A Guide To Types Of Lights And Lighting

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Types Of Lights

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Did you know that indoor and outdoor lights come in many types as well as colour options that you can use to enhance the atmosphere of your house? There are a huge selection of lighting options out there, especially from online lighting stores for both your house and office. Lighting also affects one’s mood, productivity and overall health. Read on to find out more about lighting, the lighting industry and different types of lights as well as their significance in everyday life.

Why is lighting important?

As we know, natural light is the best source of light. However, when natural lighting is not available, artificial lighting is necessary. Hence, the types of lights you choose for your home or office space play an important role. It really depends on the type of atmosphere you want to create along with your creativity. There are numerous types of lights and colour options available for you to select in order to improve the aesthetics of your real-life surroundings. Here are some of the most common types of light fixtures available in the lighting industry.

Types Of Lights

Lighting fixtures

Recessed lights

This is a major type of lighting. These lights are ones that do not protrude from your walls or ceilings. They look natural and are the perfect choice if you are going for something simple yet elegant. They are also known as downlights and are installed into the ceiling or wall. This recessed lighting has the advantage of hiding the wiring and components. They exude light from their openings.

Track lights

In contrast with recessed lights, these protrude from the ceiling and point downwards. These are fixtures that have lights along a track. It can be adjusted according to the position you need, to illuminate the particular space that you want. You may install dimmers to control the amount of light emanating from the area.

Types Of Lights

Pendant lights

This type of light fixture, also known as a ceiling light or ceiling fixture, hangs from the ceiling usually with one light bulb in it. It is sometimes compared to chandeliers but is cheaper and smaller in size. They are suspended by a chain or cord. Some of the common types of pendant lights using the light bulb are glass pendants, drum shade pendants and global light pendants.

Wall sconces

A wall sconce is one modern type of fixture that uses the wall for support and is usually used to illuminate a certain place or object, such as a picture hanging on the wall where the light from the fixture is directed upwards. To give you a better idea, these were used in the old days to hold candles or torches. It’s a great way to decorate your walls while providing the lighting that you need.

LED lights

Light-emitting diodes are called LEDs. This type of light is becoming more popular nowadays and conserves energy, lasts longer and provides better lighting quality. LED lights or LED lamps have many benefits as compared to incandescent bulbs. Some of their benefits are that LED focuses light in one direction which means that fewer lights are necessary to achieve the same effect as with other lightings and less power consumption means that this type of lighting benefits the environment too.  For example, the energy consumption of LEDs decreases to 75% lesser than bulbs such as incandescent bulbs.

Portable lights

As the name implies, these fixtures can be brought with you from room to room. Just plug it into an electrical source, install and use it as a light source for any task or work that you are doing. You may use it to work in different locations. A portable light such as a table lamp or desk lamp may also be used for overnight studies and projects where the lighting setup is more focused.

Floor lamps

These types of lamps are placed on the floor and can be adjusted to illuminate a specific area of your room. They are convenient as they are portable and can be placed in any area where light is needed. There are many different types of bulbs to choose from. Perfect for your workspace too!

Brighten up your world

In addition to the types of lights mentioned above, there are three distinct types of light categories that are worth mentioning, as opposed to natural lighting. Each has its own purpose and is suited to different situations. Again, it really depends on the mood you would like to create or a particular function you want to achieve. When natural light isn’t available, you can use these different types of lights to brighten up your world.

Types Of Lights

Ambient lighting

These ambient lights are also known as “general lighting” and are powerful, providing illumination over an entire space. Types of fixtures that provide ambient lighting are floor lamps, track lights and wall-mounted fixtures. This type of lighting can also be used outdoors for decorative purposes or for security measures. Ambient lighting is essential in any lighting plan as it provides sufficient light to see and move around.

Task lighting

This type of task light is suited to a specific task in which the light can be darkened or brightened according to your preferences. You can adjust it according to the activity that you are working on like reading, cooking, studying or working. Depending on the type of task that needs to be carried out, task lighting may include recessed, track lighting, pendant lighting or portable lamps.

Accent lighting

Yes, this type of lighting will accentuate any part of a room or workspace! If you want more focus and attention on one aspect of your room, this subtle lighting is the choice for you. Notably, accent lighting shines 3 times as much light on the “focal point” as on the rest of the room. The type of fixtures that may use accent lighting are wall-mounted fixtures, directional recessed fixtures and track lights.

How lighting can change your space

“Light has the capacity to create an atmosphere much more than furniture or an accessory can; it creates unique sensations and experiences.” 

– Cathy Figueiredo (partner at Wanna One interior design studio)

Usually, we do not give much thought to the lighting or light level in a room – unless there’s insufficient or unflattering light. The truth is, lighting affects many aspects of our everyday life.

We would usually prefer bright lighting in the day to elevate our senses, while a more relaxing type of lighting can be used in the evening. There are many options to choose from and with discussions with your lighting designer, electrician and architect, you will be able to achieve the result that you want.

Effective lighting or smart lighting can make a space look bigger and more comfortable. The use of “layered lighting” uses the facility of several light sources to create the desired atmosphere. This technique includes all three lighting types described above: ambient, task and accent lighting. Additionally, proper lighting is essential for those that work long hours so that they don’t strain their eyes, especially when in front of the computer all day.

Undeniably, lighting speaks a lot about the owner of the house or office. It reflects their personality and their likes as well as dislikes while also emphasizing their moods and disposition. Let us look in-depth at the effects including the positive effect light has on our mood, our productivity and our health.

Effects of lighting

Lighting and mood

Types Of Lights

Ever walked into a room or office where the light was just not right? We’ve all been there. We squint and shade our eyes, wishing someone would dim the lights or at least make it more accommodating. As a result, we feel uncomfortable and our mood gets affected. Research has been done on this topic where in 2014, in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, experiments were conducted on the link between emotions and “ambient brightness”. Here, participants exhibited warmer emotions when there was a bright light with reddish hues while bluer light brought about a feeling of “angst” or anxiety.

Interestingly enough, it is believed that bright lights can also make us feel more strongly opinionated. These can also impact us both positively and negatively, hence, it is found that by increasing dim lights or decreasing harsh ones, our moods can also be regulated. Here are some interesting findings on how light colours affect our emotions.

Types of Lights

Lighting and productivity

Good lighting or smart lighting increases productivity. The simple rule is that when one’s mood is elevated, productivity increases. At work, productivity is essential and lighting should encourage alertness and positivity. On the other hand, poor lighting reduces productivity, while too much brightness can also produce negative effects.

Here the question is not about how much light is provided but rather, the lighting requirements, such as its intensity, temperature and colour play an important role. From a psychological viewpoint and as far as psychological effects go, lighting can reduce depression and increase cognitive abilities. Notably, fluorescent lights in the workplace may not be such a good choice as it increases eye strain. LED lighting might work better in this situation and can contribute to the health of employees.

Lighting and human health

The human being’s response to natural light is called the circadian cycle, which is the 24-hour biological cycle of almost all living beings. Although temperature and other factors affect this cycle, the lighting condition has the greatest impact. Understanding how these cycle works is crucial because it ultimately affects our moods, sleep, temperature and even digestion. In some cases, blue lights make us feel more awake and are ideal for environments where quick thinking and high cognitive abilities are necessary such as at meetings or in factories.

Then, it is believed that yellow tones go together with mornings and evenings – times when most of us are relaxing. Hence, these lighting colours are most suited for bedrooms, restaurants or places of rest. Simply put, we need sufficient lighting for our well-being including the proper functioning of our physiological and physical beings.

If you have lived in the West, you might have been able to experience the different four seasons: summer, winter, fall and spring. While you were there, did you ever feel that the season you were in affected your moods? One such psychological effect of this kind is actually called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter blues. It’s a type of depression that happens during the winter. Interesting, right?

End note on lighting

So, if you are thinking about redecorating and bringing some light to your life, consider this: the proper lighting will exude warmth and bring happiness to your everyday life while creating a conducive ambience for welcoming guests and for your own living pleasure. However, as we have read in this article, it’s not just about having the right atmosphere; there may be millions of lighting options out there but proper and adequate lighting will contribute to higher productivity, better moods and improved human health including the health of employees, in particular; not to mention being energy efficient. Hence, your lighting plan is important.

Finally, here is something to remember: It is important to have a good lighting scheme or a lighting plan which essentially means efficient lighting. This consists of making the most of artificial lighting; having the right illumination level; the absence of glare; uniform illumination; contrast and shadow control.

With all this information up your sleeve, you are on your way to making the right lighting decisions to make your home or office an enjoyable place to spend time in. Furthermore, this may also encourage more people to visit and who knows, more clients to come in! In short, lighting matters, whether it is an outdoor or indoor lighting design. It will affect how you feel; how you function as well as how well you function. Hence, lighting is one of the first things you must address while decorating your home to make it home sweet home. Consider also visiting online lighting stores to help you choose the right ones. 

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