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The 5 important types of interior lighting

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Bedroom's inspiration decorated by lighting from LuxuryChandelier.co.uk by Luxury Chandelier Modern
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From chandeliers and wall sconces to table- and floor lamps, London-based lighting store Luxury Chandelier has been known to provide first-grade lighting fixtures to ensure an extra touch of style (and dazzle) for interior design projects. Enhancing the company’s commitment to first-class designs is the fact that all of Luxury Chandelier’s lighting fixtures are designed by combining expert craftsmanship and a fine dose of artistic creativity – not mass production. This ensures that the company is able to not only meet the exceptional expectations of clients seeking something more than just mere illumination, but also surpass it. 

Today, we catch up on the 5 important types of interior lighting (undoubtedly used by professionals such as Luxury Chandelier) to help set up a room’s illumination levels, design style, and overall welcoming ambience. 

1. General lighting

This is the basic foundation of any lighting scheme and is meant to provide an even glow over the entire room while delicately illuminating it as well. General lighting is usually direct and can easily be controlled by a dimmer switch to account for those changes between light and shadow throughout the day. 

The most popular option for general lighting? A central pendant, but keep in mind that this needs to be accompanied by other lighting layers (like wall scones or a floor lamp) to avoid unflattering shadows (especially for people). 

2. Ambient lighting

Although ambient lighting is also used to light a complete area, one of the ways in which it differs from general lighting is its lighting direction. It is usually connected to a dimmer system to control lighting levels for an occasion, especially for entertainment purposes. 

Ambient lighting is indirect, which makes it softer than general lighting. And as it doesn’t usually use down lighters, unflattering shadows shouldn’t be a problem. Think of examples like eyeball spotlights or wall sconces that wash an entire wall in a soft glow. 

3. Task lighting

Task lighting is used to enhance practical tasks such as reading or cooking. These types of lights need to have a strong wattage, but should also be paired with sufficient ambient light to avoid eye strain caused by the sharp differences between illuminated- and shadowy spots. 

Balanced arm lamps make great designs for bedtime reading; mirror lighting works well in grooming spaces and bathrooms; and under-cabinet spotlights and pendants dangling over worktops and tables are ideal for kitchens and dining rooms. 

4. Mood lighting

Mood lighting is meant to light up a room in a pleasant way while also counteracting the shadows caused by general lighting. Mood lighting is also often the lighting closest to eye level (such as table lamps), so it’s crucial to shade any glare from unsightly bulbs with a filter. 

A creative tip? Place your lighting source (the lamp shade) just above eye level. This will illuminate the entire room, plus is the most flattering as it doesn’t cast a down shadow. 

In terms of shade, there are other considerations as well. Hardware, for one thing, should always be covered by a shade (unattractive hardware can easily ruin the room’s aesthetic). Textures can also transform the design of a lamp, especially when lit – for example, rougher linen designs will ensure a much different light for your space than a glossy satin shade.

5. Accent lighting

This refers to any lighting which has been specifically included to highlight a certain object or feature. Think of examples such as spotlights meant to emphasise a certain artwork (i.e. sculpture or wall painting) or architectural feature (like a fireplace or focal wall) in a room. Similar to task lighting, accent lighting requires at least three times more lumens (the light output) and, therefore, needs a higher wattage.

Next up: 7 ways to add more style (and substance) to your hallway.

After reading this, which room in your home will be getting a proper lighting makeover?

Discover home inspiration!