Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have (Photo Sol Luminaire)

At Bandido, we believe that lighting has the potential to transform any space,” say co-founders Alejandro Campos and Joel Rojas. “The right light configuration will help create a comfortable atmosphere that will reduce stress and help you unwind.”

Lighting objects can completely change a room. They shape different ambiences depending on their bulbs, the temperature of the light they emit, and, of course, their design. There are limitless possibilities, so we ask specialists to tell us what to consider and how to make the best choices.


LED Lights: Is LED light better?

LED lighting has become more popular thanks to its several advantages over incandescent lighting. Alejandro and Joel share why:

  • LED lighting has a longer lifespan
  • LED lighting is more efficient and uses less energy to operate
  • Some fluorescent lights need a warm-up period to light up fully
  • Fluorescent lighting contains mercury, making it more difficult to dispose of
  • Fluorescent lighting emits a small amount of UV radiation, causing some fading on dyed items

LED vs Fluorescent Lighting

Fluorescent lighting ages significantly when switched on and off constantly. That aside, fluorescent lamps require a ballast to stabilise the internal current that produces light. The light makes an audible buzzing noise if the ballast is imperfect or damaged.

LED lighting comes in many forms, including LED strips, RGB lighting, dim-to-warm technology, and diverse retrofit systems.

LED Light: Cool vs Warm?

“A cool tone is generally used to give a daylight feeling and is perfect for workspaces such as a kitchen or an office, while warm lighting creates different moods and atmospheres, and even drama by contrasting the volumes, shadows and textures, in social areas,” says Roy Azar of Roy Azar Architects.

“In this particular home, I chose mostly warm lighting to take advantage of the natural textures of the overall materials. I incorporated many sources of natural light thanks to large floor-to-ceiling windows and several skylights, allowing the inhabitants to perceive the hours throughout the day by observing the changes in lighting tones.”

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Expert Lighting Tip: Use of mirrors to light your space

“Mirrors reflect the natural light to move through the space easier, bouncing it around and layering the natural lighting levels, especially in pockets of a room with more shadow,” says Andrea Rodman, founder of Andrea Rodman Interiors.

“It’s good to place a mirror in areas with less light. This accessory creates more depth and allows more light to travel through the room with its reflective surface.”

Mirrors help to disperse dark areas

“The reflections through mirrors can transfer the original light to a different direction, such as dark areas,” says Sean Zhang, founder and creative director of Ocrum.

“They help create unique effects, especially during the daytime. To play with natural light, place mirrors in the opposite direction of the windows but with slight angles.”

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How to position lights in a room?

“Lighting should enhance the desired ambience in the room, as well as ensure there is ample light for the intended function of a space,” says Chad Falkenberg, principal at Falken Reynolds Interiors. He puts forth a few considerations:

  • Our eyes are drawn to light sources
  • Avoid uncomfortable glare from above, such as recessed lights over seating areas
  • Place recessed lights near walls rather than at the centre of the hallway. This way, the wall is illuminated and diffuses light gently into the space.
  • If more light is needed, for instance, in rooms with tall ceilings, add wall lights to shine light onto the floor
  • Use diffused lighting in areas requiring maximum alertness or visibility, such as kitchen countertops, entrances, laundry rooms and closets • Eye-level lighting is calming. Our eyes are positioned lower in sitting rooms, so we tend to use more table and floor lamps around sofas and armchairs

“In this open space, the lighting helps create distinct areas,” Chad says. “The dining room is a cosy gathering spot, the living room is for relaxing, and the kitchen is for easily preparing meals for the family or entertaining large groups. The lighting helps us achieve all the different ambiences and create a cohesive singular space.”

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Layer your lights

“For evenings, I prefer to not use overhead lights as much as possible and always use lamps as they provide a nice soft glow to wind down,” says Christina Loucks, who helms her eponymous studio.

“This space has lovely tall ceilings and layers of height with details like exposed ductwork and beams. I chose these fixtures to help accentuate the lightness in the space, the curved furnishings, and the tall windows and ceilings. The more your eye flows up, the larger the space feels. As you add layers of height for your eye level, the space grows visually. What’s most important is to have fun with your lights and experiment!”

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Expert Lighting Tip: Pay attention to the details

The Bandido team shared some additional practical tips to keep in mind:

  • Evaluate and assess the investment you will need to replace the lightbulbs in your space.
  • Consider lifespan and maintenance costs
  • Consider the CRI (colour rendering index) range – the measurement of how colours look under a light source when compared with sunlight – you need in your light sources.
  • LED lighting offers a higher spectrum of CRI compared to fluorescent www.bandidostudio.com

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Pendant Light vs Sconce Light

“An ideal lighting configuration – for essentially every room – is to have the light emanating from a range of sources and directions: ceiling, wall, floor,” says Laura Aviva, founder of L’Aviva Home, who has recently launched the new Saddle lamp collection.

“This way, you can best bathe a space with light that feels natural and is multifunctional.

What is a sconce lighting?

“Sconces have incredible versatility and can flank the sides of a bed on a headboard or the sides of a mirror in a powder room. They are also very impactful when repeated down the length of a hallway, providing a graceful, muted light.

“Pendants, too, have a huge range of applications. Hung from the ceiling in the centre of a room, you can play with the drop – tucking the pendant up close to the ceiling for a subtle touch or dropping down lower in applications where you have some ceiling height to work with and want some drama.

“You can have several pieces in a room – on the wall and or hung from above – and create a sense of harmony throughout.”

Sconce lights gives wider light distribution

“When you use pendants, the light emitted goes downward while sconces can emit light to the front, upwards or downwards, depending on the design,” says the design team at Bandido, who has just launched its new DBH 02 collection.

Pendant lights are more sculptural

“For example, a sconce works better to mark the way in a corridor. If you have a pronounced height in your room, installing several pendants could fill up the space and allow you to create a sculptural arrangement, while for a nightstand, the advantage is that this type of lamp distributes the light from the top down in addition to not taking up any space.”

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How to choose a table lamp?

Define what you need

“Having a table lamp can help you focus on work, read or simply enter relaxation mode before going to bed,” say Alejandro and Joel. “These lamps are generally adjustable, so consider the brightness you require.

650-800 lumens light most productive

We suggest having 650-800 lumens if you want to be productive. If you plan to wind down, we recommend a warm lighting set (2700K) and the light source to be dimmable so your eyes will get used to the darkness gradually.

“Table lamps are normally placed at a mid-distance from the floor to the eye level of the user. On the one hand, if you have a spherical crystal diffuser, the light will be omnidirectional, like in our Naga table lamp. On the other, light can be punctual and directed to illuminate a certain spot as with our CTR 02 lamp.”

“You should choose a table lamp according to the style you’d like to give to the room,” says Thibaut Julien, co-founder of Point3architecture. “Several important criteria to consider are the aesthetic, materials and diffusers.

Table lamps provide softer lighting for small areas

Table lamps provide soft and intimate lighting; they illuminate small defined areas and not the whole space, resulting in a cosy atmosphere and the feeling of a bigger room. To create a welcoming ambience, have several low-intensity light sources instead of a very strong one.”

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Light Temperature: Warm vs Cool Lights

Lighting can tremendously impact your space, especially in a white interior scheme. They are a vital determinant of a room’s ambience and overall mood.

Yet, it is an interior design element that’s often overlooked by homeowners. Well-placed lighting adds another dimension to a space, and can bring a bland room to life, or enhancing its functionality (especially important for study room, kitchen countertops, and WFH home workstations.

So, what is warm and cool light or colour temperature? According to Simon Davey, Dyson’s design engineer, colour temperature measures different types of visible light.

Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have

Measured in units of Kelvin, visible light is just a particular type of electromagnetic radiation, with different colours corresponding to different wavelength ranges.

Cool light has a higher proportion of shorter wavelengths and is measured at around 6,500 Kelvin. Longer wavelengths produce more orange or red light, referred to as ‘warm’ light, approximately 2,700-1,800 Kelvin.

As for its different effects, Joseph Ho, co-founder of Sol Luminaire explains: “Cool lighting in a room will mimic an office outlook, harsh and uninviting while warm lighting will create a softer and cosier environment.”

Indeed colour temperature is key to lighting a space that works with you rather than against you, and while brightness plays a role, this could also be down to how warm or cool the light is,” continues Davey.

Therefore, the temperature of the light in a room must be suitable for each space’s purpose.

“The colour we choose can influence our performance in daily activities, sleep and even our health,” explains João Pinto of Portugal-based artisan lighting company, Serip.

“A warm light transmits and provides a feeling of rest, more suitable for times when a high concentration level is not required. In contrast, cold light is the most appropriate for times of work and when we need more activity and attention.”

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4 Types of Home Lighting

Consider how an area is used to determine what works best for an effective and beautifully lit space.

Also, layer the different types of light – especially if it’s a multipurpose space – to work together to achieve the most suitable lighting design.

There are four main types of lights that you should have in your house. They are namely:

  • Ambient Lighting
  • Task Lighting
  • Accent Lighting
  • Decorative Lighting

Ambient Light

Ambient light creates a general and uniform lighting level used for overall illumination. As such, it’s usually the first layer of lighting and sets the tone of a space.

Typically soft or diffused, it’s also often dimmable to accommodate day and nighttime settings.

Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have (Photo Pexels Pixabay)

It’s essential to install ambient lighting in hallways and stairs for optimal orientation and visibility. Kitchens or home offices benefit from it, too, as fixtures with wide light beams provide a consistent level of lighting.

Types of ambient lighting include ceiling-mounted or recessed fixtures that direct light downwards, wall sconces and floor lamps, which wash the walls and/or ceiling with light or cove lighting, and floor lamps and pendants that bounce light off ceilings and walls.

While ambient lighting provides general illumination, it’s not ideal for task work or showcasing specific elements in a space.

For ambient lighting that provides flexibility and suits specific needs, Singaporean lighting company Sol Luminaire provides excellent solutions like the in-house brand AEON, which considers the homeowner’s well-being and lifestyle.

Ho further explains: “Opt for lights with dim-to-warm technology, such as our Isa V3 and Voli series. With a dimmer in place, homeowners can dim down to a warm sunset glow for a mood change once they’ve completed their tasks.”

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Accent Lighting

For when you want to highlight a specific object or area, accent lights are required; for this reason, they’re typically three times as bright as ambient lights.

Correctly placed, accent lighting draws attention to artwork, furnishings or architectural details, and adjustable fittings are preferred as they allow precision focusing on small areas or objects.

Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have (Photo Pexels Lilian Chagas)

Common accent lights include wall lights, recessed spotlighting, track lighting and wall-mounted picture lights.

Accent lighting is especially appropriate to living and garden areas, entrances, and anywhere the goal is to display unique features.

Recessed ceiling lights, track lights or wall-mounted luminaires are particularly effective in living or common areas as they can be angled and directed to create a highlight.

As Ho explains, “At Sol Luminaire, most of our AEON products have tilt and rotational functions, allowing flexibility in lighting multifunctional rooms.” Dyson’s innovative Solarcycle Morph also has an accent lighting function with its intelligent rotating optical head and 3-Point Revolve motion for precise positioning.

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Task Lighting

As its name states, task lighting is direct; intense illumination is ideal for detailed tasks like reading and writing at a desk, grooming, and preparing food.

Its brightness is usually focused on the particular area where the task is performed and is much brighter than ambient lighting.

In addition, effective task lighting should be glare-free and strong enough to prevent eyestrain.

Task lighting is essential in the kitchen, where under-cabinet lighting or pendants increase visibility on countertops and food preparation areas. In addition, table and floor lamps provide useful task lighting in living areas, studies and bedrooms.

Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have - Dyson SolarCycle Morph Lamp

At the same time, sconces, vanity bars and pendants can be deployed in bathrooms to improve visibility, especially close to the mirrors. Dyson’s Solarcycle Morph is an excellent example of a task light engineered for versatility and inspired by natural light.

Equipped with unique local daylight tracking, it delivers light throughout a room not just as task liking but as an indirect task, feature or ambient light.

Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have

As a task light, it provides focused, powerful light for work, hobbies, make-up applications and intricate jobs and is engineered to help reduce eye strain and improve visual performance.

The intelligent optical head smoothly rotates 360° to bounce light off walls, floors and ceilings in its indirect light mode.

As a feature light, it creates dramatic effects, highlighting art, colours, and decorative features with a 3-Point Revolve motion enabling precise positioning.

Finally, the stem lights up to create a comforting, orange ambient light which can be reduced to blue light for evening relaxation.

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Decorative Lighting

More than just being functional, decorative lights are works of art in themselves and look equally attractive switched on or off. In various materials and styles, decorative light can be a focal point in a room.

In foyers, living and dining rooms, particularly decorative lighting like a chandelier, can amp up the space’s style and underline the overall aesthetic.

Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have (Photo Serip Organic Living)

Serip creates stunning decorative lighting inspired by organic forms. The sculptural forms of nature are immortalised through handicrafts with exclusive handcrafted techniques and a mixture of excellent materials such as glass and bronze.

The manifestations of nature through Serip’s artistic pieces allow for a relaxing and inspiring journey through the room, providing a unique and distinct atmosphere, impossible to reproduce,” says Pinto.

With more homeowners yearning to create spaces that are unique, many are considering the use of such decorative lights for their interiors.

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Automatic Smart Light Systems

As home automation continues to soar in popularity, so does the use of smart home devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Alexa.

However, while video entertainment, home monitoring, and speakers take the lead in worldwide shipment, smart lights are noticeably absent on the list.

This could be attributed to several factors: the total cost of implementing an intelligent lighting or home automation system can be a pricey affair for many households, and the installation process may be tricky for first-time owners who lack prior experience with smart lighting systems.

Home Lighting Ideas: 4 Types of Lights Every House Should Have

Yet, Smart Lighting is a crucial component of a complete smart home, especially ensuring that electricity usage is efficiently managed.

Smart living provider VIO has launched Singapore’s first smart lighting subscription plan to overcome this. Users can dim the lights for stay-home movie nights, from downlights to RGB LED strips, to cooler blue and white lights for work-from-home productivity through VIO’s smartphone app.

Each smart light comes with the latest Bluetooth-WiFi technology for a swifter set-up process and does not require a bridge or neutral wiring, reducing the need to hack down walls.

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