Articles > Renovation 101 > Reno 101: Have you got your lighting right?
Reno 101: Have you got your lighting right?
May 9, 2017

Lighting is probably the last thing on your mind when it comes to renovation. But, you’ll be surprised to know, how important it actually is!😯

Lighting affects the brightness and the colour temperature of the room, which then affect the mood, the perceived spaciousness and  the design of the room. So you can imagine how one tiny element of your home design can affect the entire home outlook. But we know how confusing all the industry terms can getÂ đŸ˜”, so to help you out, this chapter of Reno 101 series will cover the simple guide on how you can select the right lighting for your home!Â đŸ‘đŸŒ

Interior Designer: Voila Design

1. Types of Lighting

Alright, first things first. To get things started, you need to know the 3 very basic purposes and types of lighting.

Ambient Lighting

Also known as general lighting, ambient lighting is the primary source of light in your room. The best ambient lighting choices are those that make your space feel adequately lit, with a comfortable level of brightness, without any strong glares and without making you squint around the room.

Interior Designer: Ideal Design
Task Lighting

The next common type is the task lighting. As you might have guessed it, task lighting are used to help you perform specific tasks, like reading lights or table lamps. The best task lighting are those that are bright, and yet neither provide a strong distracting glare nor create unwanted shadows/reflections.

Accent Lighting

And the last type of lighting is the accent lighting that is used mainly to accentuate/highlight a particular area, like a piece of decorating accessory, or a furniture. Although they are both used to illuminate small surface areas, accent lighting is different from task lighting, in that they are used more for creating visual interest, and to draw attention to prized items in the room.đŸ„‡

Interior Designer: Rezt & Relax

2. Types of Bulbs

The next thing you need to know is the type of bulb to use. As simple as it seems, there are actually various choices of light bulbs with varying functionality and durability. Four of the key ones are:

Incandescent Bulbs

Think of the word ‘light bulb’ and you’d probably have pictured the incandescent bulbs straight off your mind. Yes, we are referring to the age-old classic bulbs that produce light by passing electric current through a filament that glows. Although they are readily available and cheaper than other bulb options, they are also known for being less energy efficient than their newer counterparts.

Image Credit: jniittymaa0
Florescent Bulbs

Compared to incandescent bulbs, florescent ones use less energy and last as much as 20 times longer. But their downside is that they contain mercury which is toxic especially if inhaled, so do keep them away from children and clumsy hands!


Just as energy efficient as Florescent bulbs but three times more durable, LED bulbs are one of the most popular ones today. And as you might have guessed it, yes, for such a great functionality, they do cost more than the other 2 bulbs mentioned above!

Smart Bulbs

And of course, fans of smart homes wouldn’t want to miss out on the last type of bulbs – smart bulbs. Imagine having a lighting that lets you change the light colour according to your mood, and control your lights all within your phone. With smart bulbs you can finally light your room like a boss!

RGBQ Bulb, smart home, christmas, xmas, home automation
Image Credit: Zipato

3. How to choose your bulbs

Now that you know the different purposes of lighting and the types of bulbs, the next you need to know is on how you can select your bulb. And this is easy because you only need to consider 3 factors:

What is the function of the lighting?

For instance, do you need a general lighting that can keep your living room bright? Or, are you looking for bedroom lighting where you want something cozier and more intimate?

How bright do you need your bulb to be?

Depending on the function of the lighting, the next you would need to consider is the brightness of the bulb.  For LED or florescent bulbs, brightness is measured based on lumens, where a typical home bulb is produces around 800 lumens. For incandescent bulbs, you can measure the brightness of the bulb based on its watts (800 lumens is approximately equivalent of 60 watts). The brighter you want your bulb to be, the higher the watts or lumens you should go for.

Image credit: unsplash
Is your bulb energy efficient?

And of course, you’d want to know how energy efficient is your bulb, right? After all, that’s what’s gonna be saving your electricity bills! That’s easy though, all you have to do is to look out for the Energy Star symbol.

4. Types of Lighting Fixtures

Finally the last step is to consider the fixtures you’d like. Here are 7 common types to get you started 🙂

Ceiling mounted fixtures

One of the most basic type of fixtures, ceiling mounted ones are great for ambient lighting, in the living rooms.

Interior Designer: Distinct Identity
Recessed Lighting

Unlike the ceiling mounted fixtures that provide a wide angle of illumination, recessed lighting  is structured so as to concentrate the light in a downward direction, from a hole in the ceiling.

Interior Designer: De Style
Track Lighting

Track lighting is usually either mounted on to ceilings or walls, and used to highlight a certain corner or piece of furniture/accessory in the room.

Interior Designer:
Pendant Lighting

Coming in all shapes, sizes and designs, pendant lighting are the fixtures you usually see hanging down from the ceiling. What we love about them is how they are not only fit for purpose but also great in design!

Interior Designer: Free Space Intent

If you’re looking for something more classy and elegant to fit your European or Luxe design, you wont go wrong with chandeliers!

Interior Designer: United Team Lifestyle
Fan mounted fixtures

Or, if you’re thinking of setting up a ceiling fan in the room as well, why not go for lighting that’s mounted on fans!

Interior Designer: Corazon Interior
Cove Lighting

But, if you’re all about going clean and neat, cove lighting would be your top choice! Aside from hiding the fixtures, their indirect lighting technique also gives your space a glowing effect that accentuates your space!

Interior Designer: Design 4 Space

So, which one of these is your favourite? 💕

World class home designs at an affordable price. Sounds good?

You can have it, really soon.
Simple Share Buttons