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Your Buying Guide for Indoor Lighting

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Indoor Lighting

Your Buying Guide for Indoor Lighting

No matter what space you need to illuminate, or how bright you want it to be, you can find a lighting fixture that offers the right amount of light and sets the desired mood for your room. A ceiling fixture, chandelier, or fan light can brighten an entire room at once, while lamps and wall mounts can create pockets of light for a more intimate feel. Specialty lighting can do everything from gently wake you up in the morning to give a child some extra security at night, to offer a brighter bathroom mirror. Whether you're building or remodelling a home, or just updating your decor, you can surely find a solution that meets your needs.

When choosing your fixtures, consider whether you want a hardwired model that hangs from the ceiling or protrudes from the wall or a freestanding lamp that you can move. Think about the amount of light you need in a space and consider energy efficiency as well as the type of bulbs your fixture will need.

Photo ceiling light

Ceiling Lighting, Chandeliers, and Ceiling Fans

Ceiling lighting is a great way to illuminate an entire room. Hardwired to a switch on the wall, ceiling lights generally turn on via a simple switch or a dimmer. Can lights and track lighting hang from the ceiling, while recessed models are set into the ceiling. All three use multiple spot bulbs to provide directional lighting. They can create a focal point for a room or offer additional brightness where needed.

Chandeliers have been in use for over 500 years, with the earliest designs using actual candles to illuminate rooms. Today, there are several types to consider. Crystal chandeliers are fancy designs, seeming like art pieces more than just lighting fixtures, as light catches the crystals and refracts around the room. Tiered models feature several layers of lights while shaded or drum chandeliers use a round shade to diffuse the light. Traditional chandeliers may still use the candle style, using electric bulbs in candle-like holders.

As a homeowner, you may elect to install ceiling fans to help cool rooms and circulate air throughout the house, and you can choose models that have a light built in or purchase a kit that you can combine with a ceiling fan to create a single unit. When choosing a ceiling fan, make sure that you select one that is the correct size for the room; note that the blade span measures the diameter of the blades while in motion. Rooms with lower ceilings need a fan mounted flush with a lower profile lighting fixture.

Photo vintage wall lamp

Wall Light Fixtures

Wall fixtures, generally called sconces, come in a variety of styles and shapes used to direct light to a specific area. Wall sconces usually have a glass, fabric, or plastic shade over a bulb, and it can point either up or down to direct the light as desired. Different sconce shapes illuminate without taking up much room and can be a nice alternative to a freestanding lamp that takes up floor space. Perfect for ambient or directional lighting, wall sconces are generally in use in smaller spaces or in conjunction with another light source.Wall fixtures, generally called sconces, come in a variety of styles and shapes used to direct light to a specific area. Wall sconces usually have a glass, fabric, or plastic shade over a bulb, and it can point either up or down to direct the light as desired. Different sconce shapes illuminate without taking up much room and can be a nice alternative to a freestanding lamp that takes up floor space. Perfect for ambient or directional lighting, wall sconces are generally in use in smaller spaces or in conjunction with another light source.

Photo family before going to bed mother reads children a book about a lamp in the evening

Lamps

Lamps offer more targeted illumination in a specific area, although they often provide less overall light than a ceiling or wall fixture. While you can plug lamps into outlets controlled by a wall switch, they often turn on and off directly at the base, which is something to consider in a room where it will not be in close proximity to a door. Standing lamps usually have a lampshade that directs the light either straight down or up, making these an ideal accent light in larger rooms. Table lamps are smaller and sit on a table or shelf, offering moderate illumination. A desk lamp is usually smaller and more directional, focusing the light directly on the desktop.

Photo little girl reading a book in bed dark bedroom with night light projecting stars on room ceiling

Specialty Lighting

Many options for specialty lighting serve a specific purpose and add a different feel to a room. For children, nightlights can be a welcome addition to a bedroom or bathroom, offering a little bit of extra illumination during the night. A projector can also be a fun option for a nursery or child's room, shining stars or other patterns onto the ceiling or walls. In a bathroom or around a vanity, you may want to add an option for brighter bulbs, ideal for shaving or applying make-up.

Wake-up lights are a soothing alternative to traditional alarms, gradually waking you with a light that slowly gets brighter as your scheduled wake-up time approaches. This can be a much less jarring way to wake up in the morning. In the evening, a clip light can be a helpful reading tool, helping you to unwind in bed with a book without disturbing the person next to you.

Photo man changes an electric light bulb energy efficiency closeup of man s hand adjusting electric

What to Consider When Choosing Your Lighting

Choose the right lighting for your room based on your needs and your space, making sure that your fixtures match your decor and illuminate your room fully. Decide whether you want to turn your lights on and off using a central wall switch or directly on the fixture. Consider using energy-efficient options such as LED, halogen, and CFL bulbs that save on long-term operating costs. Also, think about how often you will need to change the bulbs, particularly in hard-to-reach ceiling and wall fixtures. Determine your overall lighting needs as well as the desired mood for your room and choose lighting options that give you the ambiance you're looking for.