Lighting basic terminologies – these are the must know extremely elementary concepts:

  1. LED Vs conventional lighting

Choice is simple here – go for LED which is the latest technology and consumes less power. You could replace a 36 watts conventional LFL tube light with 18 watts LED batten and get almost the same light output.

LED Batten:

  1. Warm Vs cool light

This is determined by the color temperature (CT) – there are broadly 2 types of common CT:

3000K – CT of 3000K or less is called warm or slightly yellowish light

6000K – CT of over 5000K is called cool color or bluish white light

Cool white is preferred for reading and warm for general purposes. In a home, for living rooms and the bedrooms there should be preferably options for both depending on the mood.

  1. Surface light Vs recessed light:

Surface light is a fixture that can be directly mounted on a surface like a wall or true ceiling. Recessed light on the other hand, goes into a false ceiling or wooden/ other surfaces.

LED Slim recessed round down light:

LED round surface fixture:

  1. Direct Vs indirect lighting

In direct lighting the light source is visible and in indirect lighting, it is reflected from any surface. Lighting should be indirect as far as possible as it looks classier. Use your own creativity to make this happen as shown in the below picture wherein a 20w tubelight is placed on the wardrobe thereby indirectly yet sufficiently lighting the whole room.

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  1. Decorative vs functional lighting

Functional lighting is the light source which is used primarily for the purpose of illumination. Decorative lights are used for enhancing the décor of the room and actually may not provide sufficient light output. Decorative lights are often expensive and difficult to maintain.

Must check spec: All lights should preferably be LED with atleast 2 years of warranty

Lighting – selection matrix:

Type of requirement Concepts Basic Products Add ons
Living room/ dining room A false ceiling gives the space a neat and premium look.

Hence recessed Lighting, with options for both white and warm (yellow) lighting would be a good solution for the space.

Smartly placed LED battens can be used if false ceiling is not preferred.

Multiple 6W LED round or square recessed down lights, with each covering an area of around 5ft x 5ft, to be used for good illumination.

2W LED spot lights embedded either in false ceiling or any plywood structure can be used for providing warm hues to the space.

Use decorative lights for grandeur.

Hire an interior designer and go for dimming/ home automation for super premium applications.

Bedrooms The lighting in the bedroom should preferably be indirect with both white and warm light options.

To make the lighting indirect, the fixture could be placed on top of the wardrobe or behind the bed.

4 feet, 20W LED batten with either PVC or Aluminium profile for providing white light.

24W LED strip, 5 meters in length (can be cut to suitable size) with driver can be used for warm illumination.

Recessed down lights if false ceiling (read a separate section on this) is used. A good night lamp can add to the décor.
Kitchen Functional white light with the fixture placed above the door frame, would be a good option. 4 feet, 20W LED batten  Recessed down lights/ decorative lights
Balconies Choose an attractive surface mounted white light 10W, LED Celene round moonlight Chandelier
Bathroom Requires functional white light preferably placed above the mirror 2 feet, 12W LED batten Recessed down lights/ decorative lights

Usage tip: Decorative lights, per se, could be avoided as they difficult to maintain, expensive and do not serve the functional lighting needs. You could use home automation depending on which side of the ‘excessive use of technology’ debate you are. Wherever possible, lighting should be indirect and your furniture can be customized to hide the lights as well as wires!

Utility product tip: a portable LED lantern which would be useful as an emergency light in the absence of power. It would also be useful, if you want to focus light on a specific area or for a specific purpose like reading etc.