Most present day homes use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for lighting purposes although there are a large number of homes that also use traditional tube lights and incandescent bulbs. In earlier days, candles and oil lamps were used for lighting purposes. Three popular methods of outdoor lighting are down lighting, up lighting and front lighting. Of all these three methods, down lighting is the most common one. In down lighting, light fixtures are recessed into the ceiling of a house or building. Up lighting is used in environments that require uniform general illumination and minimum amount of glare. A front lighting arrangement makes the subjects look flat with no visible shadows.
There are different forms of lightings like alcove, sconce and soffit. In alcove form, an indirect up lighting is provided into the area to be illuminated. A soffit is used for wall decoration purposes while a sconce is used for lighting the objects that are on the topside of a room. Different variants of light fixtures are available in the markets now days. While some fixtures are plain and simple, others may be some piece of art in them.
Most common types are accent, task and general lighting. Accent lighting is mainly decorative and is used to illuminate plants and other elements of landscapes. Task lighting is a concentrated form of lighting and is commonly used for reading & material inspection purposes. A general lighting is used for outdoor places like parking lots and pedestrian crossings that require less illumination. One should take measures to protect his lighting equipment from fire and other natural disasters. One should follow the specifications and installation instructions of manufacturers to avoid any accident during fixation of lighting equipment.
Creating a good lighting design requires complex planning. One has to take various factors into account while creating a design for a lighting appliance like energy requirement and its aesthetic impact on the surroundings. Complex lighting design may require elaborate mathematical modeling. Large areas with irregular floor plans may require special softwares for their illumination. These softwares generate a number of contour charts that show the effect of lighting on the area under consideration. Zonal Cavity Method is commonly used to calculate the effect of light reflected from the walls and ceiling of a room on the overall illumination of the room.
Proper lighting is a key element of home furnishings and interior designing. Outdoor lighting may be affected to a great extent due to various factors like lamp burnout, dirt accumulation on fixtures and aging of lamps. Lighting appliances are an integral part of any home decor course. One should make conscious efforts to optimize the use of electrical power in one's house. One should make maximum use of natural and sky lights in his rooms. These days, digital lighting are extensively used in motor vehicles. Such lighting is controlled by a computer. One can get a pattern of colors by the use of these lights. One should use quartz halogen lighting for outdoor illumination. One should follow the instructions of lighting equipment manufacturers while installing fixtures for outdoor lighting. Any deviation would leave a negative effect on the overall illumination of the area.