How to buy the right interior lights

Interior lighting literally brightens your life, providing light for everything from cooking dinner to accenting décor. Buying indoor lighting is a matter of personal taste, but efficiency and economy are also important considerations.

Types of interior lights

Interior lights can be positioned for direct or indirect light. These are some of the more popular kinds of interior light fixtures.

Track lights: A fixture with multiple lights aligned in a strip, a track light is commonly used for task lighting in workspaces or as accent lighting to highlight pictures or paintings.

Wall sconces: These lights mount flush against the wall and typically point upwards for non-intrusive and visually appealing accent light. Wall sconces are often used in hallways or rooms with architectural details like mouldings.

Ceiling lights: Chandeliers, ceiling fan lights, and pendant lights all fall into this category. They hang or mount flush to the ceiling for strong, task-oriented lighting designed to fill an entire room.

Lamps: Ideal for rooms without ceiling fixtures or in places where you want a smaller light source, lamps can be both decorative and practical. Floor lamps can illuminate an entire corner of a room while table lamps are perfect for nighttime reading or spot lighting.

Under-cabinet lights: Installing lights under your kitchen or workspace cabinets provides bright, direct light for intricate tasks. These lights come in many different styles from adhesive-mounted LED strips to long fluorescent tubes, but all are designed to give you extra light where you need it most.

Recessed lights: Rather than hanging or protruding from the ceiling, recessed lights are usually installed between the ceiling joists for more discrete, inconspicuous lighting. These lights often require professional installation but enhance the clean look of contemporary decor.

Types of light bulbs

Bulbs come in different levels of brightness and colours and are suited for different tasks. Choose bulbs that fit your fixtures and your lighting requirements.

Fluorescent lights: While it typically takes a few seconds to brighten, a fluorescent bulb lasts longer and is more energy- efficient than an incandescent bulb. Fluorescent tubes are a good choice for lighting functional spaces like garages and laundry rooms.

LED lights: Energy-efficient and long-lasting, LED lights turn on instantly and are available in many different colours for warm or cool lighting.

Incandescent lights: Still widely available and inexpensive to buy, incandescent bulbs are being replaced by more efficient types of bulbs. If you like the look of incandescent light, consider halogen lights, which are about 30 per cent more efficient.

Factors to consider

Lights are rated for brightness with two different units: incandescent bulbs use watts while LED lights use lumens. Incandescent bulbs often list lumens alongside wattage on their packaging, so try and match lumens when switching from incandescent to LED or fluorescent lights.

Interior lighting is for more than seeing where you’re going. It can make rooms more functional and visually striking. You can enhance your decor and save money by choosing the latest energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures.

How to buy the right interior lights
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