How do I Choose the Best Interior Lighting?

H. Bliss

When choosing the best interior lighting, put the focus on what is most important to you, whether you want to focus on environmentally friendly lighting or go for aesthetics and make a room look stunning. Budget can also be a significant factor in choosing interior lighting. For decorators on a slim budget, decorative lamps can be a low-cost option compared to installing wall lighting. The colors of the room and its furniture and the amount of available natural light can also play a factor in designing light for a room.

Light bulbs for interior lighting.
Light bulbs for interior lighting.

Environmentally friendly lighting means opting for fixtures with low-energy bulbs than your typical incandescent bulb. A budget option for going environmentally friendly is the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). A CFL is a fluorescent light designed to fit a standard light bulb socket. These bulbs are significantly more efficient than ordinary incandescent bulbs. In some areas, the energy company offers low-cost CFL bulbs to consumers who want to make the switch, and discount stores often sell the bulbs at a low price.

CFLs use less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
CFLs use less energy than incandescent light bulbs.

One issue to consider when choosing interior lighting is the color of light you want the bulbs to give off. This can be a particular issue with CFL bulbs, which sometimes give a yellowish glow to interior lighting. This can be avoided by using CFL bulbs with cool tint, which put off a slightly bluish glow that counters the yellow glow.

Light levels are another important part of designing interior lighting. Ensure that you get bulbs that put off comfortable levels of light for the setting. A painfully bright light may be perfect for a workroom, but it can be painful for guests enjoying a comfortable evening read in their bedrooms. If you need more light than a bulb with a comfortable glow can provide, opt for adding more light sources to a room rather than making the available sources brighter. Another option is to add an adjustable shade to light sources with bright bulbs.

Adjustable interior lighting may be a good option for rooms that serve multiple purposes. Adjustable lighting options can include light bulbs with multiple intensity settings or manual dimmers on the lighting in the room. One setting in which adjustable light may come in handy might be in a kitchen that was attached to a dining room. Using adjustable light, the cook could have full visibility in the kitchen and turn the lights down when it becomes time to relax and enjoy the meal. It can also help provide minimal supplemental light in a room with a good source of natural light in the day.

People who want environmentally friendly interior lighting should consider CFL bulbs.
People who want environmentally friendly interior lighting should consider CFL bulbs.

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Discussion Comments


If in the kitchen, I suggest an LED cabinet light in warm white. The warm white color is also suitable for the bedroom. If in the dining room, daylight white will be better.


I have an overhead light in my family room, but our ceiling is so high so it doesn't give off very much light. If I am trying to read a book or magazine I need light that is brighter.

What is really frustrating for me is that I don't have very many electrical outlets in my family room. I don't really want to have a cord running across the floor from the wall to a table.

The perfect solution for this would be electrical outlets that are on the floor, but this wasn't included in the design for our house. If it is dark outside, I have to go to another room of the house if I want to see very clearly to read.


We have dimmer switches on some of the lights in our house, and I really like having this in the bedroom. I enjoy having the option to have a brighter light or something that is not so glaring.

You can get really fancy with some interior lighting design, but I don't need a lot of expensive lights. This is the first house I have lived in with a dimmer switch and I never realized how much I would enjoy it.

If the next house we live in doesn't have this lighting option in the bedroom, I will probably go ahead and have one installed.


Some of my favorite interior light fixtures are the lights I have under my kitchen cabinets. These stay on all night and give off just the right amount of light if you need to get a drink of water during the night.

If I am looking for something in the kitchen during the night, I never want to turn on a bright light that shines over the whole room. The lights under the cabinets are the perfect solution and also add a nice atmosphere.


One thing that really bothers me is a room that has poor lighting. I like being able to have a bright light in every room of my house.

It seems like some of the modern interior lighting in many new homes today are different than they used to be. Many of them don't have any kind of overhead lighting in the living room and family room area. There are times when you don't want a bright overhead light here, but there are also many times when you do.

If I want to watch a movie I prefer to keep the overhead light off and have on a table lamp. But if I want to read a book or work on my computer I want a bright light over my head.

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