Indoor Lighting Types and Tips for Your Home

(written by Viktoria Araj)

Like outdoor lighting, indoor lighting is an essential feature of a home, as it provides function and ambience. The different types of indoor lighting make it possible to choose the best delivery of light, based on your needs.

Types of Indoor Lighting

To keep it simple, there are two main types of lighting: natural and artificial.

Natural indoor lighting uses windows, skylights and other open designs in a way that lets natural sunlight into a room. The effect sunlight has in your home depends on the season, time of day and weather.

Artificial lighting requires the use of light bulbs to provide functionality. A few popular types are:

Ambient Lighting: This is the most general type of indoor lighting and is usually placed on ceilings to light a room with a broad glow.

Accent Lighting (Object Lighting): These designs use directional lighting to highlight or contrast a specific object or feature in a room.

Task Lighting: These lights are used to perform daily activities such as reading, cooking, putting on makeup and more. Reading lamps and vanity lighting enhance your ability to see clearly, without glare and with less eyestrain.

Indoor Lighting Tips

  • Identify the purpose and function of each room and how specific lighting can enhance that purpose.
  • Incandescent bulbs produce a warm, yellow glow. Halogen light is clear and clean. Fluorescent light, which can be blue or full spectrum, creates a more modern appearance, and only needs to be changed every few years.
  • Recessed lighting is an easy way to focus light throughout a kitchen or master bedroom.
  • Track lighting allows each light to be positioned to focus on different areas.
  • In the kitchen, under-cabinet lighting makes your workspace glow and focuses light onto the countertop, where you spend most of your time. In-cabinet lighting helps you find what you need quickly and looks chic in glass-paneled cabinets.
  • Look for unique fixtures to create a focal point or complement a piece of art that might already serve as the heart of a room.
  • Pendant lights look smart and decorative and provide just the right amount of light over dining room tables.
  • For instant elegance, a chandelier can dazzle a room with flecks of light and can be found in a variety of sizes. For an eye-catching effect, seek ones in a non-traditional color like black crystal, smoky brown or teal.
  • Try different lampshades in various shapes and textures for a quick transformation in any room, especially as the seasons change.
  • Table lamps (especially Tiffany-inspired glass) and floor lamps work well to complement existing overhead lighting by enhancing a corner that might normally be dim.

Remember, for the best effect, avoid relying on a single overhead light and instead layer different types of lighting in each room appropriately.

If you’re not sure what to select, you can contact a professional who can give you suggestions and tips on how to be energy efficient in your design. Many lighting suppliers sell a variety of task and accent fixtures that will not only provide beautiful illumination but are great for everyday use as well.

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