Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

FAQs about Indoor Lighting

FAQs about indoor lighting

Indoor lighting has a big impact on the look and feel of your home. A bright light can perk you up while a soft light can create a cozy effect. Lighting fixtures can have bold style that stands out or a subtle look that blends in with the rest of your decor. Plus, you can customize the lighting in each room by using unique lighting accessories for your fixtures.

With so many factors to consider, you might be wondering where to begin when it comes to indoor lighting design. In this handy guide, we’ll walk you through the most common questions about indoor lighting and help you out with some of the other considerations you should keep in mind when shopping for lighting.

What Types of Lighting Fixtures Are Available?

Photo via Flickr by Ben Husmann

Photo via Flickr by Ben Husmann

One step into any home design store will quickly give you an idea of the numerous lighting fixture types and styles available. This quick guide to lighting types will help you narrow down the choices:

  • Chandeliers: These fixtures are suspended from the ceiling and typically feature a bold or elaborate design. The lights may point upward or downward depending on the design.
  • Pendants: Pendant lights are also suspended from the ceiling. They project light downwards and help illuminate a specific area of the room. Shades for these lights can vary from bright and colorful to subtle and chic.
  • Sconces: Also known as wall lights, sconces are mounted to the wall and typically deliver accent lighting in a space.
  • Ceiling lights: Lights mounted on the ceiling or added to a ceiling fan offer general lighting to fill a room.
  • Recessed lighting: These lights are installed within the ceiling to retain a flat look on the surface. They are very unobtrusive and offer a sleek way to provide general or accent lighting in a room.
  • Under-cabinet lights: These small lights are mounted on the bottom of cabinets that are situated directly above a countertop. They help illuminate work areas in offices and kitchens.
  • Track lights: These lights are mounted along a track or rail that is attached to the ceiling. They can provide general or directed light based on the type of lighting fixtures included along the track.
  • Lamps: From large floor lamps to small desk lamps, these give you more versatility with lighting since they can be moved around at will.

What Type of Lighting is Best for Each Room in the House?

Photo via Flickr by rjhuttondfw

Photo via Flickr by rjhuttondfw

Each room has unique needs when it comes to lighting, so it’s important to choose fixtures that complement the atmosphere of the space. Use these recommendations to jumpstart your search for lighting fixtures:

  • Entryways: Entryways should be bright and cheerful to create a welcoming feel in your home. A chandelier can make a fun statement piece in an entryway.
  • Dining room: Many people choose to accent their dining room table by installing a chandelier directly above it.
  • Bathroom: Keep things simple in this room with pendants over the mirror and ceiling or recessed lighting for general ambient light.
  • Kitchen: The kitchen is one of the most versatile rooms in terms of lighting styles. Track lighting is great for keeping a sleek appearance in the kitchen. Many homeowners add pendant lights as accents above a countertop or kitchen island, while under-cabinet lights help to illuminate food prep areas.
  • Bedroom: The bedroom typically has a softer lighting scheme. Ceiling lights and wall sconces can be fitted with bulbs that provide gentle ambient light throughout the room. Consider special lighting for kids’ rooms, like bright ceiling lights for playtime and soft light from a lamp or sconce to help them get ready for bed.
  • Living room: Many people display bookcases, photos, and other décor in the living room, all of which can be highlighted with accent lighting from track lighting or pendants. In addition, you’ll want a source of overall illumination throughout the room, whether it’s ceiling lights, recessed lighting, or a combination of both.

What Types of Lighting Accessories Are Available?

A few accessories can make a big difference when installing indoor light fixtures. Here are some of the lighting accessories you may want to look for:

  • Hardware: Most lighting fixtures come with basic hardware to install them. However, you may need to buy addition items depending on whether you need more fixture support or you need to cut a hole for larger fixtures.
  • Light bulbs: Pay attention to the type of light the bulbs produce (color temperature can affect the room’s atmosphere significantly) as well as the brightness. If possible, use eco-friendly bulbs that require less electricity.
  • Dimmers: A dimmer switch can allow for more control over the lighting in each room.
  • Sensors/timers: If you want automatic lighting, you can use sensors and timers that turn on and off without flicking a switch.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Lighting Fixtures

Common lighting mistakes

Sometimes, you’ll install a new light fixture you’re excited about, yet it doesn’t feel quite “right” in your space. To avoid this problem, make sure you don’t make one of these common indoor lighting mistakes:

  1. Wrong paint colors: Don’t forget to take into account the type of paint in a space before choosing the lighting fixtures. Dark paint will make light appear duller, which can be good or bad depending on the space. To keep things bright, choose a lighter paint color. Meanwhile, consider whether a shade on your light fixture will clash with the paint.
  2. Wrong fixture size: Whether you see lighting fixtures online or in a store, it’s hard to visualize how it will fit in your space. Take measurements to avoid getting a fixture that’s too big or too small.
  3. Lack of lighting control: It’s hard to find a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why helpful lighting accessories give you more control over your lights. Use dimmers, timers, and switches that let you adjust the light as needed.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to indoor lighting ideas. To make it easier, take it one room at a time to focus on the style and brightness of light that works best in each space. Finding the right fixtures for your room ultimately comes down to taking a look at what’s available. To help you decide which style you like, feel free to browse our wide selection of lighting fixtures.

Do you have any questions about indoor lighting? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

(4) Comments

  1. Hello, I have a ceiling in new kitchen area that goes from 8′ on outside wall to 15′ center wall. I really don,t know what kind of lighting and placement of lighting for this area. I am planning on having tongue and groove pine as my finished ceiling. also new cabinets and sink and counter top.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Pat,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately it is very hard to recommend any lighting without seeing the actual space. I highly suggest getting an electrician in to take a look at what options you have and help you out with your project. I’ve included the link to our lighting below if you wanted to take a look as well! Please let us know if you have any other questions!


    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately we won’t be able to help choose the exact type of lighting or go over installation because it can vary depending on the specific area. I would highly suggest getting an electrician to look at the area and they can recommend the best options for your space. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.