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Different Types of Indoor and Outdoor Lighting

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Updated: 10/25/2022
Indoor Lighting

Lighting is an essential aspect of both indoor and outdoor ambiance. By using different intensities of light, you can create different moods and relay different messages. There are different types of indoor and outdoor lighting that you may want to consider based on your preferences and needs.

Indoor Lighting

Indoor lighting is usually accomplished through light fixtures. There is no interior design that is complete without light fixtures or luminaires.

A luminaire is basically a device that distributes, transforms, or filters the light emitted from lamps. This device includes all the necessary parts for protecting and fixing the lamps except the lamps themselves. In a number of cases, luminaires may also include circuit auxiliaries complete with the means for connecting them to the respective electric supply.

Light fixtures are classified according to the light function, installation method, and lamp type. In terms of light function, there are five basic types of fixtures.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides an area with total illumination. It radiates a comfortable level of brightness and allows you to see and walk safely without glare. Ambient lighting is commonly provided by traditional pendant type fixtures, chandeliers, ceiling-mounted fixtures, and downlights. The amount of ambient lighting required will depend on the aspect and general décor of the room. If you want a good lighting plan, having a central source of light in all the rooms is fundamental.

Task Lighting

Also known as directional lighting, task lighting is geared towards a specific area. As the name suggests, task lighting is useful to help you perform a certain task. There are different ways you can provide task lighting, including pendant lighting, undercabinet lighting, recessed and track lighting as well as desk and portable floor lamps.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is also a directional lighting which adds drama to a place through the creation of visual interest. It is mainly used to draw attention to paintings, house plants, sculptors, as well as other priced possessions. You can also use this light to highlight the texture of a stone or brick wall, window treatments, or even outdoor landscaping. This lighting is normally provided by wall-mounted picture lights or recessed and track lighting.

Decorative Lighting

With decorative lighting, you draw attention to the light fixtures themselves as well as add character to the place being lit. Examples of decorative lighting for your indoor environment include pendants, sconces, light strips, and chandeliers.

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting can be instrumental in highlighting the landscape and architecture of your home. It can also make paths navigable at night as well as deter intruders. Below are some of the common types of outdoor lighting.

Outdoor Wall Lighting

Outdoor wall lighting is mainly used to enhance the curb appeal and landscaping of your home. They do this by providing a source of indirect downlighting and uplighting. Using dimmable LED wall sconces in pairs can add an interesting twist to your garage or patio door exteriors.

Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting showcases flowers, shrubs, trees, and plants. Most landscape lighting includes well lights and small spotlights. The beauty of these types of lights is they do not compete with your plants for attention. You can also use landscape lighting to highlight architectural features such as columns.

Outdoor Hanging Lights

Outdoor hanging lighting solutions are commonly used to illuminate and enhance the curb appeal of front doors or porches. Pendant lights can add an interesting design element, especially when varied in colors, styles, and materials.

Post Lanterns

If you want to make a dramatic statement in your outdoor lighting, place post lights at the end of a driveway so as to enhance street-side visibility. Post lights can also be installed around patios, pools, and in backyards.

In addition to the above, you may also want to consider outdoor ceiling lights, deck and step lights, flood lights, as well as cove lighting.

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