A Guide to Choosing the Best Lighting

Featured Lighting from Andrew Martin
TM Interiors Guide to:
Choosing the Best Lighting


Choosing the Best Lighting for Your Room


Lighting falls into three categories, Task Lighting, Ambient Lighting, and General Lighting.


General Lighting

General lighting is a light where the main purpose is to illuminate the room, these are the main lights and will typically be a choice of, or a mix of, ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights or wall lights. These lights are designed to spread light throughout the room.


Task Lighting

Task Lighting, also known as Focus Lighting, is directional lighting or spot lighting intended to create additional areas of light for common task areas. Examples include desk lamps for studies and home offices to help you when you are working, kitchen pendants and spotlights to help create additional light on work surfaces, and floor lamps to give light to a reading corner.


Mood Lighting

Mood Lighting, also known as Ambient Lighting, is lighting where the main purposes for this lighting is to add warmth and ambience, and decorative interest to a space. Any light can be used to create ambience but the portability of floor lamps and table lamps gives greater flexibility. Other examples of mood lights are up lighters, lights which light up a wall or which shine above a beloved picture.



Pendant Lights


Types of Lights


Pendant lights

Pendant lights are lights which hang down from the ceiling, they range from simple wires with stylised bulbs to intricate and decorative multi-tiered chandeliers. Pendant lights can be hung centrally to cast light across a room, or over a particular area to add additional lighting, for example a pendant light over a dining table, or an arrangement of pendant lights over a kitchen island. Pendant lights are a great way to bring light to a whole room.

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Table Lamps

Table lamps, which includes desk lamps and bedside lamps, are perfect for adding light to where it is needed and for creating ambience. Their portability means you can move them to refresh and rejuvenate your interiors. Table lamps can also be a great way to light up a forgotten corner, or to draw attention to treasured objects. Desk lamps are essential for home offices, especially when the nights draw in, adding warmth, personality and light for focussing.

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Floor lamps

Floor lamps are lamps which stand freely on a base on the floor. They are great for creating both ambient and focussed lighting. Their portability also means you can choose where to light and as long as you have a nearby socket you won’t need an electrician. They are a great way to also add style and atmosphere to a room, with floor lamps to suit every design style they offer a perfect accessory for bringing a design project together

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Wall Lights

Wall lights can be used as the main general lighting if your ceilings are not high enough for a pendant light. They are also an excellent way of creating ambient and decorative lighting, down or up lights can be used to colour a wall, to bring out the most of luxury wallpapers especially metallic and textile wallcoverings, to highlight architectural detail or to simply light up your favourite paintings. Wall lights can also have a style of their own, choose a style which best reflects the overall style of the room, or alternatively pick a wall light which will add interest and detail of its own.

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Mushroom Wall Light - Porta Romana


How to Light a Room


The key for styling a room with lighting is to build it up in layers. Start with some general lighting, to create a main even source of lighting for the room, and then think about all the different spaces in the room and the different ways you might use the room. Most rooms will be used for a mix of reasons, relaxing, socialising, reading, working, eating or watching TV.


Try to layer lights for different tasks and to create different zones of lighting, for example in a kitchen you may want to add a pendant light over a table for eating, focussed lighting such as under counter lighting or pendant lights, for food preparation areas. If you choose the right lights they can serve more than one purpose, for example under counter lights can be used for both focus lighting and ambient lighting, you can achieve even more flexibility through the use of dimmer switches and dimmable and colour changing bulbs (although not all lights will be compatible with dimmer switches and different bulbs).


Think about any design elements you want to bring out, if you have textural wall coverings or metalic wallpaper, you can bring them to life by builidng a lightscape whichchanges as the day progresses, so add plenty of different types of lights, pendants, wall lights, floor lamps and desk lamps. If there are dark corners, add a floor lamp or table light to make it a cosy reading space. 


Use lighting to add styling to an interior design style - use simple wooden bases with plain shades for Scandi schemes, use metal cage pendants for Industrial style kitchens, or use green glasses and bronzes for an Art Deco design - the possibilities are limitlesss. A perfectly styled light can tie a whole design scheme together and to draw focus and attention.


Latest Lighting 2021 Porta Romana


Tips for Lighting Your Spaces


Kitchen Lighting

  • Add your general lighting first - are there any dark areas
  • Think about the different zones and uses - where will you prepare food? are there spaces for sitting and eating?
  • Add focussed lighting to task areas like cooking and food prep. 
  • Kitchens are often the heart of the home, so don't neglect ambient lighting


Bathroom Lighting

  • Ceiling lights which meet the appropriate standards are likely to be the main source of lighting for a bathroom. 
  • Seondary lighting can be added through wall lights, specially designed for bathrooms, this can add ambience
  • Consider focussed lighting near mirrors


Bedroom Lighting

  • General lighting is needed but ambient lighting is likely the main aim for lighting bedrooms.
  • Use bedside table lamps, or above the bed wall lamps, to create light for reading
  • Think about the room as a whole - for the best ambient lighting you will want lighting near the bed and also in other corners or lighting up pictures to prevent the room from being too dark.


Living Room Lighting

  • Think about the different activities you will be doing in your main living space and try to bring in lighting appropriate for each task
  • Are there different zones, use a mixture of floor and desk lamps to light them seperately 
  • Is there space to create a feature wall with light, or are there any corners or architectural details you want to light up
  • Use lighting as a way to reflect and enhance your design scheme - choose statement floor lamps and table lamps for maximum effect


Hallway Lighting

  • Hallways tend to be narrow and dark but the right lighting can make them warm and cosy.
  • Use a mix of wall lights and table lamps, if you have space for a console table or similar, to create ambient lighting.