A Guide to Different Types of Lighting

When it comes to renovating, remodelling or generally redecorating, often a change of light source will be considered, if not executed. Which leads to the question: what different types of lighting options are there? Well, as it goes, there’s quite a lot…

We put together a quick guide to the different types of lighting options, most of them you’ll recognise just from the photo, so they won’t need explaining. However, having all the options in one place might make it easier for you to decide on what you’d like in your own home.

A Guide to Different Types of Lighting:

Track Lighting

Different types of lighting options - track lighting

What is it?

Track lighting is traditionally a bar (though you may see curved or horse shoe shape now) with multiple lights attached, and these can often be positioned to face different directions. This allows light to be specifically positioned in multiple directions but only requires one fixture.

What’s it Good for:

Track lighting is great in functional rooms that will require lots of light in different places, which is why you often find track lighting in kitchens, bathrooms or utility rooms. You can position one “head” toward the countertop, the sink and the cooker, so you’ll never be left in the dark when it matters.

Spot Lights

Different types of lighting options - spot lights

What is it?

Spot lights are exactly what they say on the tin, a small (usually circular) light embedded in the ceiling. Since spot lights don’t hang they tend to only illuminate directly underneath the fixture rather than surrounding areas, as a result, they’re typically used in multiples to provide more light.

What’s it Good for:

Like track lighting, spot lights are great at being strategically placed to illuminate a specific area or space. Likewise, if you’re hoping to achieve a minimal, contemporary interior design, the spot lights work great as they tuck seamlessly into the ceiling.

Under-Cabinet Lights

Different types of lighting options - under cabinet lights

What is it?

Under-cabinet lights are aptly named since they are placed (you guessed it) under cabinets. They come in many forms, but most notably either as long tube lights or individual spot lights.

What’s it Good for:

Since the only rooms that have cabinets are usually utilitarian ones (kitchen/bathroom/utility rooms) they tend to only be found here. Under-cabinet lights are easy to install and have a dramatic effect on the aesthetic of a room.

When it comes to different types of lighting, under-cabinet lights are the best for adding warmth and creating an ambience. Simply leave them on and switch off your main light fixture when hosting for an ambient feel.

Floor Lamp

Different types of lighting options - floor lamps

What is it?

Floor lamps are simply giant lamps that don’t need to be supported by other furniture.

What’s it Good for:

Floor lamps are great for ‘light layering’ – as an addition to the main overhead light; therefore, they’re great in ‘relax’ rooms like lounges and bedrooms. Floor lamps can be used as a muted light (perhaps for reading when placed adjacent to a sitting area) or used alongside the main light.

Table Lamp

Different types of lighting options - table lamps

What is it?

A lamp placed on a table – this could be a dresser, bedside table, desk, coffee table etc.

What’s it Good for:

Table lamps are great for adding light lower the room or in specific locations AND are also great home décor features. When you’re looking to wind down in a relaxed space, overhead, main lights can be too glaring – this is where table lamps come in and provide a subdued lighting option.


Different types of lighting options - chandelier

What is it?

A chandelier is a large, decorative hanging light with branches for several light bulbs or candles.

What’s it Good for:

Of all the different types of lighting, the chandelier is the grandest. Chandeliers are great for adding a touch of glamour and class. They make fantastic centre pieces to a special room or add instant opulence to a simple area.

Wall Sconces

Different types of lighting options - wall sconces

What is it?

A sconce is one of the more different types of lighting and is becoming one of the more rare types in modern homes. A wall sconce relies solely on being affixed to the wall for support, there’s no base on the ground, (because of this they will need an electrical box to be installed) and the light is usually directed upwards.

This type of light fixture is reminiscent of pre-modern usage when sconces held candles and torches to light buildings.

What’s it Good for:

Wall sconces, when mounted to direct light upwards, are great for opening a room and making it seem larger and lighter. Likewise, due to being fixed to the wall, they don’t use (perhaps limited) floor space.

Pendant Lights

Different types of lighting options - pendent light

What is it?

A pendant light, (also known as a drop or suspender light), are lone light fixtures that hang from the ceiling – usually from a cord, chain or metal rod. They are traditionally the main source of light in a room.

What’s it Good for:

Pendant lights are the most common form of light source. The best thing about pendant lights is the decorate shades that can be easily replaced and updated to keep up with your changing home décor.

Soffit Lighting

Different types of lighting options - soffit light

What is it?

Soffit Lighting is basically spot lighting for the exterior of homes, which is usually fitted on the underside of trimming.

Good for:

Soffit lighting is great for illuminating the exterior of your home, and since this is the representation of you to every other person – you want it to look its best!

Cove Lighting

Different types of lighting options - cove lighting

What is it?

Cove lighting is indirect and built into ledges, recesses or valences in a ceiling or high wall. Cove lighting directs light up towards the ceiling or sometimes down adjacent walls.

What’s it Good for:

Cove lighting is fantastic at showcasing an important decoration or feature wall. It’s a very contemporary style of lighting that makes a room feel very chic. Cove lighting can breathe life into the most uninspiring of rooms!


So, that’s wrap; a quick rundown of the different types of lighting options available. Each has their own pros and cons, but you should by now have a brief understanding them all – and which you’ll be choosing for your own home.

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