Lighting Buying Guide | Go Argos

Buying Guide

Switch on to bulb types and brightness.
Discover what type of lighting is best for each room.


What types of lighting are there?

There are a number of ways to light your home, find out which one is best for you.

Ceiling lights

-Include pendant lights, flush lights, spotlights, chandeliers.
-Spread light down and around for daily activity.

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Wall lights

- Include uplighters, picture lights.
- Ideal for highlighting key features and decorative elements.

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Floor lamps

- Provide softer lighting for a warm, homely glow.
- Great for adding height to a room.

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Table lamps

- Illuminate dark corners and provide accent lighting.
- Portable, so can be placed anywhere.

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Desk Lamps

- Light source for reading, writing and hobbies.
- Focus the light on a specific area with adjustable arms.

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Lighting room by room

Think about what you'll be using that space for and base your lighting around this.

Living room lighting

The living room requires a combination of lighting because you'll use this space for different activities, like socialising and relaxing.

  • Overhead lighting, spotlights or a pendant light, will spread light around the room.
  • Table lamps and floor lamps create a relaxed atmosphere for lounging.
  • Use spotlights to highlight decorative features, like paintings, and create a focal point.
  • Task lighting, like table and desk lights, is ideal for reading or working.

Bedroom lighting

A ceiling light provides bright lighting for the whole room, while desk lamps or positioned spotlights offer directional light for reading and studying.

  • Consider an illuminated mirror for applying make-up, these mimic natural light for application accuracy.
  • Use spotlights to illuminate the inside of a wardrobe to make it easier to see into.

Bathroom lighting

Bathroom lights require additional protection from water and moisture. Only lights with a suitable IP (ingress protection) rating can be used in specific bathroom zones.

  • IP67 - Zone 1: the inside of the bath or shower
  • IP65 - Zone 2: the area directly around the bath or shower. With a height of up to 2.25m above the floor and a radius of 1.2m from the water outlet
  • IP44 - Zone 3: 60cm wide area next to and around zone 1.

The light switch should be a pull cord inside the room or a regular switch outside.

Lighting hallways, landings and staircases

The lighting here needs to be bright enough for putting on shoes, as well as welcoming guests. Landings can often be dark so think about using brighter bulbs to create a feeling of space.

  • Pendant lights are a good choice, particularly at the top of staircases, which need to be well lit to prevent accidents.
  • Wall lights or a table lamp can help make these areas feel warm and inviting.
  • Dimmer switches are ideal for walkways as they can be turned to a low level at night.

Dining room lighting

Pendant lights shine light down onto the table, drawing attention to the main focus of the room. Lights hung in a cluster or a chandelier fitting can really make an impact.
Additional floor lamps or wall lights are ideal for entertaining as they provide softer, atmospheric lighting.

Kitchen lighting

You'll need a good level of light from ceiling lights for food preparation and cooking. Light fittings with moveable spotlights allow you to angle light on areas which need additional illumination, such as a worktop. Under cabinet spotlights can also provide extra light for tasks like chopping.
The area directly above the sink is also subject to lighting safety legislation as it requires an IP44 rating.

Children's bedroom lighting

This lighting should be bright and functional for playing. Ceiling lights provide good general lighting, while table lamps or night lights offer a softer glow in the evening.

  • A desk lamp is an ideal choice for homework and studying.
  • Many table lamps have a fully encased light bulb to protect little fingers.
  • Dimmer switches help create a soothing atmosphere and reassure those who are scared of the dark.

Outdoor lighting

Light can create the illusion of space by creating zones to draw the eye around the space.

  • LED lights give an ambient glow, while fairy lights add a whimsical touch.
  • Use solar lights to illuminate paths and hang lights off trees, walls or bushes.
  • Wrap a string of lights around the trunk of a tree to draw the eye upwards.


How do I choose the right type of light bulb?

Before buying a new bulb, you'll need to know the right size and type your light needs.

Light bulb technology

There are three types of light bulb currently available: LED are the most efficient, followed by CFL and then halogen.

Directional Halogen bulbs (spotlights) have being phased out with non-directional bulbs set to follow in 2018. LEDs have a much longer lifespan than other bulbs but they are less suited to dimmers. It's worth checking if the bulb is dimmable before purchasing. Incandescent bulbs (classic round top) have been phased out. This chart provides a comparison between the three types of bulb.


Compare bulb types

  LED CFL (energy saving) Halogen bulbs
Colour rendition Warm, white light Warm, white light Bright, white light
Life span Average 20,000 hours Average 10,000 hours Average 2,000 hours
Energy efficiency Use 90% less energy than halogen bulbs Use 60% - 80% less energy than halogen bulbs Average 50W power consumption
Most suited to Spotlights, children's lights, nightlights Fabric shades, table and floor lamps, dimmers Dimemrs, touch lamps, chandeliers and glass ceiling lights

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Light bulbs - understanding the specs

Colour rendering index
The CRI, colour rendering index, is measured on a scale of 0-100 and indicates how well a light source can reflect colours truly and realistically. The higher the CRI, the more accurately colours are reproduced. 80% or higher is ideal for home everyday use.

Colour temperature
Bulbs with a low colour temperature (around 2700 Kelvin rating) produce a warm, yellowish light, perfect for relaxing, while higher Kelvin rated bulbs (over 5000K) omit a cool, bluish colour which is ideal for tasks.

Energy ratings
A++ (green) indicates a good energy efficiency while E (red) indicates a poor energy rating.


Bulb Cap Fittings

Any new light should state which cap fittings are suitable. Here are some of the most common cap fittings.



Lamp shades

Table, floor and pendant lights usually require a lamp shade and this is where you can experiment with colour, pattern or texture.

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Smart lighting

Smart light bulbs let you control your lighting from your phone. Colour, brightness and shade can be automated by you.

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Switches and dimmers

Switch plate finishes include chrome-effect and brushed steel. Dimmers control the brightness, either by touch, a switch, or through a smart phone.

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