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Lighting Buying Guide    
It’s amazing how much difference the right type of lighting can make to a room. It can add atmosphere, and make it feel warm and welcoming. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all bulbs and harsh overhead lights; now each room in your house can benefit from a different type of lighting.

We’ve put together this easy guide to help you understand the types and styles of lighting, room by room in your house. And it gives you important details about bulbs, switches and sensors, and installation guidelines.

It might sound like a lot, but it’s really easy to follow. Plus, as lighting technology is always being improved, we’ll keep updating our guide so you’re always getting up-to-the-minute information.

Types and styles of lightings
Imagine a room with stark, overhead lights glaring out. Now imagine a room with soft, glowing lights just where you need them. You can choose the type and style of lighting to create the perfect mood for your room:

  • Ambient lighting illuminates your room, and is usually a central ceiling light. 
  • Task lighting lets you work under a direct light, without shadows, so is often used in an office or kitchen. Think recessed or down lights, spotlights, track lighting and desk lamps.
  • Accent lighting is also directed but in a more decorative way, such as recessed lights, wall lights or floor lamps. It’s also a useful way of highlighting a room feature, like a painting.
  • Mood lighting creates an ambience by using low watt bulbs, dimmer switches or coloured bulbs or shades. Lamps and decorative fittings like our chandelier-style Easy Fit Pendants are perfect for creating mood lighting.

Room by Room
This is where you welcome visitors to your home, so ambient lighting is ideal. A dimmer switch will help to create a warm, cosy glow, but don’t forget to keep your stairs well lit to avoid accidents.

Living Room
This is all about reading, watching TV and socialising and entertaining. So create good ambient lighting using ceiling and wall lights, perhaps adding table and floor lamps near chairs and tables. If you have a special painting or feature, a spotlight or picture light can really highlight this. Or you could use a pendant or chandelier to create an eye-catching focal point.

Dining Room
Mealtimes are important occasions, and a little clever lighting can make your room relaxed and welcoming. Try using wall lights to create an ambient atmosphere, and hanging a chandelier or pendant directly over your dining room table to add focus.

When you’re cooking, the first thing to think about is safety, so task lighting is often used in kitchens. Spotlights or fluorescent lights can be directed over your work surfaces, cookers and sinks to give a bright, focused light.

We don’t recommend using table or floor lights in the kitchen, as the flexes can be hazardous. Also, if your lighting is near any water, your lights have to be safe and sealed. You’ll need a qualified electrician to fit these lights, which must have the correct Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP44
As your bathroom lighting will be near water, it also needs to be safe and sealed. You’ll need a qualified electrician to fit these lights, which need to have the correct Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP44.

At the moment, Asda doesn’t stock any lights for bathrooms, but we’re hoping to introduce these soon – we’ll keep you posted.

For rest and relaxation, soft mood lighting is perfect. You might need an ambient light as well if you use a computer or apply make-up in the room.  A dimmer switch is a great idea, as you can have the lighting as bright or as soft as you need. Lots of people enjoy reading in bed, so try some task lighting next to your bed, like a table lamp or a touch lamp.

Children's Bedroom
When your kids are playing, they need a bright, ambient light to see those all-important toys. If your little ones are under 5, fit wall and ceiling lights so they can’t reach them, and avoid low-handing lights or table and desk lamps.

For older children doing homework, task lighting like a desk lamp is a great way to help them focus on what they’re doing.

Asda’s mission is to save our customers money every day and this means selling products which use less energy in the home. As energy-saving lightbulbs use much less energy and are cheaper to run than old-style tungsten bulbs, we fully support the Government in their initiative to phase out these bulbs (see box).

So you won’t find any old-style bulbs higher than 40W on our shelves – but you will find big savings on your electricity bill. Swapping all the bulbs in your home for energy saving ones could save you about £37 every year!

In 2007, the Government announced that all General Lamp Standard (GLS) tungsten filament bulbs with a suitable replacement will be phased out between 2008 and 2011. The first to be phased out were 150W, followed by 100W, 60W then 40W and lower being phased out in 2011. Small candle-style bulbs and reflector bulbs will still be manufactured in the short term as there aren’t any suitable replacements.

Below, you’ll find an outline of when we’ll stop stocking certain bulbs to meet the Government’s timetable. You’ll notice that we’ve already introduced some of these measures. By the way, if you’re wondering what an A-shaped bulb is, it’s the one most commonly found in households.

Year of phase out Light bulbs
2008 We’ll stop replacing stock of all inefficient GLS A-shaped bulbs with an energy rating higher than 100W

We’ll stop selling all inefficient GLS A-shaped bulbs with an energy rating higher than 60W (mostly 150W, 100W and 75W)

2010 We’ll stop selling all GLS A-shaped bulbs with an energy rating higher than 40W (mostly 60W)


We’ll stop selling all remaining inefficient GLS A-shaped bulbs and 60W candle and golfball bulbs (mostly 40W and 25W

A-shaped GLS bulbs, and 60W candles and golfballs)

The table below explains which energy saving lightbulb should replace the old GLS lightbulbs. These are recommended by the Energy Saving Trust and you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product.


GLS bulb

Energy saving light bulb (CFL)

25W 5-7W
40W 7-9W
60W 11-15W
75W 15-18W
100W 20-23W
Over 100W 23W and above


At Asda, all of our lighting  products individually list which bulbs they're suitable for. Please make sure you don’t exceed the bulb wattage stated.  


Switches and Sensors

Dimmer switches help you to create just the level of light using a handy wall switch. They’re great, but please don’t use them with halogen lighting.

Touch lights are really convenient, especially on bedside lamps. They turn on by a simple touch, so no more fumbling around for the switch in the middle of the night. You can also vary the light levels

Automatic timers and sensors save you the hassle of manually adjusting lighting. Timers turn lights on and off at set intervals, while sensors will automatically turn lights on when they detect motion. They’re a great way of improving safety and security, at the same time reducing your electricity bill.

LED lights are highly energy efficient and can help to save on lighting costs over time. Asda doesn’t stock LED lights at the moment, but watch this space as they’ll be appearing in our range soon.

Installation Guidelines

There are some strict guidelines about fitting electrics in your house, and all fittings must be installed in line with the current edition of the institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) Wiring Regulations, Part P of the Building Regulations and appropriate statutory regulations. Always follow the enclosed instructions.

If at any time you're unsure of how to proceed, please consult a qualified electrician.