When decorating with lights, there are a lot of different approaches you can take, a lot of different looks you can go for. Here is a list of the various kinds of lighting that you can put in your home. The list is divided into two types-moveable lighting and fixed.
The next several sections explain several important moveable lighting types.
Table lamps provide functional lighting for reading or other tasks. They can sit on a table next to the couch or bed and are easily moved. They don't use a great deal of electricity and come in many different styles to satisfy the decorator in you. They aren't effective for lighting an entire room.
Desk lamps are smaller lamps designed to provide downlighting for a desk are. As such, they often are mounted on adjustable arms so that the base doesn't get in the way of the light. The shades are usually designed to reflect the light downward. So outside the pool of light on the desk, desk lamps provide little light for the rest of the room.
Standard floor lamps involve a slender pole and a lamp shade with bulb or bulbs at the top. The torchier style has a bowl that directs the light upward. These usually come with halogen bulbs that use a lot of electricity but create a lot of light. They can also be fire hazards. Other floor lamps have a standard shade and several bulbs. They use less electricity by sending the light more in the direction it will be used, but they don't make the room as bright. A variation on this theme is the reading lamp which also sits on the floor but isn't raised up as high. Sometimes reading lamps are mounted on arms so the light can be placed directly over the shoulder of the reader.
The sections below outline several important fixed lighting types.
Surface mounted lighting is attached to the wall or the ceiling and usually directed toward the floor. The mounting can take the form of a chandelier hanging on a chain which gives plenty of opportunity for decorative touches. Or it can be the more utilitarian track or strip lighting. Track lighting involves a simple, straight rod with lighting elements that can be positioned along it. Strip lighting is similar but the bulbs are evenly spaced and fixed in place. Both track and strip lighting will consume more electricity on average for the amount of light they produce. Sconce lighting is affixed to the wall and sends light upward. Valance or bracket lighting can illuminate both upwards and downwards with indirect lighting. This adds to the overall illumination in the room without any specific area being bathed in light.
Recessed lighting is mounted into the ceiling or wall and provides light from there. This doesn't provide as many decorative opportunities since the housing of the light is effectively hidden. But it can provide a clean, bright light. The basic recessed lighting is a canister downlight. This is a simple cylinder, recessed into the ceiling with a powerful bulb, sometimes a floodlight, shedding light downwards. Canister lighting is not directable at all. It shines in the direction it was mounted to shine in. "Eyeball" lighting will allow you to direct it somewhat. This sort of fixture is mounted into the ceiling but with an adjustable shade that gives you some flexibility in where the light falls and where it doesn't.