A Guide to Different Types of Lighting

When it comes to renovating, remodelling or redecorating, often a change of light source will be considered; and this leads to the question: what different types of lighting options are there? Well, as it goes, there are quite a lot…

We put together a quick guide to the different types of lighting options and what they’re good for; hopefully, it’ll help you decide what you’d like in your own home.

A Guide to Different Types of Lighting:

1. Track Lighting

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What is it?

Track lighting is traditionally a bar (though you may see curved or horseshoe shapes) with multiple lights, and these can often face different directions. It allows light to be seen in multiple directions but only requires one fixture.

What is it Good for?

Track lighting is great in functional rooms that will require lots of light in different places, which is why you often find track lighting in kitchens, bathrooms or utility rooms. You can position one “head” toward the countertop, the sink, and the cooker, so you’ll never be left in the dark.

2. Spot Lights

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What is it?

Spotlights are what they say on the tin, a small (usually circular) light embedded in the ceiling. Since spotlights don’t hang, they tend to only illuminate directly underneath the fixture rather than surrounding areas. As a result, they’re typically used in multiples to provide enough light.

What is it Good for?

Like track lighting, spotlights are a great way to illuminate a specific area or space. In terms of interior design, if you’re hoping to achieve a minimal, contemporary feel then spotlights work great as they tuck seamlessly into the ceiling.

3. Under-Cabinet Lights

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What is it?

Under-cabinet lights are aptly named since you place them (you guessed it) under cabinets. They come in many forms but most notably either as long tube lights or individual spotlights.

What is it Good for?

The only rooms that have cabinets are usually utilitarian ones (kitchen/bathroom/utility rooms). Under-cabinet lights are easy to install and have a dramatic effect on the aesthetic of a room.

When it comes to different types of lighting, under-cabinet lights are the best for adding warmth and creating an ambience. Simply leave them on and switch off your main light fixture when hosting for an ambient feel.

4. Floor Lamp

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What is it?

Floor lamps are simply large lamps that don’t need to be supported by other furniture.

What is it Good for?

Floor lamps are great for ‘light layering’ – as an addition to the main overhead light; therefore, they’re great in ‘relax’ rooms like lounges and bedrooms. You can use floor lamps as a muted light (perhaps for reading when placed adjacent to a sitting area) or used alongside the main light.

5. Table Lamp

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What is it?

A lamp placed on a table – this could be a dresser, bedside table, desk, coffee table, etc.

What is it Good for?

Table lamps are great for adding light lower the room or in specific locations AND are also great home décor features. When you’re looking to wind down in a relaxed space, overhead, main lights can be too glaring – this is where table lamps come in and provide a subdued lighting option.

6. Chandelier

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What is it?

A chandelier is a large, decorative hanging light with branches for several light bulbs or candles.

What is it Good for?

Of all the different types of lighting, the chandelier is the grandest. Chandeliers are great for adding a touch of glamour and class. They make fantastic centrepieces to a special room or add instant opulence to a simple area.

7. Wall Sconces

 

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What is it?

A sconce is one of the more different types of lighting and is becoming one of the more rare types in modern homes. A wall sconce relies solely on being affixed to the wall for support, there’s no base on the ground, (because of this they will need an electrical box to be installed) and the light faces upwards.

This type of light fixture is reminiscent of pre-modern usage when sconces held candles and torches to light buildings.

What is it Good for?

Wall sconces, when mounted to direct light upwards, are great for opening a room and making it seem larger and lighter. Likewise, due to being fixed to the wall, they don’t use (perhaps limited) floor space.

8. Pendant Lights

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What is it?

A pendant light, (also known as a drop or suspender light), are lone light fixtures that hang from the ceiling – usually from a cord, chain or metal rod. They are traditionally the main source of light in a room.

What is it Good for?

Pendant lights are the most common form of light source. The best thing about a pendant light is the decorative shades that you can easily replace or update to keep up with your changing home décor.

9. Soffit Lighting

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What is it?

Soffit Lighting is basically spotlighting the exterior of homes, which is usually on the underside of trimming.

What is it Good for?

Soffit lighting is great for illuminating the exterior of your home, and since this is the representation of you to every other person – you want it to look its best!

10. Cove Lighting

What is it?

Cove lighting is built into ledges, recesses or valences in a ceiling or high wall. Cove lighting directs light up towards the ceiling or sometimes down adjacent walls.

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What is it Good for?

Cove lighting is fantastic at showcasing an important decoration or feature wall. It’s a very contemporary style of lighting that makes a room feel very chic. Cove lighting can breathe life into the most uninspiring of rooms!

 

 

What to Consider When Buying a Floor Lamp:

Out of all the light options, floor lamps are the least necessary (meaning, all the others have been designed with a specific function in mind, to fit into a specific space). Alongside this, floor lamps come with the most amount of variety and cosmetic choices. So, if you’re looking to grow your lighting family by an extra floor lamp – check out the guide first.

Layering the Light

Layering light with a selection of different lamps, rather than using just a single overhead light source, allows you to create different moods. And even utilise your lighting for different situations. Lamps and shades do not have to match. A careful mix of floor and table lamps to go with wall lights will add personality.

Are you Making a Statement?

Choosing a floor lamp that makes a statement will create a talking point as well as add height, colour, and personality to your living room.

If you are thinking of installing a feature light, your choice will depend largely on the amount of space you have to work with. In this case, for instance, with a floor lamp you might opt for something with a simple base and go for a bold choice with the shade.

Get the Height Right

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The right floor lamp will add height and depth to the landscape of furniture in a room, but you’ve got to get the scale right. It may sound like obvious advice but be sure to take the measurements of your room before you go shopping. It is to ensure you don’t buy one that’s too tall for the space. Get this wrong and you may end up with a light that dominates the room.

At the other end of the scale, something that’s not tall enough could cause glare rather than a comfortable ambient light and will interfere with certain tasks such as reading, watching television and other kinds of screen work (laptop, iPad etc.).

Work with What You’ve Got

When choosing a new light, you need to bear in mind the current lighting and furniture arrangement in the room. The most important thing is to avoid clashes. For example, if you have gone for grey furniture then a lamp with a silver pole will complement your colour scheme, but gold? Less so.

You should also consider mixing your table and floor lamps to add layers of light and height. An excellent choice of floor lamp can add character to a bland spot and create a new element to a room, such as a cosy reading corner. To pull a look together try to match your choice of lamp colour with other accessories such as cushions.

Which Type of Floor Lamp?

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With so many different styles choosing a floor lamp can seem like quite a daunting proposition. In the end, it will have to come down to personal taste and the activities that you perform in the space. Among them are torchiere lamps, tree lamps, rustic floor lamps, arc lamps and swing arm floor lamps. It helps to decide whether you are looking for task lighting or something to create ambience.

Most lamps come with their own shades but that doesn’t have to stop you from experimenting with others just as long as the shade matches the material of the lamp. If you are looking for something ambient, then you can achieve that with semi-translucent shades. Opaque shade is better if you want to create an accent or highlight a wall.

Remember that floor lamps are also very useful in areas of your home where space is limited; such as hallways, dining rooms, and small bedrooms.

If you want to update your lighting system, then you should read about smart lighting and how it could improve your home! Stay up-to-date with more advice regarding choosing a floor lamp, interior design news and DIY guides by liking A Fancy Home on Facebook.