Home Lighting – Types and Fixtures

Home lighting has become a crucial aspect of the home decor. It conveys warmth and sets the mood of the home. This article brings out the various types of lighting in the home, and the light fixtures which can be used for each type.

There are basically three types of lighting seen in most of the homes: ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.

Ambient lighting is that which provides general illumination to the entire room. It may be used specifically to enhance wall colors. Some of the fixtures that can be used to provide ambient lighting in the home are described below:

1. Uplights/Torchiere lamps: These are fixtures which direct the light in the upward direction, and hence can be used to create a soft and diffused light.

2. Wall sconces: These are light fixtures mounted on the walls, and provide a subtle background light . Hence, these can be used for ambient lighting.

3. LED Spotlights: These are popularly used to give walls and ceilings a beautiful look. A “party mood” can be produced by using high power wash lights or glass filters, which “bathe” the walls in different colors.

4. Recessed lights: Also called Downlights or Can Lights, these are installed into a small opening in the ceiling and project their light in the downward direction, which is diffused throughout the room. As they take up little or no ceiling space, they help to conserve space.They can be used in narrow and dark rooms, such as in bathrooms and near staircases.

Task lighting is the lighting aimed at doing a particular task like reading, cooking or eating. This should necessarily be glare-free and the light needs to be focused on a specific area. The light fixtures which serve the purpose may include:

1. Table lamps: These are the light fixtures, which are commonly used to provide task lighting, as they focus light directly where it is needed.

2. Wall sconces: These can be placed on either side of a mirror to minimize shadows, for tasks such as shaving and combing.

3. Pendant: A ceiling pendant above the dining area can be used to provide the lighting required for eating purposes.

Accent Lighting is a type of focused lighting that is used to accentuate any artwork, painting, or a piece of sculpture. This is three times as bright as ambient lighting. The fixtures commonly used to create accent lighting in the home include the following:

1. Spotlights: These can be used to illuminate a particular artwork. Track lighting is a lighting arrangement where the light fixtures, such as spotlights, are attached to a single continuous electrical device. This has become a popular method for creating accent lighting.

2. Pendants: Glass pendants or chandelier pendants, hung from the ceiling, can be used to focus attention on the desired objects.

Indoor plants can also be highlighted with artificial lighting that do not emit heat and are waterproof. An accepted choice is to use uplights, which have reflectors for indirect lighting. A relatively new option is to go for a solar-powered pot, where a solar cell placed in the pot charges with the sun’s energy during the day and makes the pot glow at night. HPS (high pressure sodium) bulbs can be used for lighting the home garden.

Some rooms in the home may need all types of lighting, though at various times. For instance, a living room may require ambient lighting for seeing guests or viewing television, task lighting for sewing or reading, and accent lighting for artwork or greenery. In such cases, a dimmer switch can be installed in the room to change the light intensity as per the convenience.