For so many of us, lighting is an afterthought in our interiors. This happens when you think of it as a utilitarian detail of the room, rather than something that adds aesthetic value. When it’s done right, lighting is the unsung element that brings your design to the next level.
Our ultimate lighting guide gives you all the info you need to effortlessly light every room in your home. Read our tips and keep them close at hand. You never know when you may need to tweak the existing lighting in your home or to build a new layout from scratch.
Know your options
One of the most common lighting mistakes people make is assuming that one type of lighting — especially dreaded overheads — will suffice when putting a room together. Interior designers will be the first to tell you that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, lighting works best when it’s used in layers. There are three main types of indoor lighting to consider and, ideally, each room will include all of them. They are:
- Ambient: Also known as general lighting, ambient light fills the majority of the room and allows you to move around safely. It usually comes from recessed lighting, track lighting or wall-mounted fixtures.
- Accent: Accent lighting is used to highlight a particular focal point, such as a piece of wall art. Picture lights, wall-mounted-fixtures or track lighting are common, and dimmers are often used on these features to provide mood lighting.
- Task: As the name suggests, task lights are used to assist you in completing a particular function. This could be anything from desk lamps to pendant lights that hang over a kitchen island.