The Difference between Uplights and Downlights

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Choosing the right lighting fixtures for your office and home plays an important role in how you feel and your surroundings look. Many of the technical terms of the lighting industry may confuse you, but here we are gonna explain the difference between uplighting fixtures and LED downlighting. 

Understanding uplighting and downlighting are easy but understanding their usage are a bit tough. In short, all the lightings fixture that are pointed their light toward the upside are uplights. On the other hand, the fixture that is pointed their lights downward is called a downlight. 

Uplights vs. Downlights: The Differences

What are LED downlights best used for, and what are uplights better for? The primary difference between these two is that uplights provide a more ambient and open feel while downlights are more welcoming and focused light. 

Because uplights throw their light at the open sky or the ceiling, the light is less blocked. On the other hand, downlights shine their illumination toward your ground and floor, often filled with furniture. This makes it more focused and narrow.

For exterior house– Uplighting and Downlighting

Here are some key differences to understand the exterior lighting.

Uplights are mainly placed a little above the ground and are highly illuminated. They are used to highlight the parts of your place, such as interesting landscaping designs, architectural features, trees, or more things. 

Additionally, uplighting fixtures can provide your property with a glorious and exquisite feeling. The lighting makes other things greater or larger. This light creates shows which add depth to the exterior. 


Exterior LED downlights to illuminate the ground or floor of the property. This light provides more focused and practical lighting. Their bright and downward focused light is better for safety and general security. They are used to illuminate stairs and pathways as well as ground-level ornaments and landscaping designs. 

Overall, downlight creates a warmer, smaller, more welcoming, and comfortable feel for your property. It is also used for outdoor social gatherings as it will provide good brightness from above. 

For interior house- Uplighting and Downlighting 

Interior lighting is not much different from the above.

Interior uplighting creates better ambient lighting if you have a bigger indoor area with good wide walls. In addition, good uplighting can offer high brightness with wide and tall beams of light. 

On the other hand, interior LED downlights are more visible and focused. They are not so good for larger areas but are beneficial for smaller areas. This light is more precise. 

Uplighting fixture is good for dining and living rooms, while downlighting is more often considered for desks, workstations, kitchens, and other areas. 

Is using both a better idea?

Definitely, both downlighting and uplighting are opposite, but both are better at their positions.

You can choose both – downlighting for focused light and uplighting fixtures for ambient lighting according to your interior or exterior needs.

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