L&L Design Guide: Indirect Lighting Ideas

Indirect lighting design helps make a room a comfortable and relaxing space, as it provides a soft glow and diffused light. There is a wide range of indirect lighting ideas catering to all areas of the home: from the bedroom, and living room to the outdoors. Here are a number of indirect lighting options to consider.

indirect lighting ideas

Cove Lighting Design

Cove lighting is the best form of indirect ceiling lighting. The most common type of cove lighting is a false ceiling that has light fixtures tucked away within it. The light is bounced off of the ceiling and walls into the room. You can even have multiple levels of cove lighting. This all requires quite a bit of remodeling work as the ceiling needs to be altered.

cove lights

Only a portion of the ceiling has been dropped down

A simpler option is to use crown molding for indirect lighting. This is when crown molding is installed usually a couple of inches down from the ceiling – creating a space above the crown molding where the lights can sit.

cove lighting

Cove lighting

For more, have a look at our cove lighting ideas post.

Using Downlights

Downlights are another indirect lighting idea. These are the same as recessed lights (lights that are fitted into the ceiling hiding all of the parts) except they tend to be smaller and are fitted closer to the wall to highlight a hanging art piece, textured wall, or a decorative piece on a side table.

indirect living room lighting

Downlights highlighting a wall in the living room

The Luxurious Touch of Floor Lighting

indirect lighting floor lamp

Indirect Lighting: A floor lamp and a house plant

Floor lighting is an elegant way of lighting a space. There are a number of ways to do this. A common idea is to install uplights close to the wall, which will wash the wall with light. Other ideas include installing lights at the bottom of cabinets.

Directional lamps can be placed on the floor and faced onto the wall. These can be placed next to a house plant – and the light will cast shadows across the wall, creating depth in the room.

For more, read our floor lighting ideas post.

Painting The Walls with Wall Washers

Wall washers direct light up onto the wall and onto the ceiling. Another way of doing this is to use uplights. Wall washers have a softer glow, while uplights are used more for accenting certain areas.

Accent Indirect Lighting Ideas

Another form of indirect lighting are lights that are used for another purpose like accenting areas, or showcasing items.

Here are some ideas:

    • Display Lighting: This is when a small space has been created within a wall to showcase décor pieces. These spaces will have a recessed light installed above them.
indirect display lighting

An example of display lighting

    • indirect recessed wall lighting

      indirect recessed wall lighting

      A recessed wall usually to house a bathroom mirror or a bed can house indirect light fixtures.

    • A decorative panel on the wall or an art piece can have lights fitted behind to create a glow around it.
wall panels lights

Wall panels being back lit

Other Indirect Lighting Ideas

    • In the bedroom lights can be fitted behind the headboard to create relaxing mood lighting.
romantic bedroom lighting

Lights behind the headboard

    • Lights can be installed behind Plexiglass or frosted glass to create a diffused and soft glow of light. This can be done in the bathroom, or under a desk.
bathroom lighting

A warm glow comes from behind the wall

    • In the living room LED lights can be installed behind the TV like in the picture below.
TV back lighting

Romantic living room lighting using lights behind a TV

    • Rope lights are great for creating indirect lighting. They can be stuck to the back of cabinets, bottom of the cabinets to create floor lighting, or underneath the lip of steps.
    • Don’t forget that mirrors are great in making a room appear bigger, and helps reflect light around.

Indirect Outdoor Lighting

There are a number of ways to create indirect lighting for outdoor spaces:

    • Wrap string lights around trees, railings or overhead beams
    • Uplights shining onto trees, bushes, plants, and the walls of the house
    • Swimming pool lights acts as indirect lighting for patios, and decks

For more outdoor ideas have a look at our post here: home outdoor lighting ideas

 

Related Posts:

L&L Guide on Romantic Lighting Ideas: From the Bedroom to the Outdoors

 

image credits: favaro JR., John, Christian, Viet Hoang

 

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