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  • Writer's pictureJulie Evans


Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Your home’s lighting is so much more than just lighting up or illuminating a space. Home interior lighting can be used to create or change mood, increase productivity (or avoid it), aid a good night’s sleep, highlight texture within your space and showcase art, sculpture and collectibles.

Here are the most interesting, and definitely the top facts about lighting that you need to know along with some ideas on how to use home interior lighting to complement the architecture and design aesthetic within your home.

1. Watts vs Lumens

The main difference between watts and lumens is that lumens tell you how bright the bulb is and watts measure the amount of power consumed by the bulb. Lumens are a far more accurate measurement of the amount of light emitted than the number of watts. As a rule of thumb, one lumen emits approximately the same amount of light as one birthday candle. A standard 60w bulb emits around 750-850 lumens of light.

Home lighting watts vs lumens top tip:

If you’re choosing a bulb for task lighting, look for a minimum of 1,000 lumens.

Yellow light bulb on yellow background showcasing watts vs lumens

2. Making the most of natural light

Mirrors, mirrored furniture and reflective surfaces can all maximise natural light in your home. Minimise any tall or bulky furniture adjacent to windows to allow the natural flow of light indoors and to protect your furniture from sun damage. Window treatments such as plantation shutters, Venetian blinds and louvres can all help control the amount of light and direct it to where you want it to go.

Home lighting natural light top tip:

When choosing paint colours for your home's interior, remember that a lighter colour palette will reflect more light. In reflecting all that natural light, your lighter paint colours will make your rooms appear and feel larger while the opposite will be true for a darker colour palette, which will absorb light and make rooms feel smaller and more intimate.

Home office and desk by window with natural light streaming through

3. Using lighting as a design statement

Your home interior lighting design should be equally concerned with style as it is with function. Your light fixtures and pieces can (and definitely should) be used as eye catching design statements in your home and there are designs to suit every style.

Home lighting design statement top tip:

Consider placing a chandelier over a bath, pendants over your kitchen island bench or dramatic, oversized lamps on the console in your front entry hall to create an unforgettable first impression.

Sitting chair by designer statement floor lamp showcasing function and great design can be paired

4. Paying attention to the finer details

Make the most of your home interior lighting plan by paying attention to the finer details.

Home lighting finer details top tips:

Here's a collection of finer details to pay attention to:

  1. Table lamps are best placed on a solid side table or console to hide unsightly cords

  2. Lamp shade seams should be positioned so they face towards the wall or the rear as you face them

  3. Electricity plug sockets should be close to where your lamps are situated

  4. Accent lighting is best positioned just above eye level, which will illuminate the entire room without casting unflattering shadows.

Table lamp on side console with cables at rear for best styling

5. Making a feature of your textured walls

Whether it's for your home's interior or exterior design, a lighting effect called ‘wall grazing’ is designed to showcase textured walls and to add visual interest to a space. Using either floor or ceiling mounted lights, and positioned no further than 600mm from the wall, you can create playful shadows on your textured walls that make for mood, interest and can support your design aesthetic. Wall grazing is commonly used in restaurants and to highlight the exterior walls and surfaces of stone homes and are even applied to kitchen splash backs to call attention to the negative space between the tiles.

Home lighting textured walls top tip:

The closer that your lights are placed to your textured wall makes the angle of the light source to that wall smaller, which in turn affects the strength of the shadows that it creates.

6. Smoothing out uneven walls with lighting

‘Wall wash’ lighting has the opposite effect of ’wall grazing’ lighting. Wall wash lighting is best used on smooth, flat walls where you want to draw attention to design, art of items placed on the wall, as opposed to the wall itself.

Wall wash lighting is designed to eliminate shadows, thereby smoothing out imperfections and creating a flawless interior design aesthetic.

Home lighting uneven walls top tip:

Wall washing is ideal to showcase artwork and collectibles. To achieve this effect, position your lights at least 900mm from the wall, which widens the angle of the light source and washes wash the wall out, making the space appear larger.

sitting room with chair in foreground showing wall washed lighting on rear wall

7. Lighting and productivity

Research shows that home interior lighting that mimics natural daylight makes you less sleepy and more alert. If you're working, that means productivity bonuses.

Home lighting productivity top tip:

Consider installing natural white LED bulbs in your office or study to maximise your working from home output.

So, have I shed some light on the subject of home interior lighting for you?

See what I did there?? I’m really passionate about the effect of home interior lighting on interior design and the power that it has on your mood and the atmosphere of your space. I hope this has helped with your home interior lighting plan and if you would like a little help, I’m always here. Feel free to contact me so we can chat about how to make your space realise it’s full potential and to make your heart sing when you're in it.

Julie Evans Design beige logo horizontal

Julie Evans Design is a Newcastle based interior design studio and creator of beautiful spaces. We service the New South Wales areas of Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens. Our goal is to make the potential of your space come to life, so much that it makes your heart sing when you're in it. Check out my interior design services, learn more about me or contact me to have a discussion about your space and your needs.

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