Lighting is a vital element of interior design, alongside layout and color. It imparts dimensional and creative flair to the home or workplace. No longer does lighting stay merely in the background, enhancing the look of furniture, centerpieces and works of art as needed, it can be an important part of the décor. Lighting designers are constantly coming up with creative ideas to give eye-candy appeal to a modern light fixture. Combining smart designs with state-of-the-art technology and accessories, like dimmers and tracks, these fixtures are style finds unto themselves. From Italian creations like Artemide and FLOS to designer pieces like Tobias Grau and George Kovacs, the present-day lighting fixture is cove-table and an attractive presence in any room. designs can be throwbacks to any given golden age of artistry in the past or forecasts to directions that lighting design will take in the future. Or how about a combination of the two, like something retro-modern? Chandeliers, wall sconces, pendant lights, floor lamps and table lamps from name brands like Foscarini, FontanaArte, Prandina or Vibia may be inspired by mid-century, vintage and other classic stylings. Monorail lighting, track lighting, recessed lights, outdoor wall lights and ceiling lights from top brands like Anta, Catellani & Smith, Marchetti or Anthologies Quartett may boast high tech features and Eco-friendly or space-age materials like Kevlar and aluminized polycarbonate shades. After all, a sconce is not just a sconce, and lighting designers are renowned and respected artists around the world.Different rooms require different uses for, levels and angles of lighting. General illumination may be the most important in the family room and kitchen whereas it’s task illumination for the study room and garage. The living and dining rooms should have accent lighting to showcase design pieces while the bedroom and bath should have ambient lighting for relaxation. Illumination must be considered even for hallways and patios, and leading manufacturers like Alt Lucialternative, Linea Light, deMajo and Louis Poulsen have got the variety to suit specific design needs.Finishes include antique brass or bronze, satin or polished nickel, brushed steel or chrome, hurricane or flute glass, black or white baked enamel to complement diverse looks, with a choice of incandescent, halogen, MR16 and energy-saving light bulbs and LED light displays in cool or warm white, frosted, cobalt, amber or emerald tones.Lighting fixtures may be low voltage 10V, 12V, 24V or line voltage 100V, 120V, 240V, with classic or modern lamp sockets. Lighting systems may be bought per-assembled or design your own, as complete systems or do-it-yourself kits. You can simply plug an easy to install starter kit into an existing electrical outlet or connect it into a conduit box, usually the color-coded wires, and an on/off switch. Sales are a great time to take advantage of discounts on premium items like Bruck, WAC, Herman Miller and Taller Uno, often due to overstocks and closeouts. Most retailers offer free international shipping for modern light fixture orders, so you can cut costs off and around a product.