How To Choose Lighting For Your Home

Published on March 7, 2022 

Lighting is very important in a household because it can significantly affect your quality of life without you realizing it.

The language of lighting is complicated because there are so many styles of lighting and they can be created in myriads of methods.

We will explore a whole setup of lighting technique and methods as it would be comparably efficient for homeowners to know what lighting they require before even meeting with their interior designers.

Gone are the days of referring to everything as generic lighting, after this article you will be able to precisely describe your pinterest board to the tee!

Natural Lighting
Natural Lighting: Using maximum sunlight to enhance gleam of rose gold signage

1. Natural Lighting

The first of the list is typical of sunny Singapore and that is natural lighting.

It is abundant for most Singapore household flats as our HDB designs emphasize on abundant windows maximizing the light entering the household.

This style goes hand in hand with our most popular interior style, which is Scandinavian decor.

Sunlight is free and available most times of the day, only to note where the sun rises and sets in accordance to your geological location of course.

In achieving maximal comforting natural light, we recommend a combination of a few elements.

Opt for adjustable windows and open space concepts as you would want light to bounce around.

Decorate the windows with light sheer fabric to create a soft glow within the house.

Lighter palette of paint also  helps in reflecting light around, it definitely will expand the visual space of the home too. Other methods include mirrors or creative styling of your furniture, but to each its own!

General and Ambient Lighting
General and Ambient Lighting Combination

2. General Artificial Lighting

This entry is the foundation of any lighting scheme as it refers to any sort of lighting attachment that serves as the fundamental light source of the home.

This sort of lighting is the strongest amongst the combination and will usually require a backup of other styles of lighting to negate its harsh conditions.

It could be the main overhead light that you use to brighten up the house at night.

You would assume that the lighting is mostly practical than aesthetic based, hence when looking for such lights you should take note of that.

In this case, we are looking for materiality with no sense of unnecessary dimming, as well as a furnishing structure that can project well. These forms of light are usually referred to as downlighting.

3. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting serves as the partner to general lighting, an additive to the primary needs of functional light.

Most people would say the only difference is the fact that ambient lighting should have a directional application as well as the ability to dimmer.

Ambient lighting would be indirect and situationally be less harsh, not creating the shadows that most general lighting creates within the room.

It could be wall scone or recessed lights that you place in the corner of the room. It is often referred to as architectural light as it helps to shape the room alongside the effects of the general lighting.

Hence, we should always purchase these lights in parallel to our general lighting to understand the needs of our home.

In what your general lighting might be lacking in aesthetic, this ambient lighting can bring the grooviness.

Ambient lighting is common in uplighting and perimeter lighting, where light bounces off the ceiling to reflect back into the room and the lighting of dimensions to expand the room respectively.

It is also a common sight of wall washing, where we illuminate entire walls with a vertical source of soft light.

Toe Kick Lighting

Toe Kick Lighting.

This set of lighting is often underestimated as not many would notice the effects these have on the overall aesthetics.

Toe kick lighting can add a depth of space into the room purely by hitting the bottom altitudes with a set of lights, effectively lifting up the carpentry. 

Task Lighting
Task Lighting: Providing functional lighting to diners

4. Task Lighting

Focusing more into the nitty gritty details, we will look at task lighting.

These are light sources you intentionally place at home to provide a particular service to a task.

This could be a lamp placed beside a coffee table or lamp placed beside your study table.

Task lighting can afford to be harsh because they are function based and can be turned on only when you require.

Hence, it does not affect your overall interior design that much in terms of lighting.

This is where you can really utilize eclectic designs to bring some pop of color into the home.

Task lighting is a lot more specific and it can be difficult to identify if you do not understand your own needs at home.

Therefore, it is the kind of lighting your purchase as you live life, further understanding your lifestyle needs as it happens.

There are many different types of task lighting and their usage defer accordingly, with some requiring constant usage while some once in a blue moon.

You definitely need to understand your own habits to know what you really need.

Under Cabinet Lighting

Under-Cabinet Lighting is a great example of task lighting as it serves no other purpose than to help the homeowners. 

It helps to highlight decorative surfaces and assist in tasks such as cleaning of your island or backsplash.

Closet Lighting

Closet Lighting.

This is also an easy example when it comes to functional lighting. No one likes to look for clothing in the dark and closet lightings are having more smart technologies to assist it in its ways.

Functional LEDs that turn on by the flip of the closet door are more prevalent nowadays, becoming a choice opted by many.

Mood Lighting
Mood Lighting: Serving comparably lower functional purpose, drop lights that illuminate the counter for maximum ambience

5. Mood Lighting

Mood lighting is one of the most important in providing a personality to the home.

It helps to improve the overall beauty of the room because usually general and ambient lighting can be too harsh to appreciate the subtle beauty of soft light.

Mood lighting is not functional in nature and its purpose is usually more psychological than anything else. It's only intention is to be pleasant and inviting.

When looking out for spots to place these, consider your lifestyle habits and adjust accordingly.

For example, inject for interesting light sources in cosy areas like T.V. rooms or a soft spot where you cuddle up to read a book.

Mood lighting is mostly eye level and thus requires the shallowest form of light source to avoid harming the eye, consider using filters or heavy dimmer.

These lights can also be exaggerated through the materiality of your home, such as the bounce of mood light through soft sheer fabric, or even a gleam onto luxurious metallics.

Cove Lighting

Cove Lighting is a great example of mood lighting as it helps to create a sense of drama without being bothersome.

These lights are usually installed above cabinets and around perimeters.

It will provide decorative light, usually with gradients to soothe the eyes off the harsh shadows.

Accent Lighting
Accent Lighting: Key lights to highlight the textural stucco walls

6. Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is mostly uncommon unless you intentionally want to have it to highlight a feature of the home.

They are usually a partner to an already well decorated feature, such as a sculpture or a piece of painting.

Their purpose is functionally specific, and thus require a powerful output of light.

It can be campy when you intentionally place lights to feature a sculpture as it would resemble a museum exhibit.

Hence, you should consult your interior designer in terms of styling, pairing it with the ambient and mood lighting to maximize the elegance of the home.

Architectural accent lighting is subtle and is usually used to highlight texture and define perimeters around the feature item, hence acting as its own “feature” whilst still carrying out a purpose.

Spotlighting is common in accent lights as they use a strong hit of light to focus on a particular feature of the room.

They could also be more subtle and utilize wall grazing, where light is placed so close to the walls that it highlights its textures.

In-Cabinet Lighting is an example of decorating pieces within the display cabinets, with many wonderful new methods of doing so. From a puck light to linear light attached within the lining, in-cabinet lighting is a great way to showcase any collections. 


Backlighting is an interesting form that can be both an accent light as well as mood light.

It is usually lighting up of countertops and shelves from the back, through a translucent or shiny tactility, creating a soft gleam that is both utilitarian and aesthetically pleasing. 

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