Banner Image

Interior Lights 101

Why HomeLane?

Here’s everything you need to know about Lights

author Image


Share Via:

1. Introduction: About Lights

No, we humans are not nocturnal creatures. The lack of the tapetum lucidum, however, has been duly compensated by those additional grey cells, that not only allow you to fiddle with that fascinating and exciting night vision goggles but also strategically and fashionably illuminate your abode. We here at HomeLane, are experts at the latter and have pulled our forces together to formulate this extensive guide which aims at answering all your interior lighting-related queries. 

Lighting is crucial to interior decoration since it can both make and mar your room aesthetics. Lighting types and intensity should be duly taken into consideration since it can contribute to irritation, tired eyes and lighting fatigue. While picking the right lighting for your home, one should remember that:

  • Lighting always works in conjunction. The effectiveness of lighting depends on other interior design factors like colour palettes, room size and layout, headspace availability, fabric choices, and furniture selection. 

  • The illusion is an integral part of all design. Space illusion in interior design is defined by reflected light, in simpler terms, lights used for interior decoration creates an illusion of vastness by reflecting on surfaces and further illuminating the concerned room and its elements. 

2. Types of Light: 

There are, as we already know, numerous types of lights that can be utilised in interior decoration. Each light comes in individual shapes, sizes, uses, prices, and brands. Before we indulge in a detailed discussion regarding the same, let's gloss over the basics first. 

Lights can broadly be divided into two broad categories- natural and artificial, based on their sources. Natural light, that is sunlight or moonlight, is subject to the movement of the earth and other celestial bodies, which is in all its entirety, out of our hands. The artificial, or man-manufactured lights are flexible in terms of design, intensity, colour, and most importantly can be regulated. 

Combustion light, like candles and fireplaces, is a product of an amalgamation of natural and artificial light sources, play a substantial role in home decor. The inclusion of all three types is important in order to attain a harmonic semblance of light in any room.

Lights utilised specifically for interior decoration can, however, be divide into five different types:

2.1 Ambient and general lighting

Ambient and general lighting are best partnered together and are used to brighten up any given space uniformly. Preferably used in the area where we perform our daily activities. Such lighting options are perfect for living areas where we spend time together. A better understanding of both the types is best explained by April Russell, who states rather brilliantly, “General lighting is just that – practical light for every day and night use. Ambience lighting will more times out of none be connected to a dimming system to control the light levels depending on the occasion. Ambience lighting is generally used for entertaining – it creates drama.”

2.2 Task lighting

Task lighting provides desired illuminance for the performance of certain tasks like study, office works, cooking, or baking activities by providing the desired illuminance. Proper task lighting helps us by maximizing visual aid by putting less pressure on eyes along with reduced magnification. The spotlight in your kitchen top or your wardrobe and the table led lamp on the study tables are the best examples of task lighting.

2.3 Accent lighting

Accent lighting is generally used to focus light on a particular area or object to highlight the things that you want to be noticed. It creates dramatic points by highlighting artwork, photo frames, entrance, plants, textured walls. Accent lighting can bring warmth and a cosy feeling if lighting gets done in the right manner.

2.4 Mood lighting

To beautify your favourite corner, mood lighting is used to make the space inviting. Mood lighting can boost your mood after a tiring day by relieving the stress and increasing motivations. Colour changing lights, led strips, fairy lights, etc., can be used to create the mood by circulating good voices through a beautiful pattern of lights.

3. Smart Lighting: The Internet of Things (AIoT) and WiFi/Bluetooth controlled lights

Smart lighting refers to a specific set of lighting technology that is specially designed to increase efficiency and conserve energy. It utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to autoregulate aspects like intensity and colour with respect to its immediate surroundings. 

When combined, AI and IoT result in the AIoT- the artificial intelligence of things. Metaphorically speaking, the internet of things can be referred to as the digital nervous system while artificial intelligence is the brain. Smart lighting is an example of AIoT, which in its advanced form can be regulated remotely via Bluetooth or WiFi. 

4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Interior Lights:


  • It is functional since it allows visibility in darkness. 

  • It can be ornamental, since adding lighting can give the concerned room layers and dimension. 

  • It is a smaller substitute for the sun and can be regulated. 

  • Proper lighting is a mood elevator and can help in destressing. 


  • Every light source consumes energy, electricity or otherwise.

  • Every light comes with a price, both in terms of energy consumed and the actual price of the light fitting.

  • Badly done up lights can cause stress, irritation, and eye fatigue. 

  • One must be careful about wiring and heat emissions, which can cause shocks and burns. 

  • Maintenance is required for consistency and efficiency.

5. What are the basics of lighting interior designers follow?

Do's of Lighting

  • Do keep in mind the functionality aspect of each room. Lighting needs to be chosen with respect to what the room is being used for and also the type of furniture since certain furniture pieces will require specific lighting.

  • Do account for a light intensity regulator, or dimmer system, since it allows the light to be mood responsive. 

  • Do maintain uniformity in terms of colour and intensity scroll all rooms. Harsh changes can result in irritation, stress, and eye fatigue. 

  • Do install lights on shorter walls, since they draw away attention from longer walls, making the area concerned look symmetrical. 

  • Do remember that a 60- or 70-watt bulb can be too bright for mood lighting. Sticking to a 40-watt bulb is ideal.

  • Do incorporate diffusers to blur out harsh lights, in order to maintain a soothing appearance. 

Don't of Lighting

  • Do not Stick to one central light source because it causes unflattering shadows – a layered scheme is essential.

  • Do not limit yourself to a single source of light in any given space, since it causes awkward shadows. Layering is key since it adds depth and dimension to any room. 

  • Do not ignore concealed wiring systems. An ugly display of bare wires can take away positive attention from the aesthetic appeal. 

6. Lighting Effects


Downlighting is one of the most popular forms of lighting. Most lights placed centrally, and spotlights are examples of downlighting, However, downlighting alone causes awkward shadows and should be accompanied by ambient lighting. 


As suggested by the name, these light fixtures are attached closer to the ground level, and the emitted light is made to bounce off the ceiling, causing an even distribution. They are often used to highlight artwork and other unique features of a room. Staircase lighting too looks brilliant with uplighting. 

Wall Washing

Placement and distance are key when it comes to lighting. For a wall washing effect, the source of the light needs to be placed at an apt distance where the emitted light can cover the maximum surface area of the vertical surface, resulting in soft uniform illuminance. 

Wall Grazing

If you are looking to highlight texture on your walls, wall grazing is the way forward. The source of light is angled is a way that accentuates the textured surface, adding drama to the room aesthetics. 


Spotlighting is essential for highlighting different aspects of a room. Smart utilisation can draw away attention from unflattering corners to spots that are more interesting, therefore, elevating the aesthetic appeal of the room concerned. It is further used as task lighting and accent lighting since it highlights specific features. 

Perimeter Lighting

Perimeter lighting is used to cast a feeling of vastness in any given room since this form helps accentuate the dimensions of a room and expands its apparent size. Coving or cornice lighting is an effective mode of perimeter lighting and is used extensively by interior designers. 

7. Cost of interior lighting 

When considering traditional lighting technologies and installation mechanisms, the cost depends primarily on the following:

  • Lighting energy

  • HVAC energy

  • Labour to maintain

  • Replacement materials

  • Recycling

As much as 85% of the entire cost of lighting up your home is attributed to either lighting or HVAC energy. And thus, inefficiency when it comes to energy consumption should be duly acknowledged. Further, inefficient energy consumption leads to labour charges, since more the number of bulbs burning out, more the cost of labour charges required to replace the burned-out bulbs. Burning-out of bulbs invariably results in the cost of replacement. Conventional lighting appliances might be cheaper as compared to latest light designs, but since they burn-out far more frequently, you actually end up spending more in the long run. The key to saving money, therefore, is to invest in energy-efficient lighting like LED and conserve energy as much as possible. 

8. Exterior Lights

Outdoor lighting aesthetically beautifies our houses while also being a key role player in the safety and security of the house. Proper outdoor lighting can manifold the value of the house by illuminating the outdoor space uniformly to create a landscape-like view.

Choose the perfect external light fittings along with the outdoor LED light fixtures. Hanging lights, posts, and wall lights are great options for adding ambient lighting to the outside of the house areas. Pathway light, along with security lights, is the task lights needed to be installed for security and convenience. Add landscape kits along with the spotlights to achieve the accent lighting that can make your house look more appealing and inviting.

  • Floodlights are extremely powerful and can illuminate large areas. They are essentially a brighter form of spotlights, which allows a wider coverage range. These lights are perfect for driveways and patios and are usually installed from above in the form of downlighting. 

  • Step lights, as suggested by the name, are placed either on the stairs or beside them in the form of uplighting. Steps can be dangerous in the dark causing uncalled for accidents. These are, therefore, essential to maintain safety, both inside and outside your house.

  • Garden lights are both functional and attractive, they can be used to highlight your favourite sots or plant in your garden. These lights, depending on how they are set up, can cover large surfaces or highlight specific spots. 

  • Bollard lights are set without a shade or cover, and therefore, ca shine in every direction. They resemble posts with lights on the top.

  • Fairy lights or string lights come in numerous shapes and sizes and can be an interesting addition to both interiors as well as exteriors of our home. They can be hung through trees and hardscapes, creating an adorable festive look.

9. Interior Lights

Each part of our house is different yet special, and so should be the lighting of different parts of our house. The amount of light we need for our study room can't be the same as the bedroom or dining area. Here is the basic guide to lighting different spaces of your house with the desired lights along with the special touch to make each corner nicer and inviting.

Bedroom Lights 

The bedroom is the multitasking room for most of us. Apart from sleeping, it's the nook for many to binge-watch web series to read, and even do office work. A lamp, pendants, wall sconces can be used to allow the desired light as per the required activity in your bedroom. Tape light and recessed lights are great options to add visual embellishment to your bedroom décor. Flush-mount fixtures are the contemporary preference for many where the light stays directly against the ceiling. Most preferred among them are the light bulbs covered with a decorative glass or plastic bowl-shaped cover. Pendant lights can add a big splash in your bedroom, hanging down from the ceiling on a chain or a long rod.

Bathroom Lights

Choosing the best lighting way for your bathroom is thicker than you can ever imagine. You will desire enough and direct light at your grooming corner of the bathroom, but when you take a shower, you will wish to make it the most relaxing one in dim light. Wall sconces on both sides of the mirror are perfect for your grooming task, or a bath bar can be other possible options according to the size of the room, and make sure the light is over the mirror. The rest of the bathroom décor can rely on ambient light like recessed lighting to provide an even and soothing lighting effect.

Dining Area Lights 

A multi-light chandelier is the best fit for even light distribution over a dining room. It can eliminate dark shadow spots while connecting people sitting below it. To create an ambience that appeals to your guests as well as a family member, multiple glass globes are the smarter option. To perfectly fit low and moody lighting for a romantic dinner or more light for a party or to satire your guilty pleasure of stomach, it's always recommendable to have a dining room lighting on dimmers to control the layer of lighting. You can add accent lighting with table lamps and wall sconces near your dining table and specifically in the multipurpose table like a home-bar.


A great task lighting under the kitchen cabinets and shelves is the must to have for your smooth kitchen work with shadow-free light. Uplight from the top of the kitchen cabinet is the contemporary lighting option to add more general light with style. Low glare directional downlights are perfect with the soft reflected light along with the lighting up the inside of cupboards when they are open. Accent lighting like recessed and adjustable light fixtures can be added to glass-front cabinets to illuminate your luxury collections of glassware and another crockery to bring it into the spotlight.

Living room

Choosing the lighting for the living room depends upon what your family prefers to do in the living areas. The task lighting can be chosen following those active light reading, playing chess, having social gatherings, or simply watching TV.

As most of the living rooms are places for watching TV together with family, bias lighting can be used smartly to avoid glare. Bias lighting involves placing lighting behind the television to decrease the strain on the eyes.

Study room

The study room requires a lot of light to create less pressure on the eyes, may it be natural or artificial lights. Adjustable desk lamps are preferred, which will allow your kids to move their neck and head at various angles while reading for making the future of India. A wall-mounted stylish lamp near your bed to read novels or comics is the perfect choice for any avid readers. Make the study room a place your kids will love to spend their moments by decorating it with some Pendant fixtures.


The staircase must be decorated with lights in the tone of other parts of the house to make each space alive. Brightening up the stairs with hanging lamps, scones, and recessed light for safety and enhancing the interior. Wall-mounted recessed lights and spotlights help in illuminating the stairs with a warm and soft glow. Apart from that, strip lights are a great home décor accessory to light up a staircase that can be placed under each stair or on the hand railing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Smart lighting refers to a specific set of lighting technology that is specially designed to increase efficiency and conserve energy. It utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to autoregulate aspects like intensity and colour with respect to its immediate surroundings. 
  • Remote control lights work rather simply. Incorporating the lowest barrier to entry, a plug-in device connects your lamp with the wall outlet, acting as a remote control that can be monitored through your phone, Google Home, or Alexa. Smart light brands like Svarochi, engineer advanced lights can be controlled individually or in groups through their mobile app. 

Lights can be classified into three categories depending on colour temperature:

  • The warm light of 2,500 to 3,000 K: This type helps you relax. It is the perfect pick for places like the bedroom, or your reading nook, where you can read and rest better after that.

  • The natural light of 4,900 to 6,500 K: This is the best solution for eyes and aids in comfortable work. Perfect for study rooms, studios, and offices. 

  • The cold light of 6,500 K: This offers an excellent level of brightness and improves overall attention. However, the blue light, which is an integral part of the cold light, hinders peaceful slumber and should ideally not be installed in bedrooms. 

The standard scale for measuring the level of colour in light is the CCT (correlated colour temperature). This value helps in determining the intensity of blue light in the light you are exposed to. The scale ranges from the warmest light of 1,800 K to the coldest one, with the highest amount of blue light, that reaches 6,500 K. One should choose their lights based on one’s requirements and preferences, keeping in mind the CCT values.

Standard soft white incandescent or LED lights bulbs provide warm, natural lighting. These lights will make bright colours (red/orange/yellow) appear slightly more intense, and cooler paints (green/blue/grey) will appear a little duller.

A functional and decorative lighting scheme will almost always feature some combination of three basic layers:

  • Overhead/General Lighting

  • Task Lighting

  • Accent Lighting

The best-lit home is invariably a strategic combination of all the types. Depending on the functionality of the room concerned and the design, each room will have its own combination of general, ambient, mood, accent, and task lights.

The five main types of interior lighting are,

  1. General,
  2. Ambient,
  3. Mood,
  4. Task
  5. Accent.

 Banner Image

We'll turn your ideas into yourdream home.

Start Today