Your Guide To Lighting Styles

Although the world of lighting is packed with unique designs, most fixtures draw their inspirations from a few distinct stylistic families. This simple breakdown makes it far easier to pick your favorites and coordinate them with other decor elements.


Modern and contemporary lighting generally encompasses any fixture with a design that’s more recent than the 1930s. Although this includes quite a wide range of styles, there are a few defining characteristics. Those who create modern fixtures are willing to break the mold and really let their artistry speak for itself. 

Simple shapes, clean ornamentation and an orderly progression of line and form dominate these fixtures. Unlike some of their predecessors, contemporary styles are clearly designed for optimal illumination and minimal fanfare.


Most traditional lighting is inspired by various forms of European furniture and architectural designs. Unlike many modern styles, these fixtures exhibit more flourished profiles, and designers aren’t afraid to accent curves with ornate details. Chandeliers, sconces and other fixtures draw on neoclassicist styles to create refined elegance in decorative packages.


These fixtures represent the beginning of the evolution away from traditional concepts. Just as traditional design rejected the fancy frills of palatial architectural styles, like Rococo and Baroque, the first transitional fixtures gradually moved more towards the smooth minimalism that contemporary lighting would eventually embrace. Their halfway-between state and aesthetic sensibilities might be partially explained by the fact that the original designers were still bound to materials like metal and wood. 


Industrial lighting uses no-nonsense, utilitarian styles that put function before form more so than any other family. In doing so, they make their origins clear. From brushed metal surfaces and sleek pipe-fitting styles, these bright industrial lighting designs are low-key, straightforward and ultimately practical.

Craftsman & Mission

This lighting style is known for its firm association with the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement of Frank Lloyd Wright fame. While some designers were fully immersing themselves in the joy of readily available new materials, like improved metal alloys and plastics, others yearned to go back to their rustic origins. Here, simple chains, posts and other functional elements merge with sleek glass shades and metal fluting as they reveal earth tones and geometric designs. 

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron lights are unique because even though they predate many classic and traditional designs, they don’t try to obscure the essence of their form. Even with the advent of modern manufacturing techniques, these fixtures incorporate a hand-made style that immediately makes people think of traditional blacksmiths. Originally, wrought iron was made of iron and steel that was worked and bent using heat, hammers and other techniques that allowed it to take on curling shapes, interesting textures and natural designs.


Nautical lighting takes its cue from classic ship lanterns and dockside fixtures. Although it may have moved on from burning whale oil, it still features the smooth glass-and-metal combinations that call to mind images of cruise ships and luxury liners past. These fixtures apply some of the same bronze and brushed steel ideas that industrial lighting does, but they do so in a more compact, unified package.

Which kinds of lighting might suit your next design project? It can be difficult to choose alone. Talk to one of our experts to make your decision easier.

Modern Trends in Residential Lighting

If you're looking for creative ways to add beauty and character to your home with new lighting decor, you'll find a wealth of options through modern lighting trends for homes. With modern lighting trends, you can enhance your home's interior and exterior beauty.

Whether you choose to use lighting to create a comforting mood in a room or to spotlight your best artwork, you can do it all with modern lighting decor.

What are the top trends for modern lighting in homes? Modern lighting decor can range from a style called Upgraded Industrial Lighting to a personalized style called Customized Lighting, according to Lamps Plus, the nation's largest lighting retailer.

Combine High-Tech Design with Energy Efficiency

Upgraded Industrial Lighting is one of several styles that combines high-tech design with energy efficiency. Other styles that combine technology and efficiency are LED Lighting and Geometric Lighting products. What are the unique features of Upgraded Industrial Lighting and LED Lighting products?
  • Industrial styles with colorful rubber
  • Varieties in shapes and surfaces
  • Functional lighting in high-tech styles
  • Electric and solar energy efficient

Geometric Lighting products also blend energy savings with the latest trends in technology. Unique product features include:
  • Provides lighting in geometric shapes
  • Enhances simplicity of style
  • Adds contemporary elegance

Blend Nature's Beauty with Contemporary Decor

Try nature-inspired lighting and reflected lighting products to create calm and comforting moods in your home's rooms.

What makes nature-inspired lighting unique? This modern lighting trend, like taking a peaceful nature walk, calms the spirit. Features of nature-inspired lighting include:
  • Lighting decor in natural colors
  • Lighting shapes in buds, leaves, and other plant motifs
  • Creates a natural mood

Reflected lighting products, like nature-inspred lighting, can also create a peaceful mood in your home. You can use reflected light to soften brightness in your rooms for a restful mood. 

Unusual lighting fixtures and brass and gold lighting decors can add contemporary elegance to your rooms. With unusual lighting fixtures, like garland-shaped lighting used in a home office, you can add a contemporary accent to your home interiors and office designs.

If you enjoy vintage-style decor, brass and gold lighting can enhance your home's vintage elegance. Vintage brass, a popular lighting decor, can add a sense of warmth to your home's living room, dinning room, kitchen, bedrooms, or bathrooms.

With all of the modern trends in residential lighting today, you can be creative in combining high-tech and customized decors with energy efficient lighting products that will help you both express your style and save money.

Your home can be as unique as your personality. It's a place of comfort, nourishment, and rest. With the modern trends in home lighting, you can truly personalize your home to both enhance the quality of life for you and your family and reflect your unique lifestyle. 

Whether you prefer the styles of vintage, high-tech, nature-inspired, or contemporary lighting decors, you can make it happen with modern trends in home lighting!

Best Lighting and Design Trends of 2016

Artistry dominated the best and brightest 2016 lighting design trends. Attention to detail and an emphasis on craftsmanship took interior lighting to the next level at some design studios. Others offered a more streamlined approach for a completely different aesthetic.

Mid-Century Modern Style

The sputnik-influenced lighting of the fifties and sixties made a comeback this year. 2016 lighting trends reflect a longing for the streamlined designs and optimistic feel of the Atomic Age. The clean lines of MCM lighting designs always look fresh and work well in almost any interior. Mid-century modern lighting can blend beautifully into decors ranging from traditional to contemporary, thanks to it's timeless appeal.

Over-sized Light Fixtures

Jumbo fixtures and shades put lighting front-and-center this year. Outsized lights and ceiling fans serve both aesthetic and practical purposes. Extra-large ceiling lights and fans provide unexpected focal points, drawing the eye upward. They also increase air circulation and illumination without the need for multiple fixtures. Owners of small homes or offices need not fear; the trend can be scaled up or down to suit any room size. Just swap out a single plus-sized light for multiple smaller ones.

LED Lighting

As designers look for new ways to enhance interiors with lighting, LED has emerged as a smart choice. With fewer size and design constraints than other types of lighting, it allows for more flexibility. Designs can be adapted to a wider range of possibilities. The cool light of LED also creates less wear and tear on textiles and fabrics in the room.

Statement Pendant Lights

From ornate metalwork to sculptural glass, 2016 was the year of the statement pendant light. Pagoda lanterns, amoeba-like globes and other surprising shapes elevated pendant lighting. On the flip-side of the more detailed pendant options are simple shapes in a wide variety of Pantone-inspired colors. From minimalist looks to detail-heavy styles, pendant lights have drawn the attention of interior designers and consumers alike. Dining rooms, entryways and walls bearing large paintings are just some of the areas in your own home that can benefit from pendant lights. 

Hand-Crafted Metal Light Fixtures

One type of lighting popular in 2016 stands in sharp contrast with the sleekness of modernist light styles. French Quarter lights combine artisan elements with nostalgia for a more romantic time and place. Calling to mind women in bustle skirts and men in top hats, these lamps infuse modern-day decors with the glow of yesteryear. Finished with large grommets and other artisan touches, gas lamp-look lights bring New Orleans style to any locale.

2016 was a great year for residential and commercial design, and lighting is no exception. From minimalist overhead lighting to blown-glass pendants, this was a time for designers to unleash their imaginations. Residential and business interiors glowed with lighting from copper lanterns, colorful LED lamps and glass pendant lights lit by Edison bulbs. Whether your style is influenced more by the Mad Men years or the Victorian era, you couldn't miss with the lighting options available in 2016. We suspect that the creativity and diversity of this year's lighting styles are harbingers of things to come in 2017.