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How to Light Your House

How to Light Your House

Lighting your home might seem like a daunting task, but getting it right can completely transform the mood and function of any room. With so many lighting types to choose from, it can be an overwhelming process, so we’ve put together a simple guide to show you how to light your house by mixing and matching lighting types to bring the best effect and making it a home.

The Big 3 Lighting Types

Throughout this how-to, we will probably reel off 3 terms rather a lot, so we’ve provided a little explanation for each…

Task Lighting (The Helpful One)

These are the lights that help you do a specific job such as applying makeup or drawing at a desk. They are often brighter than other lighting types and are focused on one spot.

Ambient Lighting (The Natural Looking One)

Ambient lighting is used to mimic natural light and tends to cast a soft glow over a room. Think of it as a filler light, since it often comes off a bit flat so it’s probably best to combine it with other types of lighting.


Accent Lighting (The Fancy One)

This lighting adds highlights, shadows and depth. It’s often used to illuminate a nice feature such as a painting or impressive tile work.


Living Room

The living room is likely going to be used for relaxing, entertaining, watching TV, reading and more. To accommodate for the range of activities, we suggest a mix of cleverly placed lighting.

It’s a good idea to begin with an ambient light in the centre of the room. Adding a dimmer switch will also make it ideal for watching television or creating a relaxed environment to entertain. Adding task lighting such as a table lamp or free-standing uplighter is brilliant for activities like reading. We recommend these moveable lighting types as you may move furniture around in the future.

The living room is a great place to have fun with accent lighting. You can use it to highlight art, ornaments, and well, anything you fancy really. We like using small spotlights to illuminate the contents of bookcases and shelves.


For most people, the kitchen is a bustling centre of activity and so it’s important to provide a mixture of lighting options. To start with, it’s a good idea to use ambient lighting to create a wash of light over the entire room; pendant lights often look great in a kitchen.

You should consider using task lighting in areas where specific activities take place. If your kitchen has a dining table, it’s a good idea to add a lower hanging light or set of lights so that diners don’t have to eat and interact in darkness. If you have floating counter, the same kind of lighting will help with food preparation. Adding spotlights to the underside of high kitchen cabinets will also help here. LED light spots or striplights are a popular choice.

Finally, using accent lighting to highlight the contents of shelves or open cupboards is not only practical but will also make the space seem larger and airier.


The bathroom is a complex little place to light. On the one hand you want to take a nice relaxing soak in the tub with a dim glow engulfing you. On the other hand, attempting to put on makeup or shave when you can hardly see your own face is no easy task.

So what’s our solution? A mixture of lighting types that you can tailor to your needs on a daily basis. An ambient light or downlight with and externally controlled dimmer switch will allow you to control the level of light washing over the entire room.

Adding a task light around the mirror is also advisable. We recommend placing a light either side of the mirror to avoid the shadows on your face caused by placing a light above it. Try and pick lights that are neither too bright (this will wash you out) or too soft/ low (this won’t allow you to see well enough). You can also purchase mirrors that already include LED lighting.

Adult’s Bedroom

This room needs two lighting schemes, one for winding down in the evening and the other for getting up and ready in the morning. Table lamps or wall lamps will give you a soft light to relax with in the evening. Placing these on either side of the bed will give you enough light to read by whilst not overwhelming your senses before sleep.

For mornings and daytime when you need increased visibility, you may want to install some brighter lighting. Track lights, downlights or spotlights are a fantastic way to light the rest of the room and you can place them to focus on areas that will need to be brighter, such as the closet and mirror.



Children’s Bedroom

A child’s room has slightly different needs than an adult’s room. You should heavily consider safety and avoid any lighting that can either be knocked over or have bulbs than can be touched.

We recommend fitting an ambient light with a dimmer switch. This can mostly be kept bright to avoid a child straining their eyes when playing or reading, but can be dimmed in the evening when it’s getting closer to bedtime.

Often younger children will want to have a night light that can keep them feeling safe all evening. We recommend something fun and colourful like this night light which features a dusk to dawn sensor so you don’t have to worry about turning it off. If you don’t have a spare socket, there are also a variety of fun battery operated night lamps on the market, after all who doesn’t want a lamp shaped like Godzilla!


The hall or entryway is the first thing both you and your visitors will experience when entering your home so you want it to appear light, warm and welcoming. To get this effect, try using soft, ambient lighting in the form of hanging lights and wall mounted uplighters. We recommend also placing an ambient light at the top of the stairs to ensure that they are well lit for safety.


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