Lights have a variety of uses inside and outside our homes. Whether you need home lighting for a specific function, such as a reading light, or you want it to accentuate a decorative feature in a certain room, the lighting you choose can completely transform your space. So, if you want to know how to create a particular mood with your lighting or you’re looking to find the best lighting for the different rooms in your home, our Lighting Buying Guide is sure to point you in the right direction.
Choose your lighting style
This style of lighting is the closest to mimicking natural light, so is perfect for areas you spend a lot of time in, like kitchens and living rooms. To achieve this type of lighting, opt for ceiling lights, such as pendants, spotlights and chandeliers, which will disperse light around the whole room.
If you want to create an impactful finish to your interior decor and draw the eye to a particular focal point in your room, accent lighting is most definitely the way to go. Highlight artwork, bookcases, feature walls or unique decorations with carefully placed spotlights, table lamps or floor lamps.
Task lighting is perfect for when you need to illuminate an area for a specific activity like reading, food prep or close-up work. In the kitchen, you’ll benefit from under-cabinet lighting, and for other close-up work around the home, table lamps or floor lamps will be your new best friend. Task lighting will also help accentuate different zones of your room e.g. a reading nook, or if your desk has to set up home in your lounge.
How to best illuminate your home
Living room lighting
The living room is arguably the most used space in our homes. This is the room where we do our relaxing, but it’s also the room that is likely to serve the most functions. Yes, there’s normally a big box we stare at in the corner of the room, but this is also a room that’ll be used for reading, socialising, tapping on laptops/pads, and will maybe even have to dedicate some of its space to a home office. Lighting has, therefore, got to work extra hard in this room to accommodate all of its functions.
- The most effective way of ensuring you always have optimum light in your living room is to have a variety of different types of lighting. As we wind down in the evening, dimmed lighting helps to slowly relax the brain before sleep. Dimmer switches are ideal for this, but using a varied selection of table lamps, floor lamps and decorative lighting, such as string lights, can be just as effective.
- When you’re reading, try an arc floor lamp to concentrate the light specifically on you.
- If you share your home office space with your living room, a desk lamp is essential to not only ensure you don’t strain your eyes but also to provide a cut-off point to your working day. When the desk light goes out, the work goes away.
If the living room is the place in our homes where we hope to spend most of our downtime, the kitchen is definitely the heart. Think about what happens in your kitchen and base your lighting needs around this. Do you just cook and eat in here, or is it also your go-to room when you’re socialising? A place where you’ll sit and do paperwork or help the kids with their homework perhaps?
- If you love cooking then under-cabinet lighting is essential for helping you enjoy prep work. Without this type of lighting you’ll likely be working in the shadows with either your overhead cabinets or yourself blocking the light.
- Spotlights are perfect for creating different zones in your kitchen. If this is the room you eat in, you’ll benefit from being able to turn the main kitchen lights off whilst illuminating your dining area. If there’s space, pendant lighting over your kitchen table will create a real statement and help to truly differentiate this zone.
Dining room lighting
Often people’s ‘best’ room, the dining room requires something special when it comes to lighting.
- A great way to make this room feel as grand as possible is by using the table as your focal point for the lighting. Hang a pendant light (or if you’re feeling particularly opulent, a chandelier) above the dining table to create a sense of glamour and style.
- Add depth and intrigue to your room by creating tiered levels of lighting with floor lamps, pendants and table lamps (ideal if you have a drinks table or sideboard).
Your bedroom is your haven, with its main function obviously being to sleep, but it’s also often the place where you’ll do your make-up, get ready to go out, read a book and maybe even use your laptop. For this reason, it’s still important to combine ambient lighting with task lighting in your bedroom.
- Wall lights are ideal for illuminating the area in which you get ready without casting too many shadows. For an easy DIY solution that will perfectly light up your make-up mirror, try wrapping pretty white string lights around the edge of it to create instant, makeshift vanity lights.
- Establish a seamless flow through your bedroom by choosing matching bedside lamps to go either side of your bed. Studies have proven you’re more likely to get a good night of beauty sleep when you dim the lights before bed, so bedside table lamps are ideal for creating a relaxing setting before sleep time.
The first impression of your home is created in your hallway, so it’s essential to make sure this area is well-lit and airy.
- Consider the width of your hallway and the height of your space. If you have low ceilings but a wide hall, choose wall lights to maximise space. Go for ceiling lights where you have higher ceilings to evenly distribute light around your hallway.
- If you’re altogether struggling for space in your hallway/landing, opt for flush ceiling lights to accentuate the size of the area.
The right lamp shade has the ability to completely transform not only your chosen light fitting but also the whole ambience of your room.
- To create a seamless finish in your space, look out for our tapered shades that can be used as either ceiling shades or for table lamps.
- Open ceiling shades are perfect for showcasing decorative light bulbs, such as those with a vintage filament.
- If you’ll be walking under the ceiling shade consider choosing one with an eye-catching interior.
- Updating a table lamp shade? The bottom of the shade should always just cover the base switch, and the height of the shade should be roughly 3/4s the height of the base. As a general rule of thumb the widest part of the shade should also be larger than the widest part of the base to your lamp.
- Metal, glass and plastic light shades are perfect for areas where food is cooked and consumed as they can be easily cleaned. Fabric shades, however, will create a softer finish in bedrooms and living areas.
Find our full range of lamp shades online at wilko.com
Once you’ve got the type of lighting you need nailed down, it’ll be time to find the right light bulb for the job. Don’t know your LED lights from your CFL bulbs? Check out our light bulb buying guide for all the facts.
The obvious use of outdoor lighting is for security purposes, but with careful consideration, outdoor lighting can have a huge impact on not just the appearance of your house but also on how much time you want to spend outside.
- Floodlights are probably the most common form of security lighting and are perfect for when there’s a large area you need to light such as a driveway. You can, however, get away with smaller outdoor wall lights for things such as decoratively illuminating your front door and helping you find the lock in the dark.
- During the summer months, some cleverly placed outdoor lighting in your garden will also mean you can extend your living space further and make the most of your whole home. Solar-powered lighting is the easiest option for decorative outdoor lighting as you won’t have to worry about costly weatherproof wiring.