inviting and crispier, besides lifting your spirit and mood. That said, with different types of light fittings available, picking the right ones for each part of your home may prove a little challenging — but worry not. We will help you light your home in style.
Let’s start by first looking at the different types of light fittings and their uses.
Section #1: Different Types of Light Fitting
Broadly speaking, there are three types of lighting:
- Ambient lighting
- Accent lighting
- Task Lighting
Generally, every room uses at least two of these lighting. However, it is not uncommon for a room to use all three.
So, what does each type of lighting does? Glad you asked. Let’s check out.
Every room has a primary source of lighting. You will notice that almost always this is ambient lighting. You can use them in different ways from recessed lighting to overhead fixtures.
As to how much ambient lighting an indoor space needs, this depends mainly on how that space will be used. For example, bathrooms require more ambient lighting than, say, a living room or a bedroom. The same goes for a kitchen. You will need more ambient lighting in a kitchen to ensure there is ample illumination for routines like preparing food and reading recipes.
Task lighting, simply put, is direct lighting that is used for specific activities, like sewing, cooking, reading, writing, or other intricate work. This type of lighting is never used for brightening an entire room; instead, it is use to amply illuminate a small part of an indoor space.
You can find task lights in different shapes as well as sizes. You can mount a task light on a wall, place it on a desk, or implant it into a mirror.
Accent lighting is used for highlighting a specific area or an object. Typically, these lights are as much three times brighter than ambient lights. People use it to draw attention to an object or a feature, like furnishings, architectural details, or artwork. This way a specific object or area can be converted into a focal point.
If your room has something that you want to stand out from the rest of the room, such as a painting or bookshelf, use accent lighting there. Keep in mind that like task lighting, accent lighting is not used for illuminating an entire room.
Section #2: How to light a room with Different Types of Light Fitting
Now that you know the different types of light fittings, it is time to check out how to use each one correctly
How to light a room with ambient lighting:
- Make sure the light’s brightness level is appropriate for your needs
- Avoid small, concentrated lights since ambient lighting is supposed to provide ample broad lighting to the entire room
- If possible, use natural sources
- Ensure the ambient lighting is neither too stark nor too bright
How to light a room with task lighting:
- Avoid installing a task light directly in front of monitor because doing so will create an unpleasant glare. Instead, put desk lamps a little away from your monitor to ensure the overall light in the room is bright and even
- Use a task light that is neither too bright nor too stark for the job
- Avoid installing task lighting in such a way that it throw shadows on your work
- Go for lighting fixtures that include extra fixtures like adjusting arms, dimmers, etc.
- Angling the lights can help minimize glare
How to light a room with accent lighting:
- Only illuminate what you want to highlight
- Consider using lights of different colours
- Avoid using many lighting fixtures in a single area
- Install recessed lamps for the best effect
Section #3: Different Types of Light Fixtures
Now, let us look at the different types of light fixtures that you can use to properly and stylishly illuminate each and every room in your house.
Recessed lights are an ideal fit for rooms with low ceilings. Unlike ceiling lights, they are built up into a ceiling, giving a polish and sleek finish. Ambient lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting are all possible with recessed lighting fixtures using energy-efficient and dimmable LED lights.
Under cabinet lighting, as you may guess, are installed under a cabinet or shelf for producing localized light on a work surface. They are among the most common kitchen light fixtures, where you will likely need additional light to prepare food.
Track lights are fast becoming one of the most popular living room light fixtures. They are basically ceiling lights but can independently pivot and swivel to highlight multiple focal points. Track lights are an ideal option for illuminating photos, artwork, or unique architectural elements. They can also be used for illuminating a dark space in a room.
Wall lighting and sconces
Instead of hanging from a ceiling, wall sconces are mounted to a wall. These lights can be directed upwards or downwards, depending on your preferences. Wall scones can be used in different ways. For example, installing them in a corridor allows you to add light without interfering with movements. You can also use them as a bedside light if you do not want to use, or have enough room for, a desk lamp. They can also be used as accent lighting to highlight a fireplace, a bookshelf, or artwork. Combining a pair of wall sconces with bright LED bulbs in the bathroom can ensure ample illumination for grooming.
Desk floor and Table Lamps
As the name suggests, ceiling lights are mounted on the ceiling or hang close to it. While usually these lights are used for ambient lighting, but if you want you can use them also illuminating a specific section of a room. Ceiling lights effectively cover large spaces such as living rooms, though their use as task lighting in kitchens is not unheard of.
Chandeliers are one of the most common types of light fixtures. Because of their size, most people install them in living rooms, lounges, dining rooms, staircases, and hallways. That said, miniature chandeliers are also available. You can easily use a miniature chandelier in a small living space or a bedroom.
Pendant lights come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but their diameter usually ranges anywhere between 11 inches and 20 inches. Almost always small pendants have only light bulb whereas larger pendants make use of multiple, sometimes as many as four, light bulbs.
Pendant lights offer many advantages. They are not only easy to customize but also easy to install. They provide illumination where it is needed and also reduce eye strains and glare. A pendant light is a cost-friendly way to spruce up a space and you can use it in almost any room, such as the kitchen, bedroom, entryway, dining room, and even bathroom.
Table lamps allow you to fine-tune the atmosphere of an indoor space in different ways. One of the biggest advantages of using table lamps is they emit a soft light directed at a specific area, while also adding a bit of personality.
Desk lamps illuminate a specific area and also act as decorative element. They are convenient to use and are available in different sizes, shapes, and designs.
Outdoor Wall Lights
Outdoor wall lights can help make your home safer. Not only they brighten doorways but they also illuminate dark corners. Plus, they make your home welcoming as well as warm. Outdoor porch lights and flush mounts, apart from making us feel secure and safe, are welcoming to guests.
Outdoor Landscape Lights
Like outdoor wall lights, outdoor landscape lights are used for the enhancement of safety and security of your property, as well as for making it look more welcoming.
Outdoor Flush Mounts
These are short fixtures that can help you amply lit an exterior living area. Besides ensuring proper illumination, they help create a stylish and dramatic experience. Outdoor flush mounts are low-profile lights and as such are a great option for patios and porches with a short ceiling.
Section #4: The Colour of Light in a Room
Confused about the differences between lighting colours? Don’t worry, we will help you pick the best for your home.
Warm White: It works best with indoor spaces where you are looking to create a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere, such as living rooms and bedrooms.
Cool White: These LED light bulbs tend to give a cleaner look, and hence are ideal for modern kitchens, home offices, garages, or any other space in your home where you tend to work or cook.
Daylight: Bordering almost a blue light, daylight LEDs sit at the far end of the spectrum. They are perfect as Christmas lights and decorations. Thanks to its blueish tone, these bulbs are also ideal for task lighting.
Section #5: Which Light Fixtures to Choose for Each Room
Here are some tips to stylishly and properly illuminate each room in your home.
Lighting Needs are different in each room
Every room serves a different purpose. As such, lighting needs vary from one room to another. Some indoor spaces—like the laundry room or the kitchen—require more task-oriented lighting than other rooms. For living and bedrooms a more indirect, overall light is a better option. In other words, the intensity of light, types of fixtures, and location of lighting should all differ between rooms.
How much Light do you need in a room?
To find out this, first calculate the square footage of a room (length x breadth). For example a room that 15 feet long and 10 feet has a total area of 150 square feet.
Next, figure out how many lumens you require per square feet. As different rooms are used for different purposes, this figure may vary from one room to another. For example, 10 to 20 lumens a square foot is good enough for a bedroom or a living room. On the other hand, a kitchen or bathroom needs at least 70 lumens per square foot.
Lighting Options for Every room
- Living Room Lighting or Family Room Fixtures
When it comes to a living room, go mostly with ambient lighting. That means selecting mainly wall lights and ceiling lights. Make sure all corners of the room are amply lit, but at the same time avoid making patterns with the light placement, as this will make the living room look formal.
- Kitchen Lighting
Kitchen in one place in your home were you may want to use all the three types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent.
- Bathroom Light Fixtures
All bathrooms can benefit from using three layers of lighting. A first layer, ambient lighting provided by pendants, flush mounts, or mini chandeliers, helps with the general illumination of the bathroom. A second layer, task lighting, makes it daily grooming activities, like shaving or applying makeup, easier. A third layer, accent lighting, can highlight your bathroom’s decor and architecture.
- Dining Room Lighting
For a dining room, using a central light fixture, like a chandelier, is recommended. But that doesn’t mean it is the only the light fixture you should consider for your dining space. Regardless of the types of light fixtures you choose, try to ensure they all complement each other to ensure a coherent look.
- Bed Room Lighting
A bed room is meant to be personal, soft, and inviting. By carefully selecting light fixtures, you can easily create a space that can change from one mood to another with a flip of a switch. Along with ambient lighting, use lamps in strategic areas, like in a corner or next to the bed.
- Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting can be ambient, accent, or task lighting. While ambient lighting illuminates your entire outdoor space, task lighting illuminates entrances and pathways and accent lighting brings attention to specific features, like a garden bed or architectural details.
Every room in your home serves a different purpose. That is why “one size fits all” doesn’t work when it comes to lighting a home. If you want to effectively light each room in your home, follow the smart tips discussed in this post.