Major Types of Residential Lighting Fixtures

Lighting in a residential setting is of much importance. The right types of lighting are desirable from natural lighting to lighting fixtures. Another issue is that of shared lighting.

There exist many options for the provision of light in a home from uniform architectural solutions, which need services of tradesmen and contractors to decorative lamps which need to be placed only on a table and plugged to the nearest source of electricity.

Though some light fixtures are typically associated with a particular form of lighting (ambient, task or accent), most fixtures can be used in a variety of ways.  Some of the popular fixtures include residential LED lighting fixtures.


Generally, there are three kinds of lighting fixtures to select from with regard to the residential settings. These are:

  • Direct light fixtures

For creating a bright space, direct light fixtures are used for the major lighting in a room. Every room in your home needs an option of direct lighting. These may be controlled by motion sensors in shared areas like kitchen and corridors.

  • Indirect light fixtures

These are lights facing towards the ceiling, instead of right down and provide softer lighting. Alcove lighting and wall lighting can be used to create an indirect light fixture. Though not mandatory, consider indirect lighting for every bedroom as this will provide the option of using both a brightly lit space and a soft, indirect lighting.

  • Combination fixtures

They provide the maximum amount of visual comfort. This is because a light is provided by a combination of indirect and direct lighting, which disperse light uniformly through the room.

Types of Fixtures

  • Architectural

Three major types of architectural lighting are valance, soffit, and cove which can be integrated into rooms. Cove lighting is located on a ledge or recess high upon a wall. Soffit lighting is located in a cornice near the ceiling. Valance lighting is located in a valance made of glass, metal or wood and set up high above on a wall. These are all types of indirect lighting which minimizes glare and shadows.

  • Recessed

Such fixtures are set up above the ceiling and have an opening which is flush with the ceiling. Such lights need a clearance of at least 6 inches above the ceiling. There is a need for insulation to ensure that condensation does not drip inside the fixture. Such lights send a narrow band of light in one direction. It provides all: ambient, task and accent lighting.

  • Track

Suspended or mounted from the ceiling, track lighting is made of a linear housing which contains several heads. These heads can be positioned anywhere along a track; they are adjustable. They are used mostly for accent or task lighting.

  • Pendants

These are typically suspended from the ceiling and directs down its light, usually over a kitchen island or table. They can enhance decorative looks of the home. They provide task or ambient lighting.

  • Undercabinet

These are mounted under kitchen cabinets and can be single puck shaped or linear fixture. It is ideal for task lighting in kitchens.

  • Chandeliers

Suspended from the ceiling, these fixtures direct their light upward, usually above a table. They are great decorative additions to a room.

These are all some of the major types of light fixtures meant for residential use.