Skip to content
Home » Light: Element in Interior Design | How to use lighting right way?

Light: Element in Interior Design | How to use lighting right way?

This page contains affiliate links, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases (with no extra cost to you). Learn more

You do not have to be a certified interior designer to know that little tweaks, modifications in lighting here and there can transform your home in a manner you would have never thought of before.

Light your living room with accent, Ambient and task lights in clever way

How to Use Light as an Element in Interior Design? Use beautiful combinations of lighting techniques and options to get the desired results. Highlight the walls and specific areas of the house. Use the lights to illuminate the hall or the alley.

This was a short direct answer but let’s go more in detail, learning proper types, colors and how to use them in each space of our home.

What are the Basics of Interior Lighting?

There are in fact many ways of doing that. Lighting changes, the settings and sets the mood of the room. When using lights and using the right lights at the right places in the house along with the color combinations and selection of the right type of furniture can do wonders for your interiors. With the right type, your room can be transformed truly into a seamless and combo of style and functionality.

The lights can be used to enhance the existing color schemes and the overall hue and setting of the room:

  • To make a room bigger and brighter, choose lighter colors for your walls with matching lights.
  • You can use lighting to create an illusion of a bigger space by placing them in the right places. Some types of lights can create a deeper illusion and effect.
  • It depends on your wanted final results, you can play with different lighting types such as the directional, recessed or hung.

Directional Lighting is all about directing the lights to illuminate and highlight specific elements on the wall or in the hour. It can be a rare wall painting or a piece of antique furniture. You can illuminate specific elements around you. This includes the use of track lights, lamps with adjustable necks and lamps.

Hung lighting is the use of hanging lights that may be at the center of the room or in specific areas to add to the look, feel and the ambiance of the room.

Recessed lighting, on the other hand, is about using vertical light beams for floors and ceilings or using central fixtures to provide for an overall glow.

How to Use Lighting in Interior Design?

Lighting is an important element of interior design. You can light up all parts of your house in a beautiful way if you use the right technique in the right way. Let’s find out how:

Dining Room

For lighting up the dining room based on the size of the room and the table, you can put pendant lights over the tables to illuminate the table. Depending on your type and radio us of your pendant light I would place between 1 and 3 lights above your table. You can add some layers in addition by adding wall lights. If you like big lights, the great focal point can be nice looking chandelier above your table.

Chandelier as focal point as light design element in dining room

Living Room

To light up your living room you have two options. Traditional would be a combination of hanging center lights for the ambiance along with some lights directing towards the highlights of the room which add a contrasting feature to the other hues and lightings used.

If you are a fan of minimalism and Japanese Interior Design which I adore, just play with Ambient lights and place a few spot lights on the top to light your room when needed.


Spot lighting will give perfect illumination to your kitchen Countertops, especially if you have a unique kitchen backsplash. For the island, you may use pending lights if you have enough space. If you are a fan of contemporary design and LED Ambient lights, you can hide them under kitchen plinth or put them under upper kitchen cabinets.

How to light your kitchen | read more about ilumination tips in my blog post


For bedrooms some nice bigger ceiling fixture for the illumination you will need. Apart from that, you can opt for those subtle table lamps for your reading corners and bed stands.


In the bathroom, we usually have one main light on top and indirect light above the mirror. All bathroom lights should have Ip44 protection. This means that they are protected from any water spills that happened during a shower.

What are the 3 Main Types of Lighting?

Lighting can be broadly classified in terms of the illumination effects and the needs they meet. Let’s look at three main types of lighting:

1. General, or Ambient Lighting

It is called ambient lighting since it is used to illuminate the entire area or space. The purpose of them is most often than not safety and visibility. The lights are arranged and placed in a manner that they seamlessly reflect and bounce off the ceilings and the walls covering the maximum area.

Ambient lights include Up-lights, down lights and some other pieces of lighting equipment to light up specific areas. The Up-lights point towards the ceiling, while the down lights are used to cast the light down from the wall or ceiling.

2. Task Lighting

As the name suggests, Task lighting involves illuminating smaller areas where strong intense light is needed for a particular task to be performed. Example would be table lamps or floor lamps for reading purpose. Usually, task lights should be whiter than ambiance lights.

Some examples of good quality fixtures and task lighting include rightly placed, track lights, recessed lights above kitchen islands, floor or table lamps, and strips under kitchen cabinets and other areas needed.

3. Accent Lighting

It is the specialized kind of lighting that is for your specific and special objects. They had the necessary direct or In direct shine and focus needed for all your precious collectibles such as paintings, artifacts, sculptures, and other architectural masterpieces. Smart bulbs are great choice if you do not shear which color of light would be best for your collectibles. All about them in my comprehensive blog post here.

Accent Lighting | one of three main types of lighting

Accent Lighting plays significant role In modern and minimalistic homes where best designers try to play with your eyes, showing you most important places in particular design space.

What is the right light color for your home?

The color setting of the room is also a major factor that can make a huge difference to the illuminating effects and can also affect your overall mood and increase or decrase your workflow. Learn more about bulb colors and what I recommend for each purpose.

Use yellow or 2700K color bulb for your home Ambient light. It will add cosiness and warm feeling to your space.

Check prices of 2700k bulb set on Amazon here. Yellow light is perfect for the dining room and living room where you spend most of your time.

Use White 4000K bulb color for work light. For garage and hospital purpose it is normal to use even whiter 5000K color.

See price for 4000K bulb on Amazon here. I would use it above kitchen island and countertops. Also all reading lights table and floor should be the same color as well. It is much easier to read.

Garage work can be very precise and you need sharp eyes to do all your home repair. 5000K bulb (price on Amazon) will help you see better.

How Important is Light in Interior Design?

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of interior designing but it does not need always an expert to figure out the best combination your homes need.

The various parts of your homes might already be naturally illuminated with sunlight throughout the day providing the ideal brightness and ambiance. But often, during the times when the sun is down, using lights that are merely there to solve the purpose of lighting does not really help.

Most of the times lighting is deemed as a mere functional need and we often ignore that these very lights can add to the look and feel of our homes in a great way. Yes, the general lighting is obviously important for you to have proper visibility among other things but having a task and accent type of lighting around the house ensures that your house is properly and amply illuminated in an impeccable manner.

You will probably have general Ambient lights turned off 70% of the day. A combination of the task and accent light with sunlight will do the trick most of the day.

Does Light in Interior Designs Help in Enhancing Functionality?

Lighting should certainly be useful or else it is a waste of electricity. Coupled with interior designs and different techniques certainly help in enhancing the functionality of the interior itself.

Having simple ambient light is fine and meets functional requirements but if few techniques in interior designing can enhance the entire effect of the lighting used, why not?

  • Having a general light in your bedroom does not help when you know that at the end of the day you will have to turn the lights off and till the time you are awake on your bed a little light may be required for all your little reading activities.
Bedroom lighting design
  • Similarly, use of LED lighting strips under kitchen areas and cabinets may transform the entire look of your kitchen.
  • A simple lamp on your study table can make it look extra ordinary.


So finally, it is only fair to say that interior designing is incomplete without the proper positioning and use of lighting.

Use all the tips and the ways highlighted to achieve that perfect illumination for your house. Do it yourself or let an expert take care of the do. But ensure your beautiful home is lit up beautifully. Once and forever!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *