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Dorval’s Guide to Lighting

Lighting plays an important part in making your home feel inviting, cosy, and somewhere you enjoy spending time. Everything from the colour of the fittings themselves, to the strength of the bulb, to the placement of the lighting in the room, plays a vital role in setting the appropriate atmosphere. Read our lighting guide to discover the secrets of how effective home lighting design can transform your house into a home.

The Three Different Types of Lighting

First, it’s important to realise that we can classify all lighting into three different sub-categories:

General – The most commonly used type of lighting. Also known as ambient lighting, the purpose of this type of lighting is to provide sufficient amounts of light so you can properly see what you are doing in the room in question. Think ceiling lights and wall lights and you’ll get the idea.

Task – Wherever additional lighting is needed is where task lighting comes into play. It is usually aimed at one spot in particular in order to improve visibility further. Where would you use task lighting? An office desk lamp, a bedside table lamp, a floor lamp, lights in your bathroom mirror, and downlights on a kitchen island are just some of the most popular examples.

Accent – This is where you get creative with lighting to create a certain mood. Think LED strip lights above your coving, fairy lights in plants and glass jars, and low-level backlighting casting coloured hues on the wall behind your TV. Accent lighting can transform otherwise gloomy corners into a feature and make the room more inviting.

Now let’s discover how these three forms of lighting can be used to best effect throughout the various rooms in your home.

Modern bedroom

Lighting Guide – Room-By-Room

Of course, your choice of lighting can also be determined by the size of the room that it’s going to be in. After all, you wouldn’t put a chandelier under the stairs – it’s overkill. Choosing the right lighting for each individual room is a fine balancing act that’s easy to get wrong.

By letting the space dictate the type of lighting and fixtures that you use you increase your chances of getting your lighting balance right. Flush fittings are better in smaller rooms as hanging lamps, pendants, and chandeliers can make it look even smaller and cluttered. The bigger the room, the more outlandish you can be with your lighting, and the more sources of different lighting you can have. You can even use lighting design software to help you get the right balance.

Follow these house lighting ideas to make your lighting features work for you and your home.

Entrance Hall/Foyer

This can be a tricky space to light. It needs to be functional so you can lock the door, put shoes on, hang coats up etc. but it also needs to be warm and inviting for you, your family, and visitors. A combination of strong general lighting with sparse accent lighting under picture frames or table lamps with more muted bulbs can really make an entrance hall feel welcoming while still being highly practical.

Living Room

Living rooms are often multipurpose and are one of the most used rooms in the home, making the lighting guide for your living room a tough nut to crack. Because it’s a multipurpose room, it makes sense to have multifunctional lighting, too. A large main ceiling light, perhaps fitted with a dimmer switch, could provide the primary source of light for activities such as reading. Depending on the size of the living room, this could be combined with floor lamps, table lamps, or hidden lighting in bookcases for when you want to create a more relaxed, cosy mood.


The kitchen is very often the busiest room in the house. We eat, drink, and entertain here, so it needs to have appropriate lighting. Effective task lighting is especially important here, not least because you need to have enough illumination to prepare food properly. Multiple sources of light are better than just one central light in the kitchen in order to avoid casting shadows onto work surfaces. Multiple LED ceiling spotlights and LED strips under cabinets are excellent ways of solving this problem. Warmer lighting is usually used for island pendant lighting to create a more relaxed mood for eating and entertaining.


The bedroom is another space where we tend to not think about lighting very much – after all, the goal is for it to be dark most of the time so you can get a good night’s sleep! But it’s important to have the right sort of lighting to ensure that you’re relaxed before you go to sleep and to make it easy to wake up in the morning. The key here is to gear towards ambient lighting. Overhead lighting with a dimmer switch is always a good option, indirect lighting sources, such as sconces, work equally well, but bedside lamps with warm lighting are almost universally popular choices.


A mixture of general, task, and accent lighting tend to work well in bathrooms. General to be able to see what you are doing, task for things such as shaving, and accent to allow you to relax in the bath after a hard day. Health and safety are also of prime consideration here. Because of the amount of moisture in the air that comes from hot water, your lighting fixtures will need to be watertight in addition to being functional. If you have any questions about this, please just ask us.

Children’s Bedroom

A great lighting guide to follow for a child’s bedroom is the more muted, the better. There are so many funky options for children’s bedrooms, and the right lighting can transform a child’s bedroom into a safe haven where they enjoy spending time. Fun lighting features such as a star map on the ceiling make the room so much more inviting, while soft, subdued lighting and neutrally toned fixtures are perfect for a nursery. Older children and teenagers might appreciate touches of LED mood lighting and even neon signs to give a more edgy, grown-up feel to their room.

Home Office

Good lighting is essential to having a productive day in the office. While lots of natural nlight is the ideal solution through the day, what happens at night? This is where having effective task lighting is especially important as poor ambient lighting can lead to eye strain, tiredness, headaches, and lower productivity. A dedicated desk lamp with a crisp white light source or a daylight bulb can make a home office a pleasurable place to be – even if you do have to work too!

Need More House Lighting Ideas? Speak to the Team

With over four decades of experience designing and handcrafting stunning lighting fixtures, lampshades, and fittings, we know a thing or two about finding the perfect lighting solution for any room. We can help you with your home lighting design so that each room is perfectly lit for its own unique functions. For help with house lighting ideas, speak to the team today.

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