Baxter's Blog

Baxter’s Design & Fitout Blog | Light my fire, baby!

Hiya, how goes it? Been pedalling frantically from one interior design & fitout project to another lately and for some reason I keep getting asked similar questions by clients when I start to talk to them about lighting. I have no idea why, but it got me thinking that I should share some terms with all of you and answer a few of your questions along the way.

Design & fitout is illuminating!

Every commercial interior design & fitout needs lights of some sort and often of many sorts in order to get the right balance and effect. Style, size, shape and capacity of light fittings will all make an impact in their own way within your interior design & fitout and getting all lighting aspects to work harmoniously isn’t always easy to achieve.

I'm sure the definitions below will be of help and clear up some confusion.

Accent Lighting – directional lighting used to emphasize or draw attention to an object or area.

Ambient Light – this is the natural light you have available in an interior without adding any other light fittings.

Bulb – what everyone calls it except your electrician. He calls it a lamp and tells you that bulbs are found in the garden.

Colour Temperature – the appearance of white light, in terms of warmth or coolness. Warm colour corresponds to lower colour temperatures and cool colours to warm colour temperatures.

Dimmer – not someone lacking in lumens but a control that regulates light levels. Often found in boardrooms or areas where you need to lower lighting levels to maximise viewing of screens or movies.

Downlight – small light fitting that directs the light downward and can be recessed, surface-mounted, or suspended.


A measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a source. If you meet someone who is rather dim you can consider they are lumen deficient!

High Bay Lighting

Interior lighting where the roof truss or ceiling height is greater than approximately 7.6 meters above the floor


A light-emitting diode (LED) product assembled into a lamp (or light bulb) for use in lighting fixtures with a lifespan and efficiency several times better than incandescent lamps

Fluorescent Light – a low pressure lamp that uses fluorescence to produce a visible light. This type of fitting is more costly than an incandescent lamp because it requires a ballast to regulate the current through the lamp. The lower energy cost of using this type of light often offsets the higher cost of purchase. As they contain mercury, they need to be segregated from general waste for recycling.

The light and the dark

Incandescant Light – an incandescent light globe or lamp is an electric light which produces light with a wire filament heated to a high temperature by an electric current passing through it, until it glows. The hot filament is protected from oxidation with a glass globe. Incandescent bulbs are manufactured in a wide range of sizes, light output, and voltage ratings, and have low manufacturing costs. As a result, the incandescent lamp has been widely used but they are gradually being replaced by other types of energy efficient options, such as fluorescent lamps

Design & fitout Lux – not talking about luxe here!

Lux is a measurement, similar to above, but equal to one lumen per sqm. If you ever have lighting levels checked in an interior you will get a lux reading. As a guideline, this is what different lux levels will give you:

  • 0.0001 lux = Moonless, overcast night sky
  • 0.27–1.0 lux = Full moon on a clear night
  • 50 lux = Average family living room lights
  • 320–500 lux – Office lighting (this can vary depending on specific tasks)
  • 400 lux = Sunrise or sunset on a clear day.
  • 10000–25000 lux = Full daylight

Task Lighting – lighting designed for a work surface to provide good light, free of shadows and glare.

Wall Washer – not someone you pay to wash your walls but a light fixture installed close to a wall and designed to project most of its light onto that wall.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

If you still have questions regarding lights and their associated terminology, let me know and I’ll do my darnedest to clear up any confusion. Contact me by clicking here. Every interior design & fitout requires lighting so make the most of it and create an interior that people can remember. Also, check out our lighting board on the Bellfort Pinterest page for more ideas. And if there is another topic that you would like me to discuss, then I’ll be happy to do so. Talk to you again soon.

Cheers from

Baxter at Bellfort

Some of our valued clients
Phone+61 (08) 6141 1030Office

71-75 Rokeby Road, Subiaco, WA, 6008 Australia