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Any home can be transformed and enhanced with professional lighting design. It’s incredible how much the lighting design of a home can affect its overall appearance. In fact, proper lighting design can add a sense of luxury to any home.

Great lighting creates a certain mood or ambience, highlights focal points and features, makes rooms more functional and adds to the overall decorative appeal of the home. Let’s have a look at how to use a professional lighting plan to your advantage.

Different types of lighting to consider in the home

When drawing up a lighting plan for your home, it’s important to understand that there are several types of lighting. In the same way you wouldn’t decorate your bedroom like your kitchen, the same applies to lighting. This is why interior design and lighting go hand-in-hand.

For good lighting, you need to consider that every light can serve a different purpose. When we talk about lighting types, we don’t necessarily mean different types of globes or fittings. It’s more about the task that each lighting type performs.

Here are the 5 different types of lighting schemes, which you can mix and match in a single room as per your preference.

Ambient lighting

Even though the name suggests creating a certain ambience, it’s technically not true. Dimmable lights give you more control to change the room’s function when required, but ambient lighting isn’t necessarily about them. Rather, it’s about completely lighting up a room.

The main goal when planning your ambient lighting is to provide consistent light throughout a whole room. Experts will consider bounce and reflection off walls to light the entire room and provide safe and easy navigation throughout.

In certain rooms, such as ambient lighting in living rooms, your designer will more than likely use other lighting types in conjunction, but the ambient lighting is used to flood the room with appropriate light. Some lights that you could use for ambient lighting include:

  • Ceiling light fixtures
  • Downlights
  • Wall fixtures
  • Track lighting
  • Floor lamps

Task lighting

As the name suggests, task lighting is used to help you perform specific tasks comfortably. For instance, you need to ensure that food preparation areas are well-lit when cooking dinner. However, your dining table may be close by, and you might want to create a more relaxed mood while eating dinner. This is where task lights are used strategically to give you control over how you utilise each room.

Rather than filling an entire room with light, task lighting allows you to focus the light on specific areas and activities. Another example may be to use floor lamps in your living area to provide ample light for reading without lighting up the whole room. Types of lights you could use as task lighting include:

  • Lamps
  • Cabinet and bar lighting
  • Downlights or directional lights
  • Pendant lighting

Accent lighting

The great thing about accent lighting is that it can be used in conjunction with other lighting types, such as ambient lighting, and still achieve its desired effect. Essentially, accent lighting creates specific effects, whether to make a room appear larger or focus on decorative pieces in the home.

When planned correctly, accent lighting helps guide a person’s attention to the focal points of the room. Let’s say you have beautiful artwork on the wall or decorative pieces on shelves. You want those parts of the room highlighted, so accent lighting provides targeted illumination to those spaces. In general, accent lighting should deliver around three times more light to a focal point than what the ambient lighting offers.

You can use uplights for houses in this way to focus on a certain object, but there are many other ways to do it, including:

  • Directional lighting
  • Wall-mounted lighting
  • Strips and bar lighting
  • Track lighting

Decorative lighting

When you plan in-house lighting, it’s not completely about the light that emanates from each fixture. Decorative lighting is carefully placed to create a statement in a room. Most people think of a grand chandelier when decorative lighting is mentioned, but it doesn’t need to be that extreme.

Many beautiful light fixtures are available that can become a focal point of their own in any room. It’s important to remember, though, that the light created from these decorative lights is still a major factor and needs to be appropriate for the space.

When planning decorative lighting in your home, consider all aspects such as light direction, colour and brightness to ensure it suits the functions and ambience of each room. Good lighting design usually incorporates decorative lighting with other light sources because the decorative pieces alone aren’t enough to provide full light to a room when you need it. However, using just decorative lighting is excellent for certain activities such as relaxing, eating dinner or reading. Popular decorative lighting includes:

  • Pendant lights
  • Wall sconces
  • Chandeliers
  • Lamps
  • Track or directional lights

Architectural lighting

In many ways, architectural lighting is closely linked to accent lighting. Architectural lights are not only used to highlight certain features but also to provide general illumination. The difference between architectural lighting and other types of lighting is placement. Usually, architectural lighting is concealed or placed within the architecture of a home. So, lights will be recessed in walls, ceilings, shelving, alcoves or even the floor.

With great architectural lighting, you can create depth, highlight features and add layers of light to a room. Light direction is an integral part of the design, which is why architectural lighting is carefully built into the room. Popular types include:

  • LED strips
  • Downlights
  • Floor washers
  • Recessed wall lights
  • House uplighting

The importance of technology

There are many types of lighting control systems for your home. Without going into detail about specific products, a lighting control system gives you greater flexibility in how you use the lights in your home. From remotely operating lights to ensure areas are well-lit when you get home at night to creating certain scenes for different activities, smart control systems are revolutionising the way we use lights in the home.

You should always consider incorporating a smart lighting system into your lighting plan for security, comfort, and functionality. Our expert lighting designers at Hampshire Light are more than happy to discuss how you can use technology to your advantage when lighting your home.

Room-specific lighting

Working out how to plan lighting for a room isn’t always easy, so even interior designers like to work with experienced lighting professionals for better results. And while you want some uniformity throughout the house in terms of light fixture style, the lighting design in each room may be very different. That’s because some rooms in the house serve a specific purpose, whereas others may have multiple purposes.


Generally, you should plan bedroom lighting to give you a better sleep. Ideally, you'd consider wall mounted lights that don't direct light directly into your eyes. Bulb intensity is another factor to consider, and the option to dim your lights is crucial too. Bedside lamps are also a great option, especially if you like to read in bed while your partner sleeps. It's about making the room functional and comfortable for everyone who uses it.

You also want to consider how natural light fits into the lighting design in the bedroom. Keeping outside light from shining in at night can be achieved with shades or blinds, but the best option is a window furnishing that allows morning light to flow into the room. It helps you wake up more naturally and improve the way your body clock works.

Kitchen and dining

The kitchen and dining areas are perhaps some of the most important parts of the home when it comes to lighting design. This is because you may want to create many different scenes using light as your primary tool. Smart lighting control systems certainly help with this, but you need to have the right lighting designs and placement to begin with.

While cooking meals, you can use track or directional lighting to ensure that food preparation areas are well-lit without necessarily filling the dining area with too much light. Downlights, recessed architectural lighting on cupboards and track lighting are all popular choices for the kitchen.

The dining room or space is another situation completely because you may not want harsh, bright light while you enjoy a nice meal. So, cleverly positioned wall lights and pendant lighting can be used to create a relaxing ambience while dining.

Living spaces

Like the kitchen and dining areas, your living areas are multi-purpose, so your lighting needs to reflect that. The living room can be used to relax with a book, watch TV, entertainment, and much more. As such, you need multiple lighting types that you can easily control to change the mood and function of the room.

Accent lighting is vital in living areas if you have artwork or other focal points to highlight. Floor lamps are also great for activities like reading. You can use other types of lighting, such as wall lights or dimmable downlights, to create a more relaxed atmosphere. Dimmable lights are ideal in living spaces because it's an easy way to change the amount of light required.


Bathroom lighting really comes down to the size of the room. Most people want the bathroom to be filled with sufficient light for their morning routine. However, you need to take note of the light direction. For example, you want a light source coming from both sides to avoid creating shadows when using mirrors. In addition, you need the ability to create a more relaxed ambience if you enjoy a relaxing bath or spa in your bathroom. Wall lights are excellent for this.

Get the experts to transform your home with lighting design

With over 25 years of expertise in lighting design, Hampshire Light is available to consult on lighting plans for new builds and renovations. Any home can be enhanced by expert lighting design, so if you’re a homeowner or interior designer, we’d love to hear from you.

Contact us today to discuss your needs with one of our lighting design specialists.

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