June 18, 2024


Amazing design, nonpareil

How An Interior Designer Considers Light Fixtures For Your Home


Types Of Light Fixtures

First, the type of lighting matters and then the options for light fixtures are nearly endless.

You have chandeliers, pendants, sconces, floor and table lamps, task lighting, ambient lighting, architectural lighting — you get the picture. The sky (or the ceiling rather) is the limit!

Lighting is one of the single, most impactful design elements in your space.

 So, whether we’re designing a new home for you, remodeling or redecorating your existing one we take our time here to avoid muddling through the mess.
And you’ll probably be familiar with many of these but in case you’re not here are several types of light fixtures that we’re commonly using when creating a lighting plan for your home.

Recessed Lights

Recessed or can lighting is a type of light fixture that is housed above the ceiling — hence the name recessed. #Shocker

We use recessed lights for adequate light coverage in large open spaces where lighting may be a challenge on those gloomy pacific northwest days 🙂 While they come in a few different sizes for a variety of reasons, recessed lighting often has a relatively narrow light spread so you need more than one *wink*.

Light Direction:  downwards

Ceiling Lights (a.k.a Flushmount or Semi-Flushmount)

A ceiling light fixture is mounted to the ceiling #ImagineThat

Your mind is blown, right?!?!

A ceiling light fixtures come as either a flushmount or semi-flushmount light fixture. For a flushmount light fixture, the light is right up against the ceiling whereas for a semi-flushmount the light fixture sits just below the ceiling.

 Either, a flush or semi-flushmount light fixture, is a great source of ambient lighting in your home.

Light Direction:  up + downwards


Chandeliers are another light fixture that hangs from the ceiling + often has more than one light bulb integrated into the light fixture.

Typically, these are overtop of a table or seating area to provide ambient light. We often use chandeliers in large spaces as an anchoring focal point to draw the eye up in the room.

In any case, chandeliers add a lot of style to the space.

Light Direction:  up + downwards


Like Chandeliers, pendants are also suspended from the ceiling but are limited to one light bulb per fixture.

Typically, a pendant is used as a task light for over a surface such as a counter or bar. The world of home lighting is diverse (+ complex) so there are ways that a particular pendant may provide ambient light to a room as well.

Light Direction:  downwards


Sconces are a type of light fixture that are fixed to the wall (a la “wall sconce”).

While they can provide ambient or even task lighting in certain areas of a home, most often at Elegant Simplicity we use them as accent lights to a space.

Light Direction: up + downwards

Floor + Table Lamps

Floor + table lamps are yet another light fixture that often serve multiple functions.

First, they’re versatile as light fixtures can be as they can go anywhere in the room + provide a great source of task lighting. Have a dark corner? A table or floor lamp might do the trick!

Second, because there are so many options in terms of styles + even size, they’re a great embellishment to a room. #Layers!

Light Direction: downwards

Cabinet Lighting

Cabinet lighting is typically used in kitchen cabinets to illuminate the space underneath upper cabinets (a la undercabinet lighting).

That said, that’s not it. Cabinet lighting also can be introduced in custom built-ins to draw emphasis towards a particular shelf or even in the toe-kick of base cabinets.

Light Direction: downwards

Architectural Lights

Architectural lights are a light that is incorporated into the, you guessed it, architecture of the home *wink* There are several architectural types of lights…

Cove Lighting

Cove lighting is often hidden behind a cove moulding or ledge that directs the lights upward onto the ceiling. It’s an elegant + subtle lighting that accents the space.

Light Direction: upwards

Soffit Lighting

A soffit light is typically a recessed light in an interior soffit. They are a great way to add additional lighting to a space with various ceiling heights.

Light Direction: downwards

Valance Lighting

A valance light is blocked by, a valance, + typically reflects light onto the wall.
Light Direction: up + downwards


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