If you are looking for a way to transform a drab room without spending too much money then wall lights could be exactly what you need. They are relatively inexpensive, fairly easy to install and can really change how a room looks and feels. However, with so many different wall lights available and it is important to choose the right ones if you want to achieve the effect you are looking for. Here we consider the different kinds and give you some ideas about how and where each type could best be used.


The most common and the oldest kind of wall light is the uplight – these conceptions date back as far as the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who all had lighting built into their walls. Of course, these fixtures were for oil lighting and later for candles. In their simplest form they were little shelves on which the lamps of hollowed out stones, or large shells filled with oil were balanced and lit. Some were actually shells built into the wall or hollows.

The light cast by this early form of lighting was very pleasant; the area above the fixture is lit up with a dim glow yet it isn’t directed downwards. This casts a very soft light that creates a beautiful soft shadow which offers light without brightening the whole room.

These lights are perfect as secondary lighting in a living room. They also work well in a bedroom, mainly for relaxing activities such as watching the TV, rather than something intensive like reading.


People don’t necessarily consider spotlights in this range but they definitely can be. Spotlights come in a range of sizes and finishes and they look great in a contemporary home. If you have a feature or statue that you want to draw the eye to then wall-mounted spotlights are ideal. They are also good for placing behind a couch or reading chair as they provide focused light that does not disturb anyone else.

Wall wash lights

Wall wash lights are very similar to uplights, but they provide a much softer glow. The spread of the light given off is kept quite narrow, making the lighting fixture the main feature. It is possible to buy wall wash lights that cast their light below as well as directly above the fixture. They are ideal for breaking up a featureless wall and creating interest in a room without other forms of wall-mounted decoration.

Picture Lights

One of the nicest forms of wall light is the picture light. These are typically a narrow bar under which a bulb is mounted. As the name suggests they are designed to be mounted directly above a painting or photo, helping to brighten up the work of art. However, they also make great standalone wall lights.

Whichever form of wall light you choose it is important to buy high quality lights. Because these lights are mounted at eye level they are practically the first thing someone will see when they walk in a room, so they need to look nice in order to create a good first impression.

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