Indoor & Outdoor Lighting

Indoor & Outdoor Lighting

Good lighting provides both abundant illumination and ambiance inside and outside your home. It can make the difference between a bland room and a stunning one; a dim, unfriendly environment, and a warm, inviting one. As both a functional and a decorative feature, it’s a touch that deserves special consideration when you’re upgrading, remodeling, or adding onto your house.

How do you know what kind of light is right for you? The first thing you need to determine is your primary lighting goal. Then after that, take into account the distinctive features of the room or outdoor space, including areas where special tasks will be performed and/or where artwork or accent pieces you wish to highlight are kept. Next, you will want to consider the overall design of the space, when and for what purpose it will be used, and your budget for the project.

Determining Your Lighting Goals:

There are three basic types of lighting corresponding to different goals: general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.

As it’s name implies, General lighting provides overall illumination to the room. This the most commonly considered light and is the one you most often control when you walk into a room and flip the switch. The purpose of general lighting is to allow you to see comfortably and to establish the general ambiance.

Task Lighting focuses on a specific area in the room where a special task will be performed, whether this is eating at the dining room table, preparing meals at the kitchen island, or preparing for the day in front of the bathroom mirror.

And for room with special features, accent lighting highlights a small area to draw the eyes’ attention to the object of focus and provides depth and interest to the room. Examples of this kind of light include recessed or wall-mounted lights over paintings or around fountains.

Some rooms use only general lighting, but many rooms benefit from a combination of general, task, and accent lighting, such as a kitchen with an overhead light, several pendants above the island, and several bright track lights above an important painting or dish collection.

Types of Fixtures

At Great Lakes Contractors, our friendly crews are knowledgeable of and experienced with installing fixtures of all kinds, allowing you to make your choice based solely on your design for the room. Like all features, lights should complement your room or landscape aesthetically and be appropriate for the area’s intended function.

Some of your indoor lighting choices include:

Ceiling Lights

These types of lights are among the most common for general use and provide illumination for a wide area. Although generally unobtrusive, they are nevertheless visible from all corners of the room and therefore come in a variety of styles to match your room’s design. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a ceiling light is how much illumination you will need or want in the desired space.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans serve the double purpose of illumination and climate comfort. They are often found in kitchens and bedrooms, where circulation is important.

Recessed Lighting

This kind of lighting forgoes any outside housing and provides a way for you to screw light bulbs directly into recesses int the ceiling. Often considered a modern and minimalist look, it’s common in kitchens, bedrooms, and other areas requiring an even light spread. They are also effective as accent lights above special pieces of art or architectural features.


Chandeliers don’t have to be made of crystal. These are simply fixtures that hang from the ceiling containing more than one light. They are most common above kitchen and dining room tables, where they provide special task lighting and ambiance.


Like chandeliers, pendants hang from the ceiling, but each pendant only contains a single light and they are generally considered more casual than chandeliers. They are often used above islands in order to better illuminate the food prep area.

Wall or House-Mounted Lights

Indoors, wall-mounted lights can serve as accent lights, while outdoors they can provide general illumination and security to your home. A variety of styles exist to match any décor.

Walkway, Deck, and Stair Lights

These types of outdoor lighting illuminates driveways, walkways, decks, and stairs that may be difficult to find or treacherous to walk on in the dark. Not only do these lights provide safety, but they can also make your home less appealing to prowlers, who prefer dark yards.

Security Lights

Security lights can be configured to stay on all night or to switch on when motion is detected nearby. Because they can not only be attached to the house, but also to trees and other structures away from the building, they often require special electrical considerations

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