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Six cylindrical golden light pendants hang above a dining table. The table has a large orange glass vase full of green foliage. There's velvet green curtains in the background and a light blue sofa in the foreground.

Your 101 on indoor lighting

There are some tricks to getting indoor lighting right so that you achieve the perfect look and feel that you’re after.

The right lighting in your home can make all the difference from a styling and functionality point of view, it can also make a big difference in how sustainable your home is. 

There are some tricks to getting indoor lighting right so that you achieve the perfect look and feel that you’re after.

In the context of a big project like renovating or building a new home, lighting can become a bit of an afterthought. But if you want the best final outcome then it’s a good idea to take the time to consider your lighting options upfront. Here are some key tips to help guide the way.

 What is the best type of indoor lighting?

There’s no silver bullet here; different types of lighting serve different purposes. When figuring out what’s best for you a good place to start is to consider what you want to achieve in each room of your house.

To this end, understanding the effect of different lighting can assist, with indoor lighting functions generally said to fall into one of three distinct types: ambient, task, and accent.

  • Ambient lighting: this illumines the entire room and gives the room its overall character. 
  • Task lighting: this illuminates a particular section of a room to assist with a specific task. This could be a cooking space, a workspace, a reading space or an entertainment area. 
  • Accent lighting: this lights up features for decorative or mood effects. Whether it’s an artwork, bookcase or feature wall, accent lights help create distinctive, designed effects.

What’s the best lighting for each room?

So now you get the basic approach to lighting, it’s time to consider what you want to achieve lighting-wise when it comes to each room in your house. Here are some ideas. 

  • Kitchen: a flexible, multi-use approach to lighting here as the space will need to accommodate several tasks from cooking food, to cleaning, eating and entertaining. 
  • Living room: ambient light works best to illuminate the space overall, then for styling purposes, accent light in the corner of the room can be cast on a chair or artwork.
  • Bathroom: ambient light to fully light up the space in order to keep it well-lit for safety, then accent lights on the mirror for extra clarity there.
  • Bedroom: a common lighting arrangement is ambient light from a ceiling light fixture and task lighting from a bedside lamp. For the most comfortable bedtime reading, pick a lamp that casts light higher than eye level.

What’s the best brightness for indoor lighting?

This varies depending on the room you want to light. Cool light is often used for kitchens, but there are no strict rules with brighter lights often deployed overhead, and warmer lights to highlight other features like ovens and cabinets.

Whether you want a bright, or dimmer look, remember to focus on ‘lumens’. This is the measurement for brightness and is what you’ll need to look at when in the market for bulbs.

What’s the most cost-effective indoor lighting?

This is a no-brainer, look for LED lights. That’s because a light-emitting diode or LED light as it’s commonly known is about 90% more efficient, and lasts much longer, than old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs.

While you’ll likely have to shell out more money upfront for LED lights versus halogens, they get you the best bang for your buck by creating the most light while using the least power - saving you more in the long run while being more sustainable. 

However, you decide to light your indoors, make sure to consider all your options carefully so that you are able to create the perfect ambience for you and your family

The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.