Indirect Lighting: 8 Best Ways to Use Indirect Lighting in Interior

Today’s lighting needs are not only for living but also for interior decoration. When it comes to lighting with high aesthetics, it is impossible not to mention indirect lighting.

So what is indirect lighting? What benefits do they bring? Let’s find out in this article!

What is indirect lighting?

Indirect lighting is created through the selection of lamps and their placement to create a diffuse and reflective light source. With indirect lighting, you will not see the light-emitting device, but only the reflected light on the walls and ceiling.

The difference between indirect lighting and direct lighting

The difference between indirect lighting and direct lighting
The difference between indirect lighting and direct lighting

In addition to indirect lighting, there is also direct lighting. So how to distinguish these two types of light? Check out the comparison below.

#Direct lighting

Unlike indirect lighting, direct lighting will be shined directly on the environment by a light source. More than 90% of the light is directed downwards, so the light is less absorbed by the wall or floor but creates a lustful shadow.

This type of lighting is suitable for external lighting (direct, enhanced) for workshops and offices with large areas. Directly lit areas will be more impressive and expressive.

That lighting source can be wall lights, ceiling lights. Direct lighting will bring enough light for the family. However, direct lighting is somewhat more tedious and monotonous.

Direct lighting is often used in spaces such as kitchens, living rooms, offices, …

#Indirect lighting

Direct Lighting vs Indirect Lighting
Direct Lighting vs Indirect Lighting

Indirect lighting helps to make living space more lively, improving aesthetics. More than 90% of the light shines upward. Lighting has the lowest efficiency, but good viewing comfort, with no glare and shadow.

Spaces using indirect light often bring a cozy and sweet feeling. Therefore, indirect lighting is often used to highlight the light of interior blocks in the house, bookshelves, bedrooms, living rooms, …

Indirect light can create pure patches of light and combine with shadows to create a visual effect.

In the bedroom, indirect lighting can be created by using ceiling lights. This will make the bedroom more soft and cozy.

***Refer to more: Top 7 Best Mood Lights For The Bedroom 2022 [Expert’s Choices]

Why should you choose indirect lighting?

Why should you choose indirect lighting?
Why should you choose indirect lighting?

With the trend of modern interior design, lighting is not only for living but also for decorative art. Currently, high-end house designs prioritize the use of indirect light. Humidifying the light source helps to spread it more widely and evenly throughout the home space.

The light sources are installed in locations that are out of sight such as ceiling grooves, wall slots, walls, etc. As a result, the aesthetics of the space will be enhanced.

Indirect light is often used to highlight the interior, contributing to the overall lighting of the house. Indirect light helps to bring comfort. Moreover, indirect light will be more colorful than direct light. This will create special highlights, highlighting the uniqueness of your home’s architecture.

When to use indirect lighting?

Indirect lighting is used to create ambient lighting (general lighting). It can help balance direct lighting in common spaces. Instead of adding multiple sources of direct light, indirect lighting is the best method to add more light to a space without creating a sharp contrast between light and shadow.

When to use indirect lighting?
When to use indirect lighting?

Indirect lighting is an essential type of lighting for every room, the softness and harmony from them will make the space light and warm. In work environments such as offices, schools, and hospitals, indirect light helps maintain concentration and work efficiency throughout the day.

Indirect lighting is created in many ways, it can be LED strip lights installed in plaster ceiling slots or pre-designed wall ledges. In the bathroom or kitchen, the led strip can be installed around the bathroom mirror or closet so that when the light works, the light will reflect on the wall or mirror. In the living room, a light bulb installed on the ceiling provides illumination in all directions, its light will be reflected by the ceiling and walls.

***Refer to more: Top 9 Best LED Lights For Kitchen Ceiling: Top Choices in 2022

Things to avoid when choosing indirect lighting

Either indirect light brings a lot of benefits. But if not used properly, it can cause side effects. Indirect light should not be used for classrooms or offices. This light will cause drowsiness and not provide enough light for work. This can affect your work and study performance.

Instead, such spaces should use direct light. Direct light will help enhance the ability to focus on the required location.

Should indirect lighting and direct lighting be used in the same space?

Combination of direct lighting and indirect lighting
Combination of direct lighting and indirect lighting

A space that uses a mixture of both direct and indirect lighting will create a clear contrast between light and dark. In addition, this combination also increases the versatility of our living space.

If a living room only has indirect lighting, it will create a harmonious and soft light for the whole space, but if you want to make use of the living room to read or work, it is not possible. Without direct light, the space will not have vibrancy and many activities will be more inconvenient.

The lack of indirect light will make the room feel heavy and stuffy. Thus, in order for any space to become versatile, flexible and convenient for living, homeowners should equip both direct and indirect lighting. The combination of these two types of lighting also makes the space more lively, interesting, and comfortable.

8 Different ways to use indirect lighting in interior design

8 Different ways to use indirect lighting in interior design
8 Different ways to use indirect lighting in interior design

#1. Using the ceiling

In the living room space, the ceiling is a place not to be missed. In the design, indirect light is often used on the ceiling to enhance the space. Cc1 objects are installed hidden on the ceiling.

The light from the emitted light source will bounce off the ceiling, creating a very special virtual space. In addition, beautiful ceiling light fixtures can be used to create a unique highlight for the ceiling.

***Refer to more: Top 8 Best Kitchen Lights for Low Ceiling: Expert Picks in 2022

#2. Using backlighting or accent lighting

In design, if you want to highlight an interior block or item, the backlight is the best choice. Backlight is often used to highlight picture frames, televisions, picture frames, sofas, panel beds,… . The background light will be generated from the LED string lights.

Backlight will highlight and create smooth accents for surrounding objects. However, care should be taken not to overdo it, the backlight should be used to a minimum to achieve harmony for the surrounding design.

#3. Using wall washer

Wall washer
Wall washer

Wall washer is one of the popular techniques incorporated into the design to highlight specific walls. This technique helps to enhance the wall texture and create an impressive highlight for the house.

#4. Concealed Lighting

Creating indirect light by hiding the light source is one of the techniques to effectively enhance the space. This will create a surprise, making viewers curious to know where the light source is.

At the same time, it creates a highlight for the house. This technique is often applied to create intersections such as wall-wall, wall-ceiling, wall-floor.

#5. Pendant Or Table Lighting Fixtures  

Lighting fixtures can be used to enhance interiors by means of their tactile qualities, reflectance, and artistry. Pendant lamps or table lamps might be inserted with a very low wattage bulb, but it helps in making a difference to the space in question.

#6. Track and Rail Lights

However, trail and rail lights are used to create a focus on a particular thing, but, if they are directed towards the wall, then they can help in accentuating a wall. This helps in enhancing the space as against the direct light from these fixtures creating discomfort, while, pointing them towards the walls helps in reflecting better ambient light.

#7. Through The Floor Light

Floor light
Floor light

Floor again is an unlikely space element to cater to lighting. The interior spaces could be enhanced by the use of nice artistic floor lamps. Alternatively, a beam of light can be introduced under the furniture or can be integrated with the flooring.

Floor lights can also help in creating interesting and nice mood lights in a space. Similar to ceilings, floors can be integrated with recessed light fixtures. These can help in pulling out an effect on a wall or marking a trail on the floor.

***Refer to more: Top 10 Best Floor Lamps Under $100: Smart choices for any space 2022

#8. LED Lighting Strips  

The LED lighting strips are available in the market, which can be integrated with any surface viz. ceiling, wall, floors, stairs, etc. to light up space. These can be done in various colors, pertaining to the color scheme of a room. The light from these strips is soft and can help in highlighting a particular portion or element of a space.


Hope the above article will help you gain more knowledge about indirect lighting. When deciding to use this light for your home, find yourself the best interior design unit to use indirect light in the most effective interior. Indirect light when used intelligently will make your home more convenient and unique than ever.