What's Hot in Residential Lighting Design

Stainless steel. Shiplap. Subway tile. Design trends come and go, but there’s one element of residential design that’s always in style: good lighting.

Good lighting can create a focal point, illuminate our prized possessions and lift the overall mood and energy, while a dark space can literally dampen our spirits.

We’re seeing a few new lighting trends in home design. Here are the four trends on our radar.


Switching Up Color Temperatures


For years, the standard practice in lighting design was to use warm-temperature lights in kitchen areas and cooler white temperature lights elsewhere.

What do we mean by color temperature?

  • Warm-temperature lights tend to have more yellow tones and evoke fire-like colors — reminding us of feeling safe and cozy around a campfire. 
  • Cool-temperature lights mimic natural daylight and tend to be more energizing, which is why this color temperature tends to be used in commercial offices.


But lighting designers and homeowners are switching things up. We’re seeing more warm lights in home offices and workspaces to make them feel more comfortable.

What's Hot in Residential Lighting - Warm Temperatures


And designers are using cooler neutral lights in modern black-and-white kitchens to create better contrast.

What's Hot in Residential Lighting - Cool Temperatures


Relying on Indirect Lighting

Imagine a single light bulb hanging overhead in a room. It directs light exactly downward onto the surface below. This is called direct lighting, which is bright and ideal for detailed tasks such as cooking or reading.

Direct Lighting


But direct lighting can create dark pockets and cause glare. Many lighting designers and contractors are moving away from direct lighting and toward more indirect lighting, where light bounces off walls or ceiling to illuminate a room. This light is diffused and spread more evenly throughout the environment, creating a softer, aesthetically pleasing ambience.

Indirect Lighting Kitchen

One popular way to add indirect lighting is to place LED light strips above cabinet crown molding, which reflects light off the ceiling to illuminate a kitchen. In addition to being easy to install, LED light strips are low voltage, which means they can be kept on overnight. No more harsh lights and a rude awakening if you head to the kitchen for a glass of water in the night!


Lighting Up Outdoor Spaces


Indirect lighting isn’t just for interior spaces — it’s being used more in outdoor spaces too. As an example, instead of direct lights placed along a sidewalk perimeter, we’re seeing more indirect lights placed around trees or planting beds to illuminate a path.

Homeowners are also getting creative in their outdoor usage of multicolor LED lights. In our hometown of Baton Rouge, LSU football games are a big deal. I can’t tell you how many homes show their team pride with multicolor outdoor lights that change from white during the week to LSU purple on the weekends.

Outdoor patios, decks, gazebos and barbecue areas are also getting extra attention with lighting designs that create a warm and inviting atmosphere when the sun goes down.

Outdoor Lighting


Using Minimalist Lighting

Many contemporary and modern designs have a streamlined aesthetic, and that extends to lighting as well. Homeowners don’t want lighting sources or light bulbs to be visible or to clutter the design’s clean lines.

With a small, compact size, LEDs have become a favorite residential lighting choice. They can be placed in small spaces or hidden underneath cabinets to keep a home’s overall appearance clutter-free.

Minimalist Lighting

LED light strips also offer better light placement control to maximize the desired lighting effect while minimizing the number of lights needed. As an example, it’s become popular to add LED light strips underneath shelving to put a spotlight on collectibles like model cars, train sets or china.

With new products and new applications it’s easier than ever for homeowners, contractors and decorators to experiment with different residential lighting designs. Ask HitLights for more advice about incorporating these lighting design trends in and around the home.

About HitLights

HitLights delivers LED lighting solutions for event exhibits, displays, signs, theater and film productions, and manufacturing. CEO Bin Yu formed the company through the Louisiana State University Business Incubator Program in 2010. Since then HitLights has grown to become a major player the LED industry. Customers come to HitLights for quality products, helpful customer service and creative solutions.