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A guide to accenting a room with the correct lighting choices

When designing or planning an interior space, one of the most important aspects to consider is lighting. In order to create interior spaces that are fit-for-purpose and look aesthetically pleasing at the same time, the lighting is key. Considering which lighting will work best should be a focus from the very beginning of the design process. Just as great lighting can make a space user-friendly and enjoyable to spend time in, so too can poor lighting play down a room’s best features. With the flip of a switch or the touch of a dimmer, lighting can set the tone of a room and help to create a particular mood, so it’s vital to get it right.

Three lighting styles

Choosing the correct lighting isn’t just about creating a functional space. Lighting can improve work and enhance play, and rooms can feel bigger and brighter by making use of the right techniques. At its most basic, a successful lighting solution consists of three different types of lighting that work together and complement each other. It can be helpful to think of these different types of lights as the three ‘layers’ that make up the illumination of a room.

1. Ambient lighting provides a room or area with overall illumination

2. Task lighting is used for work areas and focuses bright, direct light onto a specific place

3. Accent lighting is decorative and is used to draw attention to specific areas for added drama or focus 

As you can see, each lighting style has a specific purpose and each will meet different needs. Using a combination of all three will result in interior spaces that look and feel beautiful while remaining functional.


An important consideration is the materials used in the manufacturing process of the lights you choose. Depending on the type of material used i.e. metal, glass or ceramic, the resulting light will be different.

1. Ceramic: Creates a warm glow and is well suited to create softer mood lighting and an intimate feeling. Ceramic lights illuminate smaller areas, and add a sophisticated atmosphere. As it’s a translucent material, ceramic allows the light to permeate through to create a pool of light.

2. Glass: Glass lights are useful for illuminating large spaces. They add an elegant feeling to a space and, when clear, glass allows the bulb to be exposed in order to add a contemporary edge.

3. Metal: This is a dynamic type of lighting. The type of light that is given out will depend entirely on the shape and style of the shade and what the light will be used for. For example, desk lamps give out a focused path of task light. Regardless of the style, light is pushed downwards as the light is unable to permeate through the metal itself.Metal lights also add an urban, industrial feel to a space.

The key is creating the style and look that you want by optimising different materials with a range of appropriate lighting, for all times. Remember, lights are not always switched on, so they need to be attractive unlit. To draw attention to a specific piece of furniture or a feature wall, an accent light with an attractive metal shade can provide the perfect focused illumination. Floor and wall lights in all materials can be practical, providing a layer of general lighting and feature lighting. Central pendant lights (ideally on a dimmer) can provide the main lighting layer, and then once dimmed, are well-suited for more relaxing social occasions. 

The shape of the shade

The size and shape of the shade itself will also affect the lighting that is produced. For example, shades with a defined edge create a cylinder of light that is focused downwards, whereas a larger, widespread shade will spread the light out further. Lights can also have visors added to them that help to prevent glare and provide a softer, more diffused light. Again, it’s important to consider the specific shape of the shades on the lighting you choose as you progress through the design process. By considering the lighting from the very beginning, you will create a more cohesive space with lights that perfectly complement the other interior elements.

It’s clear that the right lighting choices can really impact an interior space. To elevate your future projects to the next level, carefully consider the materials, shapes and styles of light you’re using. This will enable you to produce a lighting solution that both showcases the interior space and best meets the needs of your users. 

To find out how Original BTC can help you create the perfect ambiance for your next project with our extensive range of decorative lights, call us today on 0845 094 1858.

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