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Lighting is not only essential for the practical use of a space, but it helps create an ambience and set the mood too. From mood lighting to task lighting, it’s an important element of interior decorating to ensure that each room has a variety of lighting options for different purposes.

What types of lighting are available?

There are loads of different types of lights to choose from, but they mostly fall into three categories; ceiling lights, wall lights and lamps. Here’s a breakdown of the types of lighting that fall under these categories:

Ceiling Lighting

A ceiling light is a light that is fitted in or suspended from the ceiling. They cast the most even light across the whole room compared to other lighting types. Here are some of the most popular types of ceiling lights:

  • Pendant Lighting: A popular contemporary design choice. Form and function meet in these ceiling lights, that can be as understated or as dramatic as you choose them to be, depending on placement and your chosen shades.

  • Chandeliers: These are hard to beat for adding opulence and drama to a room. The style has evolved from the traditional crystal version to include chic, contemporary and even whimsical designs. As well as being a stunning statement lighting piece, a chandelier is also excellent for casting even light so is a great choice if you want a well-lit room.

  • Spotlights and Downlights: These are either fitted to a central ceiling mount or are recessed into the ceiling. They are subtle installations, provide direct light and some can be adjusted to point in a number of directions.

Wall Lighting

As the name suggests, wall lights are lights that are fixed to the wall. They are ideal for a softer feel and for highlighting features on the wall. Here’s a few different types of wall lights:

  • Wall Sconces: A sconce is a light that is fixed to the wall and uses only the wall for support. They can shine light in an upwards direction to make a room feel larger, in a downwards direction to make a room feel smaller and cosier, or in both directions to bring balance to a room.

  • Reading Wall Lights: These lights shine light in a downwards direction and usually have an adjustable arm, to ensure you get the best light when you’re reading.

  • Bathroom Wall Lights: These wall lights make fantastic task lights, and can help illuminate the areas in the bathroom that require the best visibility, such as the basin or mirror.


Serving both practical and decorative functions in the home, table and floor lamps offer the perfect finishing touch to any rooms lighting design, and can either be used as the sole lighting source in the room or as an addition to ceiling or wall lights. They offer versatility in every aspect – they can be moved around if required, and lampshades can be changed to match updates to your interior decor.

  • Floor Lamps: These lamps can drive the shadows from a dark corner to create a warm and isolated sense of light. They come in various different styles (such as arc, tripod and uplighter), and can add visual interest to a room.

  • Table Lamps: They can be used to illuminate your room, set a mood or create an ambience, and accentuate your decor. They are usually decorative and work well as task lighting too.

  • Desk Lamps: These lamps are a form of task lighting. They add extra lighting to your desk or table and are especially useful for tasks that require precision. They are usually adjustable (similar to reading lamps) so that you can direct the light where you need it.

What is the best lighting for my home?

This varies by room and the tasks you carry out in each of those rooms. Generally there are three types of lighting; general, task and accent. General lighting is your main lighting in a room, perhaps a central pendant or spotlighting. Task lighting is the lighting you use to carry out a specific task, such as a reading light or desk lamp, and accent lighting is the lighting you use to create a mood, such as floor lamps or table lamps. Each room will require a different selection of these lights. We’ve broken this down by room:

  • Which lighting is best for kitchens?

    Kitchens require general lighting and task lighting. In terms of general lighting, track lights are a popular kitchen lighting choice as they can be adjusted to prevent shadows and light up the whole room. For task lighting, spotlights and downlights are a sensible choice, or if your budget allows it consider under cabinet lighting to illuminate your worktops. Hang three pendant lights over your kitchen island for a stylish and modern look.

  • Which lighting is best for bathrooms?

    Good lighting in your bathroom is essential and therefore you will require both general lighting and task lighting for best safety practices. If you also want to include accent lighting, consider hanging a chandelier or installing a dimmer for your ceiling lights. Downlights are a practical choice for bathrooms and look great in showers and above basins, whereas wall sconces make excellent task lighting and should be placed next to or above the mirror. You may also want to consider an illuminated makeup mirror to make applying makeup or shaving even easier.

  • Which lighting is best for living rooms?

    Most people will want to include all three types of lighting in their living room. A central pendant light or chandelier looks fantastic as ceiling lighting, or consider spotlights to illuminate a larger living room. Consider a reading light or arc floor lamp as task lighting, to ensure you have enough light when reading the newspaper or a book. For accent lighting table lamps and floor lamps can be used to create an atmosphere and set the room. The best living room lighting design is likely to combine ceiling lights or wall lights with strategically placed table lamps and floor lamps.

Before making a decision, be sure to give permanent light fittings careful consideration. Unlike pendant lights or chandeliers which can be more easily replaced, built-in options such as recessed lighting won't be easy to remove and will likely require an electrician's assistance – not to mention a decorator's touch to fill in all those holes!

Whether you’re looking for kitchen lighting ideas, installing some new wall lights or ceiling lights, or simply looking for floor lamps and table lamps to add a bit more ambience to your home, Houzz is bound to have the perfect lighting for your home.
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