lighting design indoor

How to Optimize Interior Design for Lighting Based on Color Temperature

Many designers feel that lighting design requires skill and experience, not to mention that you are not a lighting designer. However, there are several practical rules for home lighting based on color temperature. Although it is not possible to achieve the hotel’s good-looking and advanced effects, it is the easiest way for us to get started.

If you want to know how many lighting fixtures do you need, please check: How Many Light Fixtures Do I Need? – Ultimate Guide

First, we have to define two concepts

Brightness & Color temperature


The pursuit of the light is innate. Maybe you never thought about it, but you can always tell which light it feels comfortable and when you feel uncomfortable.

It is best for walking and exercising in the morning and evening. No one is happy to go out at noon. Why? Not only because it is too hot, but also a very important reason is too bright, the light is too glaring.


The choice of brightness at home should understand this natural law. It should not be too bright or too dark.

Too bright is like walking on the hot sun. Too dark will feel sad and lethargic. Of course, everyone in each family has different concerns about brightness.

Some people like to be warm and timid. Some people like to be as bright as white.

Fortunately, the wattage of the bulb is optional, and there is a lot of room for maneuver.

What you need to know more about color temperature. People have created three types of light, which are distinguished by color temperature:

Color temperature

  • Daylight: The color is cold, the illumination area is relatively large, the visual effect is very clear, but not warm enough.
  • Warm white light: The color is slightly warmer, the illumination area is moderate, the comfort is good, and the visual effect is clear.
  • Warm light / yellow light: The color is yellow, the visual effect is warm, but the feeling is not clear.


3 rules for lighting arrangements

Rule 1: Don’t be glaring

The most important thing about home lighting is that the lights can never be glaring.

All light sources should not be bare bulbs – if it is a uniform illumination such as a ceiling or downlight, be sure to have a diffuser.

In the case of a directional light such as a spotlight, the angle of the spotlight needs to be specially calculated and adjusted, at least not in the area where we are constantly active.

Also, avoid the reflected light.

Like children who like to stare at the lights, when using spotlights, it is even more necessary to adjust the position and angle of the spotlights.

For example, in a hotel, it is very common to install spotlights on the top of the bed because our average adult does not look up and stare at the ceiling lights while sitting on the bed.

But for children, this is a very dangerous design. Also, pay attention to the glare from reflective materials and mirrors.

Indoor lighting design

This kind of bedside ceiling spotlight is not good for children.

Rule 2: Don’t be too dark

The artificial lighting can’t go beyond the sun.

The light intensity in the office and shopping malls is generally stronger than that in the home, but it is because of rule one, so even if it is bright, it will not make people feel dazzling.

The brightness of the outdoors during the day is usually 2~10 times of the brightness of the room, and even 100 times in the sun.

How can the lighting in the home not catch up with this number?

At present, the common problem in many families is that the lighting is not bright enough, because the lighting performance of each brand is different. You can consult the shopping guide when you purchase and don’t save the electricity for these few dollars.

indoor lighting design

Rule 3: Matching with bright and dark

In fact, different areas of the room have different requirements for color temperature and brightness. For example, the kitchen belongs to task lighting, so it should be brighter. The bedroom needs dark light to assist sleep.

Suggestions for lighting design based on color temperature

Living room

I recommend using warm white light for the main light.

It keeps the entire space fresh and natural, with enough illumination and brightness. At the same time, the living room looks warm with a slightly yellow light.

However, other lamps in the living room, such as floor lamps ( The 8 Best Floor Lamp for Living Room)and table lamps, should use 2700~3000K warm light, so that when the main lamp is not open, it can maintain strong warmth and comfort, and it is also conducive to the formation of spatial three-dimensional sense.

indoor lighting design

Auxiliary lighting such as floor lamps and desk lamps are recommended for warm/yellow light

Adult bedroom

indoor lighting design

The bedroom lights are best suited to be slightly darker and more scattered, which makes it easy to create a romantic atmosphere.

There is a reading lamp with a lampshade on each side of the bed( The 8 Best USB Table Lamps ). The wall-mounted type can save valuable bedside counter space compared to the table lamp.

However, no matter which one is used, there must be a switch on the bedside, and the two lamps are separately controlled…

Children’s bedroom

indoor lighting design
Children are more sensitive to light than adults, and they like to stare at bright light sources, so all light sources cannot be direct. Dual control switches are provided at the bed and door.

Just put a night light with a lampshade on the bedside. In order to cultivate good sleep habits, you don’t need to add a bedside reading light.

If you have the habit of reading stories to your child before going to bed, place a floor lamp at the end of the bed or across a bedside table.

The desk is furnished with reading light with eye protection.

Senior bedroom

indoor lighting design
With the decline of age, the sensitivity of the elderly to light is only 1/5 of 30 years old. Therefore, the old man’s bedroom should not be judged by your feelings. It is best to ask the old man’s opinion, not enough to immediately add lights.

If you are not sure, pick a chandelier that can replace the bulb instead of a ceiling light, so that if you feel that the light is too weak, you can change some of the bulbs.

Please note that the lampshade must be particularly soft.

Reading table lamp/floor lamp

indoor lighting design

Warm white light and warm light are recommended. This kind of light helps to protect vision and reduce the blue light hazard.

But warm white light helps to increase excitement compared to warm light, which may help prevent reading and sleeping.

How to Select Perfect Reading Lights – Buyer’s Guide

The 10 Best Modern Floor Lamps – Brightech


kitchen indoor lighting design

Warm white or white light is the most suitable because in the kitchen operation must concentrate for a long time, daylight is the strongest to maintain excitement, it is also easy to find the kitchen dirt.

The brightest area in the home should be the kitchen.

Food table

indoor lighting design
I recommend a warm light of around 3000K. At such a color temperature, food can be more attractive, and the specific effects can be referred to the dining experience of various restaurants.

The chandelier with a lampshade is just above the dining table.

The chandelier is 70~80cm high from the tabletop. The light can be slightly brighter to make the dishes look more delicious.

Round and square dining tables with a chandelier and long table with 2~3 chandeliers. If the table is still used to read and write as a desk, the lights can be brighter.


BATHROOM indoor lighting design
Warm light is a good choice. At such a color temperature, the flaws on the skin are not easily revealed, and the skin tone is more uniform. This is why many beauty selfies are like in the bathroom.

The mirror headlights are installed in front of the sink. There is no need for makeup. A mirror headlight at the top of the mirror is enough.

When there is a need for makeup, there are lights on the left and right sides of the mirror to reduce the shadow of the face.

If you use spotlights instead of ceiling lamps, it is enough to install a 3W spotlight directly above the sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub.

However, the top of the bathtub needs to avoid the side of the head, otherwise, it will bubble. It’s glaring to take a shower. The bathroom that is arranged in this way has the feeling of a superior hotel.


indoor lighting design
Because the stairs run through two floors, the ceiling light is definitely high, and the light that actually falls on the steps will be less.

If the budget is sufficient, it is recommended to illuminate along the stairs, either with a light strip or a small wall light.

A dual control switch is required to be installed above and below the stair steps.


In front of the closet, you can attach a spotlight or track spotlight like a cabinet to illuminate the interior of the closet.

Even if the closet door is closed, the soft light reflected from the door can illuminate the room (glass, mirror, crystal steel door are not included).


Light and shadow: shading, soft light, reflected light

The charm of natural light lies in the angle, brightness, and color changes within a day.

If you want to reproduce this kind of light and shadow at home, it is not helpful to ask all the spaces to be brightly lit.

What you have to learn is to be familiar with the light.


If you go to the restaurant to eat, you will find that the chandelier has a lampshade, and it is still so low. why?

Because the role of the lampshade is to block unwanted light, relying on a small range of high-brightness warm-light sources to provide clear lighting and landscaping for food and the tabletop, while not swaying into your eyes. This makes it clearer, only the part of the table has light, but the seat is not illuminated.

Soft Light

Lamps that are not covered by a lampshade should have a corresponding soft light method. The wrong case is an incandescent lamp that sways to the eye as soon as it is raised, and a tree landscape lighting device that can be installed on the ground to shake the dog’s eye.

  1. Chandelier or ceiling light with a diffuser. Many luminaires use a variety of light refraction techniques for only one purpose, so you don’t see direct light.
  2. downlights and spotlights

Downlights and spotlights are often confused. The biggest difference between them is whether they have a soft plate.

Since the downlight has a soft light board, the light does not have a concentrating effect, the illumination range is large, the light is soft, and the eyes are not directly irritated.

spotlight design indoor

Spotlights are surface-mounted spotlights with single, double, three or four spotlights. Unlike spotlights, downlights are embedded in the ceiling.

The spotlights have a concentrating function, and the angle and range of illumination are relatively small, which is very suitable for illuminating individual objects to highlight edge contours and layering, which is not suitable for home environment lighting.

If the angle is wrong, it is easy to direct the human eye.

Reflected light

The reflected light is simply a way to turn the light on the wall, ceiling or ground and then reflect it to the human eye.

The advantage of this is that it completely avoids glare and can make the wall, ceiling and ground become a huge one light.

wall light design indoor

Wall Lights The advantages of using wall lights in many scenes are obvious – they don’t take up space, they also provide complete lighting, and are not so monotonous.

The most important thing is that the wall lamp can provide reflected light so that the entire wall becomes a huge lamp.

Conclusion – Lighting layout

  1. It is not enough to have the main light, and various auxiliary lamps are needed.
    From the perspective of experience, the principle of lamp placement should be where people are and where the lights are. You should not completely count on the main lights to get all the lighting but should think about this problem three-dimensionally, with track lights (downlights), floor lamps, small chandeliers, table lamps, wall lamps together with the main lights to form the layout of the home lamps.
  2. Style approximation of ceiling and floor lamps
  3. No main lights have gradually become mainstream.
    The functional properties of the main lamp have been further weakened, gradually becoming the hint of the “center of gravity” of the entire home space, and the decorative effect has been greatly enhanced.
  4. If you advocate a simple style, then you don’t need the main light to meet the lighting needs.
    Instead of the main light, I recommend the downlight mounted on the track, of course, on the ground and in the corner, it also needs to be matched with various auxiliary lighting tools.Living room without main lights, illuminated by two chandeliers and floor lamps in a non-central position

Finally, what real indoor lighting experiences or tips do you want to share with us?


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Stephen Lankford
2 years ago

I need to buy some ring lights. Can you please help me to buy?

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