Significance of Lighting Design in a Modern Home

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Lighting design is an important aspect of your home design. Other than solving the purpose of providing adequate lighting, it also adds an aesthetic value to a modern home, provides aids in performing household chores and safety too.

Lighting comprises both light sources: internal or external. Internal lighting is achieved by using light fixtures like lamps, ceiling lights, wall sconces and so on inside the homes, multi-stored apartments, workplaces and other infrastructures. External lighting on other hand means lighting accomplished using exterior sources like daylight. It can be done using wall openings, skylights or light shelf.

Let’s explore some facets of light design in detail.

Types of Lighting

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Basically, there are three types of lighting: Ambient, Task and Accent. Ambient lighting meant to provide overall lighting for a room. Accent lighting meant for decorative purposes and, Task lighting meant for a particular task. Let’s explore more on these types of lighting.

Ambient lighting or sometimes known as general lighting is meant for providing lighting to the entire space equally, maintaining uniformity irrespective of other light sources available. It also ensures safety and easy flow of passage within the room or particular space.

Ambient lighting also meant for outdoors. The best example can be seen on entrances of homes, buildings, apartments etc. Ambient outdoor lighting is basically done to provide adequate visibility, maintaining security around the particular living space. It is also strongly recommended to use optimum ambient lighting for home exteriors like entrances, staircases to prevent injuries while commuting.

In task lighting, the light spreads over a particular space creating a focal point while performing a particular task. Desk lamps on study table or workspace is a perfect example of task lighting. It’s often advised to use a dedicated switching or fixture for this lighting and, avoid it mixing with switchboards meant for general lighting.

Accent lighting is also known as decorative lighting is a type of lighting where the focus is to highlight or spread light over a particular thing. For e.g. a masterpiece, a sculpture or an artifact. As a rule of thumb, it is quite must to install more light fixtures for decorative lighting purpose as compared to other types of lighting.

Methods of Lighting

In any home, apartment or infrastructure, proper lighting is a must so, the lighting design professional does pay an undivided attention to lighting methods used. On basis of the light direction, following are the methods of lighting: direct, semi-direct, diffused, indirect and semi-indirect.

Direct lighting is the most common method among all and used to spread light for the majority of the tasks. Space, where it spreads light, depends on the type of fixture used. In semi-direct lighting, half of the light spreads directed towards the surface and, rest of the light towards the ceiling and upper part of the walls.

General lighting is also known as diffused lighting is the method of lighting, where light spreads in both upward and downward direction in equal proportions.

In indirect lighting, the light from the fixture spreads in an upward direction and reflects towards the ceiling of the room. If the lighting system is designed well, a minimal light will spread downwards. Semi-indirect lighting works in the similar fashion like semi-direct lighting. Here, half of the light will spread towards the surface giving it a positive and beautiful room ambiance.

Lighting Fixtures


Lighting fixtures or simply fixtures are actually the devices used to spread the light. It come in the wide variety to according to different functions they performed. The most important function of fixtures is that it acts as a holder to emit direct light.

For some fixtures, the sole purpose is to spread light like table lamps, ceiling lights whereas some act as a medium for decoration, along with providing light like wall sconces, garden lamps etc.

Types of Lighting Fixtures


Architectural Lighting

All these lighting fixtures are one of the common and popular examples of ambient lighting. Coves are positioned on shelves or recessed up on the walls and, the light spreads up towards the ceiling. A soffit is defined as a construction feature found in exterior or interior of any building, on the downside of the construction element. In soffit lighting, the light spreads in form of a spotlight in the downward direction. In valance lighting, a horizontal board structure made of wood, metal or glass is mounted on the wall. When the power turns on, the light spreads out equally in both upward and downward direction.

Recessed Lighting

In recessed lighting, the lighting fixture is installed inside the hollow structure on the wall. The light will spread out in the downward direction. It gives the appearance of a narrow spotlight in one direction.

Track Lighting


Track lighting is the form of lighting where the fixture mounts on the wall and, the light casing hangs from the wall. The bulbs or lamp units are adjustable and point anywhere along the track.


Pendant gives the appearance of a fixture attached to the wall through a string. The best example of pendants can be seen in kitchens. Pendants can be considered as the form of task lighting.


These are the form of decorative or accent lighting used in the modern home design. These type of fixtures are suspended from the ceiling and the light will flow towards the upward direction.

Wall Sconces

These are yet another form of decorative lighting where the fixtures are mounted on the wall. The wall sconces will spread light in both upward and downward direction.


Lamps are one of the most portable and versatile types of lighting fixtures used in modern homes. The lamp comes in a vast range of styles and sizes. Though meant for task lighting, in particular, lamps are often considered for ambient lighting too. Normally, lamps direct light in the downward direction but, there is an exception. There is a lamp namely torchiere, which is actually a tall stand like structure that direct light in the upward direction.

With this, we conclude our article. I hope, this article will provide some insight, some meaningful information to you over important aspects of lighting design in a modern home and in general too.


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