• Understanding Home Light Fixtures

    Understanding Home Light Fixtures

    Understanding Home Light Fixtures

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    April 1, 2017

    In celebration of the arrival of hundreds of new lighting fixtures to Builder Supply Outlet, we wanted you to understand the different types of fixtures and how they affect the home.  Click here for more.

    Let’s get started.

    Many options exist for providing light in a home.

    Some types of fixtures are more commonly associated with a particular layer of lighting such as task, ambient, or accent.  And some are far more versatile.  Let’s look at a few.


    Architectural lighting includes cove, soffit and valance.  Each is integrated into the room’s structure.  Cove lighting is located in a shelf, ledge, or recess high up on a wall.  The light is bounced toward the ceiling or upper wall.  Soffit lighting is located in a soffit or cornice near the ceiling.  Light radiates downward, washing the wall with light. Valance lighting is located in a metal, wood, or glass valance mounted above a window or way up high on the wall. The light bounces both upward and downward.  Bouncing light off walls and ceilings is known as indirect lighting and it minimizes shadows and glare.  Architectural lighting is most often used as ambient lighting.UNDERCABINET
    Mounted under kitchen cabinets, this type of lighting can be linear or a single puck-shaped fixture.  Undercabinet lighting is extremely popular as task lighting in a kitchen. PENDANTS Pendant lighting is suspended from the ceiling.  It directs its light down and hangs typically over a table or kitchen island.  Pendants provide task or ambient lighting. RECESSED
    Installed above the ceiling.  This type of lighting has an opening that’s flush with the ceiling.  Recessed light requires at least 6 inches of clearance above the ceiling.  It sends a relatively narrow band of light in one direction and it is used to provide task, ambient, or accent lighting. TRACK
    Track lighting is mounted or suspended from the ceiling.  It consists of a linear housing containing several heads that can be positioned anywhere along a track.  The direction of the heads is adjustable also.  Track lighting is often used for accent or task lighting.   WALL SCONCES
    These are surface-mounted to the wall.  They direct light upwards or downwards.  Their shades or covers can add a stylistic touch to a room.  Wall sconces provide task or ambient lighting. FLOOR, DESK, AND TABLE LAMPS
    Lamps are extremely versatile and portable sources of light in a room.  Most lamps direct light downward.  There’s one exception called a torchiere.  This is a floor lamp that directs its light upward.  Lamps are often used as task lights, particularly for reading, but can also provide ambient light. CHANDELIERS
    These are suspended from the ceiling.  They direct their light upward, typically over a table.  Chandeliers provide ambient lighting. CEILING
    Ceiling fixtures are mounted directly to the ceiling.  They have a glass or plastic shade concealing the light bulb. Ceiling fixtures have been common in homes and typically provide all the ambient light in a room.

    Feel free to stop into Builder Supply Outlet or the Edge Showroom with any home improvement questions you may have regarding lighting fixtures, kitchens, tile, backsplash, windows, kitchen cabinets, remodeling, construction, contractors, designing/installing a new kitchen or bathroom — or anything else.  We can help you through the entire design and installation process from A-Z.  Or call us anytime in Broadview, IL at 1-708-343-3900. You can also make an appointment to meet with one of our Edge Kitchen and Bathroom designers at no charge by clicking here.