Lighting Your Way Inside and Out: Everything You Want To Know About Home Lighting


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Overhead lights and lamps become such a part of our everyday lives that we probably don’t pay much attention to them until a lightbulb burns out. Lights are essential to keeping us safe in our homes and helping us to see everything a little bit better as day turns to night.

Not only is lighting a “must have” function in all aspects of our day but it also it can also enhance home décor and the overall aesthetics throughout our living spaces.

Whether your interested in updating the lights throughout your homes or you just want to know if you have the best lights for your home, we will provide you with all the information you need and want to know about indoor and outdoor home lighting.

Different Types Of Light

When you think of various types of light, you might think that lamps and overhead lights are the only ways to provide light throughout your home. While these are different types of light, they don’t really describe the type of lighting that’s essential for your home. When selecting different types of light for your home consider the following:

Ambient Lights

Ambient light illuminates the majority of a room; an excellent example of this is an overhead light which is controlled by a light switch on the wall.

While a ceiling fixture or recessed lights come to mind when we think about ambient light, general illumination can come from indoor wall lights like sconces or floor lamps like torchieres; as they shine a light on a wall, helping to keep the room bright.

There is no rule with ambient lights, and you can mix and match floor, wall, and ceiling lights. The primary purpose is to provide adequate illumination for safety and everyday living.

Accent Lights

When we think of accent lights, we might think about the lights we find in museums. The primary purpose of an accent light is to illuminate and draw attention to a specific area. You may also hear the term “highlighting,” when describing accent lights.

Accent illumination is ideal for indoor spaces where you want to shine light on a particular piece of artwork or outside when you want to show off landscaping or other outdoor features. Recessed and track lights are the most popular fixtures for accent lighting since they are easy to adjust.

Task Lights

In some ways, task lights are similar to accent lights, as they are designed and intended to shine light on a specific area. Much like the name suggests a task light illuminates a place where you might perform a task, such as over a kitchen counter or at an office desk.

Task lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes and may be as small and basic as a desk lamp or an under-cabinet fixture with indoor LED lights. Task lights may also be a decorative and hanging pendant fixture.

Things To Consider When Selecting Indoor Lights

Aside from the different types of lights, you may want to install throughout your home; some other things are worth considering before you buy new fixtures.


The cost of light fixtures, lamps, and other lighting-related hardware can add up quickly especially if you’re planning on replacing all the lights throughout your home. Even if you have a limited budget, you can make some changes to your interior lighting, but it may take longer than you want.

Check out your local home store to see if there are fixtures on sale or at a store that sells previously owned or antique housewares (these are often available for discounted prices).

While you can find some unique light fixtures, it’s important to inspect the fixture carefully and make sure that all the hardware you need is included. If you have any concerns or questions, ask a store employee.

Reflecting Your Design Style

Although a basic ceiling fixture can adequately illuminate and provide the right amount of ambient light, it can also be a little boring.

Whether you want a wall sconce, a pendant light, a floor or table lamp or even a chandelier, there are fixtures for most any design style. If you don’t want to swap out all of your indoor lights, why not select one fixture that stands out and reflects some of the best features of your home décor?

Types Of Lightbulbs

You may have already replaced most of the lightbulbs in your home with LEDs or CFLs. While these are longer-lasting and more energy efficient, it’s important research the type of bulb you need for your indoor light fixture.

If you have an antique fixture or lamp, you may need to incandescent or halogen bulbs. Before you shell out the cash to replace all your bulbs, make sure that every bulb you need (regardless of their type) is readily available and relatively affordable when one burns out.

Installing A Dimmer Switch

Even if the ambient light is good and bright throughout your home, there are moments when it would be nice to tone it down a bit without having to turn out the lights. A dimmer switch may seem a little outdated but today’s dimmer options are more streamlined and hardly noticeable.

Having control over the amount of light you want in a room can make your home more attractive and comfortable.

Layer Your Lights

We already discussed the main types of lights but didn’t mention the importance of “layering” your light. While ambient light is essential to every room in the house, you may have better lighting if you allow yourself options, such as adding task or accent lights.

Consider your bedroom. Although an overhead light can help you see better while you make the bed or pick out your clothes for the day, you may want a different type of light for reading at bedtime. Layering your lights gives you options that are functional and attractive; it can also help you set the right mood for various times in the day.


You don’t need to have experience as an electrician to install a light fixture in your home but like you would with most home projects you should always read the instructional guide that comes with the fixture.

Before you buy a light fixture, make sure your wiring is up to date and that you have all the tools you need (including extra light bulbs on hand). Even though putting up a new ceiling fixture is relatively easy, it’s always a good idea to have another person around to lend a helping hand if you need one.

Outside Lights

Many homeowners put all their focus on selecting the right lights for inside their homes but often forget about illuminating the outside of their homes. Similar to indoor lights, using the right type of lights on the outside of your home can function as security, safety, and style.

Whether you have a long and winding stone sidewalk or a few steps before you reach the front door, outdoor lights can help you see more clearly at night and might prevent you from tripping and falling. Like indoor lights, there are different types of outdoor lights.

Uplighting, much like the same suggests, is when a light fixture is positioned so the light illuminates upward for accent and dramatic flair. Downlighting is designed for safety, as it adequates lights up larger areas or other areas of concern such as walkways or stars.

Zonal lights highlight objects or plants, much like accent lights do inside of a home. Moonlighting is designed to look like natural light similar to that of a full moon. Moonlighting fixtures are often mounted in trees.

Tips For Outdoor Lights

Even if the main purpose of installing outdoor lights is for safety and added security, there are ways to make it more aesthetically pleasing. For decades, most outdoor accent lights consisted of a bright flood light or a light on a motion sensor, neither of which are particularly attractive.

Solar lighting for outdoor use is a popular way to illuminate sections of your yard or walkways and not only is it more energy efficient but there are many styles available. Another bonus of using solar lights is that you don’t need to find a place to hide a cord.

If you do select outdoor lights that are powered by a plug-in cord or other wiring, try to keep them secure and out of reach from any animals that may chew; be sure they are not a tripping hazard, too.

For a well-balanced look and optimal functioning, space out your outdoor lights evenly especially on walkways and around stairs. Make sure to select all-weather fixtures that are fade and weather-resistant so they can withstand the outdoor elements.

The Right Light For Every Room

Whether you want better ambient lights in your living room or a nice accent fixture in your home office, taking time to select the right light will make your home safer and stylish.

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