A Complete Guide to the Different Types of Lamps and Lighting Options

When people think about interior design or home décor, their first thoughts tend to centre on styles, colour schemes and furniture. Lighting is something that is often put on the back burner and yet it is fundamental to how you and others perceive your home. Even the most hum-drum décors can be given a new lease of life with a change of lighting, but that’s not all.

If you have bad lighting in your home it can result in constant headaches, and sores eyes. It can create difficulties in the kitchen if you can’t see what you’re doing properly, and it can even create arguments in your bedroom regarding who needs to get up and switch the light off.

If you want to overhaul the lighting in your home, you should think about trying to design lighting schemes that are adaptable and flexible, and that can carry you right though both day and night. With just the flick of a switch, or the turn of knob, you should be able to turn on or adjust the lighting, in order to create a light, vibrant living environment, or set the mood for an intimate evening.

Don’t forget that each of the rooms in your home has its own role to play as part of your daily routine, and it’s important to consider this when designing or planning a change. But, before you get into that, let’s first consider the different types of natural light that affects your home. After all, this provides the basic platform from which you will choose the best types of lamps and lighting options for your home.

The different types of natural light

If you have north facing windows, the light will not come from glare of the direct sun; it will come from the colder, harsher light that permeates the sky. This sort of light is ideal for the likes of artists, because it facilitates a truer perception of colour.

If you have east facing windows, the rising sun will make the room bright in the morning, leading to long shadows forming as the sun move westwards, then a lack of direct sunlight as the day progresses.

If you have south facing windows (the favourite for many people) your rooms will enjoy warm light throughout the day (when it’s not overcast of course). With the sun at its strongest around midday, the bright light tends to flatten colours out. South facing rooms are ideal for kitchens, prime living areas and rooms that you spend a lot of your time in (pursuing work or a hobby perhaps).

West facing rooms get sunlight at the hottest point in the day. Everything is bathed in a glare as the afternoon progresses. This results in long shadows and provides a more gentle light.

Knowing what to look for

Whatever your proposed décor, furniture and mood, you can find the right lighting solution if you know what to look for.

The style of lamp or light, the colours and materials of lamp or light shades, and even the type and colour of light-bulb, are all factors that have to be taken into account.

Choosing the right lighting combinations can be confusing. There is so much variety to make your choice from. The style of today’s lighting fixtures is only limited by the imagination of the designers, and those imaginations are myriad. You can get British designed lighting fixtures, German, Italian, Scandinavian – the world is your lighting oyster. Somewhere amongst all these there is the right lighting solution for every room, mood and situation.

We’ve already discussed the various types of natural light that there are, so before you go any further, you need to carry out a survey of your home to determine what natural light the rooms receives. Having done that, we can now get down to the nitty-gritty and give you an overall guide to the various types of lamps and lighting options available.

Lamp and light fixtures come in all sorts of types, shapes, sizes and colours. The main types include:

  • Ceiling lights (Flush fitting, pendant drop, ornate chandelier)
  • Track lighting
  • Wall lights
  • Standing lamps
  • Table lamps (including bedside table lamps)

Having taken into consideration the various types of lighting available, and the wide range of materials they can be supplied in; in order to make the right choices, you next need to consider the different types of lamps and lighting options on a room by room basis.

Your hallway

If you have a hallway, this is where everyone gets their first impression of your home. It means that the lighting should be warm and welcoming. Because of this, hallway lighting needs to cast off a softer glow. The right type of hanging pendant lamps, chandeliers or wall-mounted lights can give you the desired effect.

You can get the best results by combining your chosen lighting with big mirrors, to bounce the light around and give the impression of a welcoming and spacious area.

Your living room

This is where most of us spend the majority of our down-time or leisure time. The lighting therefore, should be simple to control. When contemplating which types of lights and/or lamps to incorporate, you need to think about the available natural type of light, and where items of furniture are, or will be positioned. You can choose a blend of pendant ceiling lamps, track lighting, and perhaps floor standing up-lighters. If TV glare is a problem, you can also incorporate dimmer switches so you can raise or lower the level of illumination at will.

Your dining room

This is the place where you, your friends and family gather for meals and entertaining. You need to ensure you incorporate lighting (track or pendant) over the dining table, so people can see what they’re eating. However, when you serve coffee and the mood changes to relax and converse, you might choose to install wall lamps, or floor standing lamps and/or up-lighters. Turning the ceiling lighting down or off and relying on the floor/wall lighting created a cosy atmosphere.

Your kitchen

Kitchen lighting needs to be functional. Track and recessed spotlights will create a nice clean impression, and you can install light where you need it most. If you want to add a little more finesse and control to the lighting, you can fit dimmer stitches.

Your bathroom

Today’s modern lighting for bathrooms can create various effects according to your mood. You can opt for things like halogen spotlights (sunken or proud), and perhaps even a stylish, down-lighter for illuminating the shower area. You can also install some modern silver lamps to mirrors over hand basins as task lights.

If you are in the mood for a wonderful long, languid soak in the bath tub, why not install a dimmer switch on the wall outside the bathroom? Of course for the ultimate, sensual bath, you can forget electricity altogether and light up lots of scented candles.

Your bedroom

Your master bedroom needs to be a room where you incorporate a variety of lighting styles. You obviously want to set a mood of quietness and relaxation, so soft lighting by way of wall lights, each that you can control on an individual basis, are ideal. Pendant lighting (dimmer switch controlled) is another popular option. If you or your partner like a bedtime read, you’ll need to choose a pair of bedside lamps.

For those mornings (especially in wintertime when the sun is hiding, or is not yet risen) you might think about installing bright pendant lights or even track lights.

Your study

The study area is primarily a place of work. This means that the lighting needs to be task oriented. It’s important to be able to direct light onto the work area and the best way of doing this is with a flexible desk lamp fitted with a halogen bulb.

However, if you want to take opportunities to rest while you recharge your batteries, pendant lighting suspended from the ceiling and fitted with a dimmer, is ideal.

The different types of artificial light

Getting the right lighting solution for your home can be a tricky business. To make the best of the rooms you have, and to support and enhance their function, you need to employ best-use of all three types of light. These are:

  • Ambient lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Task lighting

Ambient lighting is all about substituting natural light in a soft way. Accent lighting is creative rather than merely being functional. Task lighting is about strongly illuminating a given area for work purposes.

Finalising your lighting design and finding the right lighting/lamp products

Once you’ve completed your home lighting survey and you’ve drawn up a plan of what you’d like and where, the next stage is finding the exact lights and lamps to complete your design. You won’t find a better lighting specialist than Terrys Fabrics.

We are extending our lighting and lamp range even further this year, so when you’re ready to buy, browse our website for some stunning lighting solutions. Whether its ceiling lights, wall lights, table lights or free standing lights and up-lighters, you’ll find a stunning range to choose from here at Terrys Fabrics.


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