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Lighting Lingo | Uplighting vs Downlighting

If there’s one thing Barn Light Electric offers its customers, it’s options! Dozens of finish colors, cord styles, shade sizes, mounting options, glass colors, and more mean you can customize your new American-made lighting to perfectly suit whatever space needs illuminating.

But before you get completely lost in the happiness of jadite vs delphite and chevron cords vs copper stems, let’s take a step back and think about one of the functions of your lighting. Do you need uplighting or downlighting? Both are important and serve specific purposes, and you will find that a combination of both is often best. This is called layering a room using a mix of ambient, accent, and task lighting.


Let’s start with down lighting which is great for task lighting in areas such as the kitchen, workshop, or over the craft table. A classic RLM warehouse shade such as this Bomber Pendant Light has a deep shade with the light bulb tucked securely inside.


The white interior surface of this porcelain enamel fixture reflects plenty of light downward onto the surface below. Perfect for restaurant tables, kitchen counters, or any space where you need focused light. When used outdoors, downlighting fixtures are dark sky friendly which makes the stars easier to see and keeps your neighbors happy too!


Some fixtures create both up and downlighting. These fixtures are great for spaces that need more ambient lighting or more overall illumination in a space. This Brisbane Gooseneck Light offers both up and down lighting thanks to its unique guard-and-glass design. The wide flared shade reflects light downward while also spilling over the top of the shade through the glass.


And speaking of glass, you can help control the amount of light in these guard-and-glass fixtures with the type of glass you choose. The Brisbane Gooseneck above has clear glass which allows the most amount of light. You can read more about glass choices here.


You can also find fixtures, like this Original™ Vented Pendant Light, which provide points of light through a decorative neck design. This classic, handspun warehouse shade offers an extra play of light and shadows with these pinpoints of illumination!

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