Picture of double bed with flanking wall-mounted lights.
Picture of double bed with flanking wall-mounted lights.

Choosing the Right Lighting Fixtures for your Home

It’s hard to imagine a home without lights that instantly come on with the flip of a switch, and that’s why many of us don’t give a second thought to the technicalities that come with choosing lights. 

While we might expect a single source of light to meet all our needs, that is often not the case. However, there are so many different kinds of light and corresponding lighting fixtures to choose from, which leads us to wonder: How do we pick the right ones for our home?

Let us walk you through the different types of lighting and the respective light fixtures that provide them. We’ll help you make the best choices for you and your space.

Light emanating from high-rise building window.
Bright ceiling lighting fixture in Japanese themed room.
Living room with cream, brown and wood elements and white spotlight.
Modern ceiling-mounted wire lighting fixture in monochrome bedroom.

Centre image taken from Choa Chu Kang Executive Maisonette project 3D rendering, designed by Finn.

1. AMBIENT LIGHTING

Ambient lighting, also called general lighting, is the most common kind of lighting that you’ll find in any space. This is by virtue of the fact that ambient lighting serves to brighten up an entire room. By bouncing off the walls, ambient lighting provides a uniform level of illumination throughout the space independently of other lighting sources.

Here are the types of fixtures that can provide general ambient indoor lighting:

  • Chandelier
  • Ceiling-mounted fixture
  • Wall-mounted fixture
  • Traditional recessed fixture, including LED downlights
  • Track light
  • Floor lamp
  • Table lamp
Wall-mounted extended lamp above table.
Modern Scandinavian dining area with recessed lighting fixture.
Sleek black and white lamp on wooden bedside table.

Centre image taken from Punggol BTO project, designed by Alexis.

2. TASK LIGHTING

Apart from ambient lighting that covers a large area, we also need task lighting that is more purposefully directed and focussed. Task lighting illuminates the tasks a person carries out in a given space such as reading, cooking or computer work. For these tasks, a brighter light is required in a smaller focal point of the room.

For a more pleasant illumination, it is often best to avoid harsh lighting that casts bothersome shadows.

Here are the types of fixtures that can provide task lighting:

  • Directional gimbal recessed fixture or downlight
  • Pendant lighting
  • Slim line bar and undercabinet
  • Tape and extrusion
  • Portable or desk lamp
Accent lighting with irregularly shaped mirror in modern monochrome bathroom.
Custom wooden bench with dried flowers and accent lighting in Anchorvale BTO home.

Centre image taken from Anchorvale BTO project, designed by Alexis.

3. ACCENT LIGHTING

Accent lighting is used mainly to highlight a specific architectural or spatial feature, like a plant, a special piece of furniture, painting or sculpture. This type of lighting works wonderfully to give the impression of a larger room.

As a general rule, effective accent lighting requires the installation of three times more light on the focal point than ambient lighting generally provides.

Here are the types of fixtures that can provide accent lighting:

  • Track light
  • Slim line bar and undercabinet
  • Tape and extrusion
  • Directional recessed fixture or downlight
  • Wall-mounted fixtures

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of selecting the right kinds of lighting and their respective fixtures for your space. Be it ambient lighting, task lighting or accent lighting, it will prove useful to make sure the lighting you choose serves the purposes of your space. More often than not, this means having more than one kind of lighting for a space, but that’s not uncommon at all and you’ll thank us later for it!

Have something to say about our content? Thinking of a topic in particular you want to pick our brains about? Let us know via the comments below, our contact form, consultation form, or social media channels! 

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