100 Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Tips and Ideas For Your Home
Don't overlook lighting when it comes to interior (and exterior) design. It can have an enormous effect on the look and feel of your home.
We asked the top interior designers for their best home lighting tips and tricks. If you’re not sure where to start, here are 100 ideas for indoor and outdoor lighting!
Kitchen Lighting Ideas
1. "When used in the kitchen led strips and panels can be placed on the underside of cabinets close to the floor or lighting the worktops or, instead, over the cabinets close to the ceiling" - Jenny Kakoudakis
2. Undercabinet lights
are ideal for illuminating dark spots such as worktops, cupboards and drawers. They are easily installed with options for battery operated lights, and they can make a huge difference to your kitchen, particularly when it comes to cooking or reading recipe books.
3. If you regularly use your kitchen to entertain, consider making your ceiling lights dimmable, using a dimmer switch. If you’re swapping from incandescent lights to LEDs, you’ll need an LED specific dimmer switch to avoid flickering, humming and buzzing.
4. Plinth lights across the bottom of your Kitchen Island or units will give the illusion that the unit is floating, for an elegant contemporary look.
5. If you have a dining table, use pendant lights
to create a clear dining zone.
6. Fit LED strip lights in the gap between the work surface and the units. Most strip lights are flexible and will fit any shape.
7. Install lights in the floor to guide you to the fridge for a late-night snack without turning on the main light.
8. If your kitchen is open plan, use different switches to control the lights, so that you don’t have to have them all on at once.
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Bedroom Lighting Ideas
9. "Keep your bedside table clear by installing a flexi-arm wall light, which looks good and allows you to direct the light where you need it." - Stephanie Robinson
10. "Lighting doesn’t always have to be overhead! Adding floor lamps/fairy lights/table lamps can really create a cosy ambiance in a room!" - Sam Crooks
11. "It's always important to consider the tone of your lighting. Yellow light is much more effective in the bedroom when you're trying to power down for the day. It's relaxing and easy on the eyes." - Fleur Henley
12. Close down larger spaces for instant cosiness by avoiding overhead fixtures and opting for wall lights.
13. Bedroom lighting should be simple yet effective. Use a dimmer switch or a dimmable table light to change the mood.
14. If you want to get dressed on a dark winter morning without waking anyone, choose wardrobe lights for the inside of your closet.
15. You can place strip lighting around the base of your bed for a soft glow that will guide you when you get out of bed in the dark.
16. If you’d like to create a reading spot in your room, place a comfy chair with a floor lamp next to it for a cosy spot.
17. If your headboard is under a nook, consider recessed lights for an innovative way to light the room.
18. "Gradually decrease the lighting levels in your home as bedtime approaches. This will help to you wind down from the stresses of the day and will make you feel naturally sleepy. You can fit dimmer switches to your main lighting so that you can adjust levels throughout the evening. Alternatively, turn off the main light and use a few lamps to illuminate the room with pools of warm light." - Cassie Fairy
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Dining Room Lighting Ideas
19. "It might be trendy to have low level pendant lighting but make sure it's not too low that you bash your head on the lamp shade when getting up from the table!" - Ben Sully, https://wood-create.com
20. For a statement piece of lighting in your dining room, choose a chandelier over the table. You can use a dimmer switch to control the level of lighting if it has multiple bulbs.
21. If your dining room table sits more than six people, you’ll want a fixture which is longer to avoid leaving people in the dark, or you can use multiples of the same pendant light.
22. If you are unsure how to place your pendant light, it should be at least 30 inches above the table.
23. Layer the light in your dining room with different fixtures to create a more functional space.
24. It’s really important to create an atmosphere around the dining table when you have guests so that the rest of the room fades away.
25. If there is a sideboard in your dining room, add table lamps to it for a soft light. You can even use them to make a decorative statement.
26. Use an arc lamp instead of ceiling lighting – you can place it in the corner so that the shade hangs over the table.
27. If you use your dining table for everyday tasks like homework and reading, use downlights in your overhead fixture to create task lights.
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Hallway Lighting Ideas
28. "Statement lighting transforms a hallway from dull to dramatic. Why? Well, statement lighting adds drama to your ceiling. A show-stopping light fitting can take your breath away" - Maxine Brady, https://www.welovehomeblog.com/
29. With the hallway being the first area that a guest sees, you’ll want to make it feel welcoming. Use an overhead fixture and a table lamp, and alternate them depending on the atmosphere.
30. If you have different zones in your hallway such as a place to hang coats and a table to put down mail, you can use wall lights to define them.
31. Pendant lights achieve an eye-catching effect in the hallway, but as the space can be limited, ensure your chosen shade doesn’t overwhelm it.
32. If your hallway is otherwise very monochrome, use your lighting to create a pop of colour.
33. If your hallway is dark and narrow, give the illusion of space by using a row of ceiling lights – just make sure they are quite simple.
34. The hall is a great place to hang artwork, but at night these pieces can sometimes go unseen. Use wall lights to highlight them and give them the attention that they deserve.
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Living Room Lighting Ideas
35. "We may see lighting as purely functional, but the main benefit is the mood that light sources can give off and the aesthetics that a beautiful table, floor, pendant or ceiling lamp can bring to the overall look of a space." - Charlotte Valentine, https://thehomethatmademe.com/
36. "I love the current trend for light boxes where you can have a play with the wording so you don’t get bored of them. Mine’s surrounded by a few scented candles to create a little focal point in the evenings" - Emma Hill, https://www.hisandhersmag.co.uk/
37. Three types of lighting are required in your living room – ambient, task and accent. Ambient lighting represents the overall light, task lighting is ideal for reading and accent lighting will highlight any design features of your home.
38. You can use a statement pendant light, floor lamps and wall lights in your living room for a good mixture of lighting levels.
39. Use strip lights around the perimeter of your ceiling for a unique way to provide accent lighting.
40. If you have shelves in your living room, use lights to highlight objects on them and immediately draw the eye.
41. Use matching table lamps at either end of your sofa for a feeling of symmetry.
42. Highlight your fireplace by using sconces or small lights.
43. Take advantage of a dark corner by creating a reading nook with a floor lamp and chair.
44. In a modern living room, simple designs look best. Choose fixtures with elegant silhouettes and bulbous shades.
45. Wall lights bounce light back into your living room to make it feel cosier.
46. Create a talking point with your living room lighting by using a backlight for your TV. You can also get colour changing backlights!
47. If your living room is naturally dark, keep your furnishings light to ensure the light bounces off them to increase brightness.
48. Link your LED lights to your sound system so that you're always ready to throw an amazing party.
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Bathroom Lighting Ideas
49. "Use recessed led panels as task lights in the bathroom in addition to your permanent ceiling fixtures. Having them installed in these areas can be cost effective long term and helps create an ambience in the room." - Jenny Kakoudakis, https://www.seasonsincolour.com/blog
50. If you find yourself scrabbling around for toiletries, use glass shelves and hang a single spotlight above them.
51. Ceiling edge lighting is a great way to add understated lighting to your bathroom for a modern look.
52. If you love dramatic interiors and you want to feel like a film star, install lighting around your mirror.
53. Floor lighting is a great way to increase ambience in your bathroom and can make you feel cosy for a bedtime bath.
54. You can use undercabinet lights on your bathroom cabinets – it will make applying makeup or shaving easier as you won’t have any shadows causing you to miss spots.
55. You should always make sure your lighting choice is compatible with use in bathrooms – the last thing you want is escaping steam damaging your fixture!
56. Adding shower lights above your shower will make it look more inviting on a cold morning.
57. If you use spotlights in your bathroom, you can reposition them to reach whichever angle you require.
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Study Lighting Ideas
58. Task lighting is really important in the study. You can use desk lamps for reading or writing.
59. An overhead fixture with a bright LED bulb will be great for your study.
60. Dim lighting can cause eye strain and headaches, so you need bright, effective lighting.
Nursery Lighting Ideas
61. You want to avoid harsh lighting in the nursery so opt for soft lighting which will decrease the risk of overstimulation. Avoid halogens and exposed bulbs, and choose shaded fixtures.
62. A dimmer switch can help your baby wind down and sleep, and it’s also perfect for late-night feeds as you can get some light without disturbing the little one.
63. Use your overhead lighting to make a statement by opting for a fun fixture or even an opulent chandelier.
64. You can get creative with your nursery lighting. Create stars on the ceiling with LEDs, or use it to enhance a theme i.e. fairy lights for a woodland themed nursery.
65. Dome shaped ceiling pendants are ideal for adding soft lighting to a nursery.
66. Drum pendants are great for casting a soft even light across the nursery.
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Indoor DIY Lighting Ideas
67. Use a thick glass bottle as a base for your light.
68. Add small stick-on LED lights to a globe and hang it from the ceiling.
69. Use natural crystal to create a glowing night light.
70. If you like an industrial look, use a colander as a lamp shade.
71. Wooden clothes hangers can be used to create an interesting ceiling fixture.
72. For a quirky look, place bulbs inside of bowler hats and hang them from the ceiling.
73. Use glitter tulle to create ‘pixie’ lights. Tutorial here.
74. Place string lights in a mason jar for a romantic look.
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Patio Lighting Ideas
75. "You'll want to use lighting to create a focus point in your garden. Uplights are amazing as they create a soft light that isn't pointing directly in your face and blinding you! You can use uplights around your main seating area and add candles to your tables as well to give off a warm glow. Just add some fairy lights around your fencing, or looping around a tree, and you'll want to sit out all night!" - Sarah Elsey, https://www.dreamofhome.co.uk/
76. LED plinth or rope lights installed underneath your patio furniture can give your garden a contemporary vibe.
77. Use projected lighting to highlight your landscaping. This works particularly well with illuminating trees.
78. To create an intimate feel, combine a fire pit with wall lighting. This looks perfect with a stone patio area.
79. Use twinkling floor lights to guide your guest into the garden.
80. Place small lights in the foliage to showcase your gardening prowess.
81. String lights create a perfect rustic look, particularly when hung over timber frames.
82. To make your garden look warm and inviting, stick to warm-toned lighting.
83. If you have a gazebo or a table with an umbrella, hang lights from them for unique party lighting.
84. "Placing lighting behind your favourite plants, flowers or shrubs and best of all trees can turn your garden into a magical retreat." - Claire Horn, https://www.atominteriorstyling.com
85. Old-fashioned lantern lights hanging over your patio table creates an elegant look for dining al fresco.
86. You can embed your patio lights into the wall for a streamlined look.
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Driveway Lighting Ideas
87. Driveway lights are essential for safely guiding you into your driveway at night. If you choose low voltage lighting, you can easily install driveway lighting yourself.
88. Ground lights are a popular choice for driveways as they don’t obstruct and they are easy to install.
89. Space post lights along your driveway to clearly guide you.
90. When choosing a driveway lighting solution, make sure it is weatherproof so that it lasts you a long time.
91. Use uplights to highlight shrubs or plants along your driveway.
Decking Lighting Ideas
93. If your decking area has stairs, place plinth lights on them to softly guide the way.
94. You can place strip lights along the floorboards.
95. Recessed decking lights are unobtrusive and look stylish.
Outdoor DIY Lighting Ideas
96. Create an essential oil candle by adding oil, botanicals and a tea light to a mason jar. Tutorial here.
97. Turn wicker baskets into a lantern – using this tutorial.
98. Create lanterns using tin cans.
99. Use cupcake tin liners as shades for fairy lights – they look like mini pleated lampshades!
100. Place lights inside shuttlecocks for a unique fixture.
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