The Main Types Of Indoor Lighting Fixtures For Your Home

Are you among the 40% of Americans who embraced a new home improvement hobby during 2020? 

If so, you might have moved on from major renovations to minor enhancements by now. Effective lighting is one of the best ways to enhance your interiors almost instantly. 

It can transform a dull, dreary space into a spectacular design showcase. Find out what you need to know about indoor lighting fixtures to inspire suitable interior lighting ideas to take your interiors to the next level. 

The Main Types of Indoor Lighting Fixtures

There are three main types of lighting commonly used in interior design, and each one has a specific purpose. These are:

Ambient Lighting

Ambient Lighting

General or ambient lighting illuminates the entire room. It provides uniform illumination independently of other light sources.

The main purpose of ambient lighting is so that everyone can see where they’re going while walking around a room. This ambient light reflects off the walls to cover as large an area as possible.

The main types of lights for ambient lighting include:


Chandeliers are a gorgeous, eye-catching addition to any room. They’re great for providing ambient lighting as well as creating a focal point in your room.

Also read Light Diffusion Tutorial: Soft Light Vs Hard Light.

These overhead lights work best in living areas, or anywhere you want to create a sense of luxury, but they can make small spaces seem cramped. 

Chandeliers don’t only belong in mansions and castles. You can get chandeliers in various sizes as well as classic and modern designs to suit your home’s decor. 

Ceiling Mounted Fixtures
Ceiling Mounted Fixtures

These are the most common type of ambient lighting. They consist of a basic light source with a plastic or glass covering. This covering helps filter the light and diffuse it over a wider area. 

Ceiling-mounted fixtures needn’t involve a bare bulb or awful fluorescent tubes, illustrates some novel ideas for this type of lighting. 

Wall-Mounted Fixtures

Wall sconces are the most popular type of wall-mounted lights, they extend outward from the walls to illuminate spaces like hallways or side tables. 

You can install the wiring for these lights inside your walls, or use the plug-in variety, with the wire concealed behind a painting or table. 

Track Lights

You can mount or suspend track lights from your ceiling in place of traditional ceiling-mounted lights. These lights have linear housing with several heads. 

You can move these heads around and focus them in different directions according to your needs. These lights work well for accent or task lighting too. 

These kinds of lights work well with an industrial design theme, and you can get them in various metals as well as plastic. 

Floor Lamps and Table Lamps
Floor Lamps and Table Lamps

Floor lamps and table lamps work well to introduce low light into a room when the main lights are off. They’re excellent for instances where you want to watch TV and don’t want bright light in your room. 

Like most lights, you can choose from classic or contemporary designs to create a romantic or a modern atmosphere in your room. 

You can also use ambient lighting outdoors to illuminate pathways or to deter intruders. 

Task Lighting

Task Lighting

Task lighting provides a direct source of light for specific detailed tasks like cooking, computer work, or reading. These lights have a smaller focal point and usually highlight a specific area in a room.

It’s best to install a dedicated switch for these brighter lights, so they don’t interfere with the overall ambiance of your room. 

The lighting options for task lighting include:

Recessed Fixtures or Downlights

Downlights reflect light downward from a ceiling or other horizontal surface, like the underside of a kitchen cabinet. You’ll need at least six inches of clearance above the surface to install this kind of lighting. 

You can also use these lights for ambient lighting if preferred.

Pendant Lights
Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are great for installing above kitchen islands or dining room tables. They provide focussed light for dining or cooking tasks, and can also form an attractive design feature. 

Tape Lights

Tape lights consist of a flexible circuit board that comes in rolls. You can stick these lights anywhere you want a strong light and they work well in confined spaces like under counters, or kitchen cabinets. 

Desk Lamps and Portable Lamps

These lights are ideal for studying or reading and are most often used as bedside lamps.

Portable lamps are often battery or solar-powered, so they’re great for using around a barbecue or for other outdoor occasions. 

Accent Lighting

Accent Lighting

You can use accent lighting to achieve a specific effect or highlight a point of interest in your room, such as a sculpture or painting. 

For best effect, an effective accent light should be three times brighter than your ambient lighting.

The best lighting fixtures for accent lighting include:

  • Track lights
  • Slimline Bar Lighting or under cabinet lighting
  • Tape and extrusion lights
  • Directional downlights and recessed fixtures
  • Wall-mounted fixtures

Most of these types of lights work well as ambient or task lighting too, so it’s a matter of location and bulb brightness that determines their role in accent lighting. 

Creating Ideal Interior Spaces

Know that you have a good idea of how to light a house using various indoor lighting fixtures, you can embark on this interior design aspect with confidence. 

Lighting can make all the difference when it comes to improving the efficiency and appearance of any room. So consider the overall look you want to create when choosing your light fixtures. 

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