We feel more comfortable in a space when it is properly lit. Most older homes do not have adequate lighting. It wasn’t until about the mid 1960’s that ceiling light fixtures in each room became more common. Nowadays it is rare to find a room that doesn’t have pot lights and / or a ceiling fixture.
In a perfect scenario every room would have 2 to 3 types of lighting; indirect, direct and task lighting. Indirect lighting is general light for the room, usually a ceiling fixture or pot lights, windows would also be considered a source of indirect light. Direct lighting is a little more focused going from the source to a surface, like a lamp. Task lighting is used to light a specific area in order to more easily perform a task such as under counter lighting or a desk lamp.
Knowing who will be using a space and what the most common activities in that space will be, make it easier to determine how much and what kind of lighting you will need to make the space comfortable. Indirect as well as task lighting would work well in a kids playroom. Indirect, direct and task would make a kitchen more functional.
The photo below is an example of indirect (pot lights and windows) and direct lighting (2 table lamps) in a living room. This space is likely used for TV watching and reading as well as conversation or entertaining. The indirect lighting would be ideal for entertaining as a well lit area creates a more comfortable atmosphere for guests. The direct light would likely be preferred for TV watching, reading and conversation as it creates a more intimate feel within the room.