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    Create the ideal lighting for your home


    Learn how to use three types of light and make your own lighting plan

    Lighting your home: the basics


    There are basically three types of lighting, when combined correctly in layers, will create the optimum inspirational lighting solution. Each layer of light has its individual effect, but can be combined to create a magical overall design. 

    Ambiant lighting
    Ambiant light provides overall room lighting.


    This is the first layer of light to start with when creating a lighting plan. Ambiant light ensures a diffused, even level of light that provides overall room illumination. 

    Modern decorative Philips LED bulb lighting the living

    Task lighting
    Direct, focused light to help with a close range of work, like food prep, reading, or hobbies.


    Some projects and tasks require extra light to see details. Use task lighting for workspaces like kitchen counters, desks, or anywhere that you need more light.

    Woman working under a Philips LED mirror bulb

    Accent Lighting
    Create focal points or highlight the beautiful features of your home with accent light.


    Brighter than ambiant light but more focused, accent lighting is the finishing touch to make a room more interesting. Use it highlight a collection, artwork, architectural details, or anything that you want to draw attention to.

    Wall mounted Philips LED spots highlighting a plant
    Now you understand more about the three layers of light and how to use them. Try to have two or three of the layers in each room. Include dimmable light to get a wider range of ambiance. Your rooms will be more comfortable, more functional, and more appealing to you and your guests. Inspired to create a lighting plan? Read the next section.

    Learn how to light a room with our lighting plan guide

    Step 1. Draft your floorplan

    You will need:

    • Pen/pencil
    • Ruler
    • Tape measure
    • Graph paper 

    Helpful tips:

    1. Measure your space and draw it on the graph paper. Recommended scale is 1:50. 
    2. Mark any fixed elements such as windows, doors and chimneys.
    3. Draw in your furniture.
    A simple floor plan visualizing the types of light

    Step 2. Map out where you need light

    Identify your layers of light:
    • Ambiance: Overall room lighting for relaxing and socializing
    • Task: Direct, bright light for working, reading and hobby spaces
    • Accent: Focused bright light to create decorative points of interest


    Consider who is going to use this space and what they will be doing in it. Imagine the range of activities and what kind of light you will need for each. Your room can have dimmable light for yoga practice and a table with a bright task light over it for children to do homework, for example.

    A simple floor plan visualizing  the light zones and fixtures

    Step 3. Draw each light zone and your fixtures

    Defining a light zone:
    Each zone is a location where your light sources provide the layers of light that you need for the activities and moods of your room. Draw in the fixture or light source using the icons shown below.


    Don't forget to mark your light switches.

    A simple floor plan visualization

    Recessed light

    icon recessed
    Highlight objects and wash the walls with light for ambiance
    Lighting type
    ambience icon
    accent icon


    Ceiling spots: appr. 60cm from the wall

    Built in downlight: appr. 35cm from the wall

    Ambient spots: appr. 1m distance between spots

    Philips LED spot highlighting sofa
    Philips LED spots highlighting a bookshelf

    Wall mounted light

    icon wall mounted
    Provide ambient or accent lighting
    Lighting type
    ambience icon
    accent icon


    Should be spaced at least 20cm apart at a height of 180-190cm from the floor, depending on ceiling height.

    Women working on the computer next to a wall mounted Philips LED mirror bulb
    Man shaving in front of a bathroom mirror lighted by a wall mounted Philips LED

    Ceiling mounted light

    icon ceiling mounted
    Produce general light and contribute to the overall ambiance of your home
    Lighting type
    ambience icon
    task icon


    In the corners of a room, on the ceiling

    Ceiling mounted light fixture with Philips LED
    Ceiling mounted light fixture with Philips LED spots

    Floor & desk light

    icon floor & desk
    Create a decorative effect and help with tasks such as reading
    Lighting type
    task icon


    In the corners of a room, or close to a couch or at the side of the bed

    Philips LED floor lamp placed in a living room
    Girl doing homework under a Philips LED desk lighting

    Step 4. Find the right lights

    Nicely done!

    Now that your lighting plan is complete, you can choose the right light bulbs and fixtures to get the look and mood that you want for each room. LED light has a wide variety of options and features. Choose the brightness and colour temperature that best meets your needs and style. Don't forget to share your newly lighted room with us by posting your before and after photos on social media with #philipsLED