Lighting Effects made EASY


We've uncovered five easy ways to describe how light behaves in a room.  These five effect descriptions can be applied to any light fitting, and they form the core of the language we use to describe how light should behave in a room to craft the "right light".

  1. Light that goes Up & Down

  2. Light that only goes Down (or Up for that matter)

  3. Light that diffuses through the sides of the fitting, and goes in all directions

  4. Light that is hidden and brings a glow

  5. Light that sparkles

Depending on what you want to achieve with your lighting, you make a choice of effect, which leads to the type of light you want to use, and then the fun begins - finding the right light fitting for your room.  

How do you know what you want to achieve?  You return to the first question of lighting design.  The most important question.


Until you know the answer to that, you can't begin to know what light fitting will do the job for you.  Do you want to see your floor?  Is it the most important feature in your room?  Nope, didn't think so.  So step one - move on from the idea of downlights everywhere - all they're good for is highlighting the floor.

Perhaps you want to see your art collection?  Your family looking happy and relaxed? If you love cooking, you'll probably want lots of shadow-less light on your kitchen benches - at least when you're working in there.  What about in the bedroom?  Or the Bathroom?  What's the most important thing you want to see in each room?

Next - consider how do you see those things?  Take into consideration your ceiling height, the size of the room, the colours you're going to use and the locations of your furniture and then you determine where light needs to come from to allow you to see the important things, and also enjoy a room that is lit to suit it's purpose in your life.  Depending upon the effect you want to see, you choose light fittings that fall within the performance specification of the type of light that creates that effect and you will get your right light.



Light that goes up and down is great for any location where you want to have functional light, but also make a room feel bigger.  Throwing light up on a ceiling increases our perception of space, brightness and can transform a room.  The light going down ensures you have useful light where you need at the same time. Wide hallways are best lit with this type of light, and the visual impact of seeing light grazing a wall can do wonders for your architecture.



Light that only goes down is all about function.  It's putting lots of light directly onto a horizontal surface.  A kitchen bench, table, vanity.  This is great if you need lots of functional light on the top of a surface.  A kitchen bench is a perfect example.  Sometimes it's the right approach for your bathroom vanity - but in that case you're going to want diffuse light to let you see everything you need to, without adding distracting shadows.

Light that goes only up is more about creating an ambience in a room and if you select the right light fitting, it can provide great functional light too.  It effectively treats a whole room as the light fitting.  By bouncing light off the ceiling we create brightness, a perception of size and space, useful light and an uplifting sensation.

When we use this type of light to graze a wall, we bring out the textures, and draw your attention to the beautiful materials on the feature walls of your home.




The "swiss-army knife" light!  Well, not really, but certainly this one does everything.  This is the sort of light you need when you are trying to fill an entire room from one light fitting.  You might be looking for general ambience, or overall brightness with interesting textures and patterns.  Knowing that will help you select between styles within this type.  Something with smooth, complete sides will create a visual glow - and provide even diffuse light in the room.  If you select a fitting with holes or created with a collection of pieces, you'll end up with general light throughout the room that is textured - like sunlight dappled by a tree.

Keep in mind, the amount of light that escapes the light fitting is directly related to the materials used, the quality of the build and the light globe you choose.




We have the luxury with LED lighting to be able to quietly hide our light in joinery, and within the ceiling and walls to produce a wonderful glow to a room, from light sources that don't draw attention.

You can use linear LED light to create functional lighting effects - diffusing that light directly down.  Or you can hide it in the shadow lines of a room and create a look that gives the appearance of the architecture being the light fitting - like sunlight through a crack in a door.

We use different strengths of hidden light, depending on what we need it to do in a room.  If it's just there to highlight the features of the architecture, we don't need very much light.  But if it's hidden - yet also expected to do some work, we work with higher output lights that really pack a punch!




This doesn't just describe chandeliers or shiny chrome lights, as much as they do sparkle.  

Light that sparkles is it's own feature.  

It is the artwork, the WOW factor, the key decorative element in a room, that also happens to be a light.  

The trick with this effect is to realise that a lot of light fittings that sparkle don't really make very much light.  They make enough to look beautiful, to enhance their own shape and form, but you will likely need a second layer of lighting in that room, to bring the more functional brightness you will sometimes need.  

Think about a dining table feature pendant - you want it to be a showstopper, but you may also use that dining table as a desk.  So you'll need the ability to add more light to the room and bring the full flexibility of light we need in our homes.

There you have it.  Lighting effects, described in simple terms, to help you navigate the thousands upon thousands of choices to find the right light, for your home, every time.

At MINT Lighting, we use this process of evaluation to work out with you what your lighting needs to look like.  Once we know the effects we need to create, we can tell you what types of light will do it best - and if you want us to complete a full design for you, we'll select the light fittings and detail exactly how they're controlled to achieve the right light. 

With one phone call you can have a dedicated lighting professional on your team.  There to help you define what you want to see, and then craft the light so you can.  

Call the studio or drop us an email, lets talk light!


Please note, some images are sourced from third parties to highlight design options, MINT Lighting does not claim ownership of these images and have simply chosen these as an example .

If you’d like to see your image have a correct and direct image credit, please contact us.