Room-by-Room Interior Lighting Guide | Indoor Lighting Tips


Lighting is often overlooked in our homes and businesses. Lighting profoundly impacts the aesthetics and functionality of your home and business. It can also profoundly affect your mood, emotions, and well-being. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to see the importance of indoor lighting as the days grow shorter and the winter months approach.

Lighting Fixture Types

To make lighting design more effortless, it can be helpful to divide lighting fixtures into two main categories.

Surface lights

Surface-mounted fixtures can be seen and are often flush against the ceiling. These fixtures are used most often in bedrooms, hallways, and entryways.

Pendant Lights

Pendant fixtures are suspended from the ceiling using a cable, cord, or chain. These fixtures are often found in kitchens and dining rooms, particularly in homes with higher ceilings.

Recessed lights

Recessed lighting is concealed in a ceiling cavity, so you don’t have a direct view of the source. This indirect lighting can be used in any room in your home, most often in the form of downlights/spotlights. You should be aware that you can have a variety of lighting sources.

Track lights

Track lighting offers many options for flexible lighting. Multiple bulbs can be mounted on the same track with different voltages and circuits. They can be suspended from the ceiling as pendant lights or surface-mounted like surface lights. There are many styles, finishes, and colors available. Talk to a professional lighting expert before you make a decision.

Portable lights

Portable lights are precisely what you’d expect — they’re mobile. These lights are typically plugged into an electrical outlet via their cord. However, portable, battery-operated fixtures are growing in popularity. These portable lights can be used for tables and side tables. A few floor lamps can be added to create the desired look. Lighting design should include a wide range of styles, colors, and fixtures.

Landscape Lighting

While we are not focusing on outdoor lighting (or landscape lighting), you should be aware that these are another category. Landscape lighting includes flood lights, bullet lights, motion sensors and deck lighting. Security lighting is also available. Hiller Electrical can handle outdoor lighting, including maintenance and repair.

Room-by-Room Interior Lighting Guide

Combining these three layers will make a functional or decorative lighting scheme.

Overhead/General Lighting

Task Lighting

Accent Lighting

Different types of lighting are needed depending on the role of the room. Do you want to relax? Are you trying to bring out the best features in the space or brighten the whole room? Most rooms require some combination of ambient, accent, task, or other lighting.

Entry methods

It is essential for family members and friends to have well-lit hallways and entryways. Lighting should allow safe passage from the entrance to all other rooms in your home. Ceiling fixtures are ideal for this purpose. Ceiling fixtures can give you the warm welcome that you desire by providing ambient light.

Avoid spotlights/downlights, which can create high-contrast shadows.

Accent lighting can be used to highlight the artwork.

Track lighting can be used to make a wall wash.

A pendant light placed near the door can create an inviting area.

Switches should be easily accessible.

Save money using LEDs or CFLs, which can be left on for extended periods.

Stairs and Hallways

It would help to have enough lighting in your hallways and stairs to ensure safety. Consider installing fixtures every 4-6ft in your hallways. This will help define the space, highlight artwork and textures, and light it. You can also use light to make your room appear larger, lighter, and more spacious.

You can consider various light sources such as wash lights or wall lights. However, it all depends on how big the room is and the spacing between your fixtures.


Your bathroom should have the primary goals of safety, functionality, and aesthetics. Bright, even lighting in bathrooms is essential. Recessed lighting is a good choice for bathrooms because it saves space and gives your bathroom a clean, glare-free look.

You can hang pendants from the ceiling or attach them to wall sconces above the sinks and mirrors.

As you stand in front of the mirror, ensure that robust, neutral or cool light is directed toward your face.

Consider adding an LED light to your GFCI outlets to provide emergency lighting at night.

A great addition to a tub is dimmable lighting.

Separate your fan and light switches if you still need to do so.


The kitchen is no longer just a place to cook. Kitchens have become the center of the home. They are used for many tasks including cooking, cleaning, and hanging around.

Ambient light is essential, as well as task lighting. To add visual interest to your work surfaces and to illuminate them, you can use under-cabinet lighting. Recessed lighting in your ceilings will reduce shadows and glare.

A pendant light or chandelier can be used to light a kitchen island or a breakfast nook. You can dim the lights in your kitchen to create a romantic atmosphere, or turn the lights up for proper task lighting.

Undercabinet lighting can be used under cabinets to provide task lighting.

Consider energy-efficient light bulbs such as LEDs if you use your kitchen often.

For greater flexibility, add multiple lighting layers and separate controls.

Dining Room

The best light fixtures for dining rooms are beautiful. The light fixtures are the main focal point of the space, so make sure you get a well-designed one. A chandelier or pendant light will be placed above the dining table. However, there are other options, such as track lighting and string pendants. You can dim the light with elegant glass to create a candle-like effect.

As with all rooms, we recommend installing a dimmer to control the lighting levels. You may prefer a soft glow for certain meals. However, you should ensure that everything is lit up for board games and puzzles.

Wall and recessed lighting can highlight artwork and other decorative items.

Mounting undercabinet lights can be a great way to showcase your silverware and china if you have a china cabinet.

Wall sconces create beautiful effects, especially when they are placed on either side of a buffet, sideboard, or decorative cabinet.

Track or recessed lighting can be directed toward the walls to create ambient lighting.

Layers of lighting can be designed with pendants, downlights, and chandeliers.

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