Lighting plays a huge role in creating an atmosphere in a room, but it’s probably one of the areas of redecorating that’s ignored until the last minute. But not anymore! In this guide, we’ll help you choose the best home lighting decor for their space, offering advice on how to balance natural and artificial lighting, how to choose the correct fixtures for different rooms, and how to use lighting to create specific moods, or highlight features or areas of your home.
In the UK, there are four different light types that are available:
Each one works in a slightly different way and has its own advantages – we’ll explain further below.
These are the eco-conscious choice as they use up around 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They last for a long time and work well outdoors. However, they won’t work with old-fashioned dimmer switches so it’s worth updating your dimmer if you’re thinking of replacing all your bulbs with LED ones.
CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamp. They’re a glass tube filled with mercury and gas. Energy efficient, they’ll last a long time and light up quickly. However, they’re becoming more difficult to find as LED becomes more popular globally.
These resemble old-school lightbulbs; a filament covered in glass, surrounded by halogen gas. While they’re quick to light and come in a lovely variety of colours, they don’t last very long. They also heat up while they’re in use, meaning they’re hot to touch, and they use up a lot of energy.
These are LED lightbulbs that can be connected to your phone or home via an app or Bluetooth. You can put the light on or off remotely and adjust the brightness, colour or timing without having to be home. While they’re energy efficient, and save money in the long run, they’re expensive to buy initially.
According to home lighting décor experts, there are three distinct types of lighting – ambient, task and accent. We’ll explain more below about what each one means and what it can do. You probably have at least two versions already without even realising it!
Here, ambient simply means ‘the surrounding atmosphere’. It’s what Peter Kay calls ‘the big light’! The main overhead light in any room is the ambient one, or it can also be the natural light that comes in through the window in any room.
As the name suggests, this is the light you need to complete a job. That could be reading, working, applying make-up, shaving, cooking or anything else. This type of lighting isn’t required to illuminate a whole room, just the area where you do the task. So, we’re talking near to mirrors, mounted on a wall or even a simple desk lamp.
Accent lighting is sometimes also called ‘decorative’ home lighting or mood lighting. It’s a way to create a focal point – a spotlight if you will – on a particular part of the room, drawing attention to a favourite picture, or your bookcase. Your accent lighting could be a feature in itself, such as a huge table lamp with an eye-catching lampshade or even a chandelier. If you use downlighters where, as you’d imagine, the light source points down to the floor, then it’s probably a good idea to ensure the area below looks as good as possible. So if you need advice on getting your carpet looking great and any other home décor tips, then consult our easy to follow carpet care guide. Or take a look at our Ideas Hub where we have lots of inspiration and colourful mood boards, such as how to colour clash, so you create a home you’ll love to live in.
Your bedroom needs to be warm and welcoming, so the lighting should reflect that (that about the cosiness of a hotel bedroom). You’ll probably also want reading lamps by the bedside, and a bright light for when you’re getting dressed or doing make-up. We’d suggest a combination of sconces or wall lights. Sconces are often sold in pairs and placed symmetrically. They can be used to accent a mirror or a picture, or just to create a diffused light, and a calming atmosphere. Interior designers also recommend thinking about the look of the lamp when it’s not lit, paying attention to the shade’s colour or design so it makes a cohesive style statement with your decor.
As we’ve discussed, task lighting is your friend here. You’ll need a light to clean your teeth by, as well as one that’s bright enough to see what you’re doing when you’re in the shower, but not too dazzling for night-time trips to the loo! A harsh light will show up all the imperfections of your tired flooring. We can provide some alternatives with our gorgeous collection of warm and comfy to touch vinyl, a value for money way to refresh your bathroom.
The other important thing to consider is safety in a bathroom, because electricity and water mustn’t mix. Check any new light fitting for its IP44 rating, because that will ensure it’s protected from any moisture getting inside. If you have any further questions, ask the manufacturer or the store where you bought the item from. This also applies to certain types of outdoor lighting, which should be completely protected against rain or damp.
The entry or hallway is where you’ll make your first impression. But often this is the smallest place in the house, not much more than a corridor. You may only have room for large fitting that affixes directly to the ceiling. If you have high ceilings, then go for the biggest chandelier you can find or afford. It makes the hall seem much more spacious than it is and sets the tone for the rest of your home.
We’ve linked these areas as often they’re not separate rooms, especially if you live in an open-plan space. However your home is set up, you’ll probably need a combination of all three types of light. Ambient lighting to illuminate the room after dark, accent lighting for darker corners, and task lighting for eating or socialising. Dimmer switches may be the way to go, so you can control the intensity depending on your circumstances.
If you’re thinking about refreshing the lighting in your home, or in fact doing any kind of redecorating, you’ve come to the perfect place. Pop into your local Tapi store to pick up home décor ideas, get a free no-obligation quote on a brand-new floor, ask our friendly floorologists for advice or book a free home visit.