Use a combination of table lamps and floor lamps, some with a downward glow and some that shine upward, to create drama and ambience in your room.

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What type of lighting do you need?

What type of lighting do you need?

There are 3 main types of light; ambient, task and accent. Finding a good combination of all 3 will complete and complement the look of your home;


This is general lighting that replaces natural daylight. A room that only has ambient lighting may feel flat and uninspiring.


Lighting targeted at specific jobs, for example reading or cooking. Task lighting should be brighter than the other lights in your room and should be focused on the 'task area'. Spotlights and angled lamps make excellent task lights.


This is lighting used to add interest to any room through depth and shade. It can be used to highlight specific objects or points of interest in your room and can be created with spotlights, tracks floor lampsand table lamps.

Lighting by Room

Hallway/Reception Area

This area will require some general light to make the area feel warm and welcoming. For large hallways or those with high ceilings, a statement piece, such as a chandelier, can really add a sense of character. If space is at a premium, wall lights, downlighters or a small pendant light may be more suitable. Consider using energy saving light bulbs in this area.


For safety reason staircases should always be well light. The hanging of a bright pendant is probably the simplest way of providing enough light to ensure the stair edges are defined. Again, consider using energy saving light bulbs in this area.


It is likely that some form of task lighting will be required in this room, especially if you like to read in bed. Table lamps are a good solution or perhaps consider a swing arm bracket lamp or spot lights. Spot lights are also useful near wardrobes to help with the selection of clothes. A chandelier could add a touch of glamour.

Children's Bedrooms

The main things to consider when choosing lighting for children's rooms are that it needs to be safe, bright and preferably colourful. Using wall and ceiling lights will provide ample general lighting and will be safe for little fingers. If task lighting is required for doing homework then angled lamps are the answer.

Living Rooms

The living room is typically the main focal point of the whole house and where a number of different activities take place, therefore lighting has to be practical, versatile and atmospheric. This generally means a combination of ceiling and/or wall lights, complemented with floor and table lamps. For TV viewing a soft ambient light is preferable to aid relaxation. To highlight painting and pictures, accent lighting is essential - uplighters are excellent for this.

Dining Room

This is an ideal room for that special centre piece, such as an oversized chandelier or decorative pendant. Hung directly over your dining table, it will provide light and focus on the table. You may also want to consider the use of wall lights to create an ambient atmosphere.

The Kitchen

The kitchen mainly requires task lighting, so the main consideration when selecting lighting for this room is focusing on the work areas i.e. work surfaces. Light must be directed towards these areas as this is where it is most needed. Directional halogen spotlights are ideal as they provide high levels of illumination. Avoid all forms of portable lighting as this may prove hazardous.


The over riding factor when selecting bathroom lighting is safety. All light fittings are given IP (Ingress Progression) ratings. This rating relates to the products ability to resist water penetration. In addition bathrooms are split into zones. Only lights suitable for each zone should be fitted in those areas;

Zone 0 (IP68 Submersible to 9 metres) - Extremely water tight light fittings suitable for under water use, in steam rooms and saunas.

Zone 1 (IP65 Jetproof) - Only a light fitting graded Zone 1 should be fitted in areas where it could be subjected to a jet of water e.g. from a shower head.

Zone 2 (IP44 Splashproof) - This type of light fitting should be fitted wherever it may be splashed with water. Glass or ceramic light types are ideal for the humid conditions associated with bathrooms.

Bulb Type

It is important that you fit the correct bulb type for your light fitting. Choosing the correct bulb type will ensure you get the most out of your light fittings. The main types of bulb are;

Tungsten (Incandescent)

The light emitted from these bulbs is considered to be the best at replicating natural daylight. They're good value and have a life cycle of around 1000 hours but are very inefficient. There are various size, shapes, wattages and colours available.

Following a government review, all incandescent light bulbs have now been removed from the UK market.


The light emitted from these bulbs is brighter and whiter than that of a Tungsten bulb. They are generally more expensive but last longer and are more energy efficient than equivalent Tungsten bulbs. There are various size, shapes, wattages and colours available.

Energy Saving

Energy saving bulbs typically use around 80% less electricity than normal incandescent bulbs, so although they are often more expensive to buy, they will, over time, save you money. They are also much better for the environment. The table below demonstrates the difference in the amount of energy required to light an energy efficient bulb;

Energy Saving

Bulb Cap Type

There are 4 main bulb cap types:
  • BC (Bayonet Cap) - B22
  • SBC (Small Bayonet Cap) - B15
  • ES (Edison Screw) - E27
  • SES (Small Edison Screw) - E14

Bayonet caps are those that require pushing into place before turning to secure Edison screw caps are simply screwed in to place. The cap type will be indicated within the product description.

Consider installing floor sockets underneath tables or furniture to avoid having leads trailing across the floor.
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