How to plan an energy efficient lighting design

Whether it's preparing food on your kitchen bench, reading in a quiet place or admiring family photographs along your hallway, by carefully planning your lighting design, you can ensure that you always have the right lighting for all your needs. 

Plan your lighting design

When planning your lighting design you should consider:

  • The aesthetics of the room and how you want to illuminate any unique features or objects
  • The function and purpose of the room
  • The energy efficiency of the lighting products you choose
  • How to minimise the use of downlights 

Select your light fittings

Many lighting options can suit a range of purposes. You don’t always need banks of downlights, which can over-illuminate rooms and increase your energy costs! Here are a few of the most common lighting alternatives:

Type   Description Use


Pendant light 
  • Hang from a central wire or chain 
  • Can provide a soft, indirect
    light for rooms
Pendant lights can work well anywhere
you want to create a cosy space, such as a bedroom, lounge room or an
entry hallway.


Lighting sconce
  • Typically fixed to a wall
  • Direct light upward, and
    sometimes downwards as well

Sconce lights are most commonly used in hallways and passages,
and can also be used to highlight particular design features in your home,
such as ceiling features.

Strip LED

Strip LED light
  • Highlight architectural features
  • Provide light to hard-to-reach areas

Strip LEDs can be placed under kitchen cupboards to light the bench underneath
or as highlights in bathroom areas.

Task or spot Task spot lights
  • Provide light directly where you need it, such as
    kitchen bench tops or work areas
  • LED task lights are the most efficient choice

Combine task lighting with soft pendant, strip or sconce lighting to achieve
a contemporary lighting design.


Track lights
  • Spotlights are placed on a track to allow flexibility,
    so that you can change the position of the lights over time
  • LED track lights are the most efficient choice

Traditionally found in art galleries, it’s now common to use track lighting
in hallways or along walls to highlight artworks in the home.

More information

Find out more about energy efficient lighting with our other how-to guides.