Choose the best source of ambient lighting to suit your home’s style and decor, from traditional oyster lights to the latest designer pendants. When deciding on what type to invest in, consider how focussed or diffuse you would like the light to be. Even though overhead lights typically fill an entire room, pendants and downlights can be directed to provide more intense illumination in a specific area.
This form of lighting has been one of the most popular choices in new homes constructed over the last decade or so. Downlighting involves an array of multiple fittings recessed into the ceiling, so that the pools of light from them overlap for even illumination. The sockets often feature a gimbal which allows the light to be angled slightly in the most suitable direction. Formerly the domain of low-voltage halogen downlights, this field is rapidly becoming dominated by LED (light emitting diode) solutions shaped to be compatible with halogen light sockets.
Often found in older properties, oyster lights are usually circular, low-profile fittings that are surface-mounted on the ceiling instead of being recessed. They use either round fluorescent tubes or arrays of classic-shaped light bulbs to provide wide-angle illumination, and are usually mounted in the centre of the room.
An inexpensive way to illuminate a large space such as a garage, strip lighting usually involves basic, utilitarian fittings that hold fluorescent tubes. But strip lights can be a classy solution as well: the fittings themselves can be concealed in ceiling alcoves or mounted under a bank of kitchen cabinets to provide rich, diffused light without compromising on style.
In its simplest form, a batten-fix light is nothing more than a surface-mounted socket for a classic light bulb. In practice, the socket usually features an integrated metal collar that holds a glass cloche to cover the bulb. This is another variety that is usually considered more traditional than modern, although there is an incredibly wide range of designs available -- including plenty that are right at home in the 21st century. Not all are compatible with CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), but fortunately there are globe-shaped LED solutions that fit them perfectly.
Add ‘wow’ factor to a room using a stunning designer pendant. Available in an incredible range of shapes, styles and finishes, pendant lights can brighten a living space as much through their stunning appearance as through the glow they produce. Some pendants throw a relatively focussed pool of light, putting them more in the category of accent lighting.
Overhead fittings give you so many options for lighting up your life, you’re bound to find the perfect solution for illuminating any living space.