Lighting can be used to not only illuminate a space but highlight various elements within a room. Used in layers, it can also be a dynamic design element in addition to your color choice and layout. Consider these three types of lighting to bring out the details on your space.
Ambient lighting is the most general form of lighting on this list; it’s what provides overall illumination to a room. The levels of ambient lighting should be even throughout the space to provide smooth and uniform vision. It allows people to safely and easily move around the space. Efficient ambient lighting allows the light to bounce off the walls in the room to provide as much illumination as possible. It usually comes from the ceiling in the form of ceiling-mounted lighting or recessed. A designer may also use wall sconces, a chandelier, track lighting, or even floor or table lamps.
The purpose of task lighting is just as the name suggests, to direct light toward a specific area in a room to help illuminate the function of that space. Examples of areas that benefit from task lighting include kitchen countertops, reading areas, and home offices. For task, try to avoid harsh lights and casting distracting shadows. A great tip for task lighting is to use a switch independent from the one used for your ambient lighting source. You’ll find task lighting installed under cabinets or directly placed on desks. Options for task lighting include directional recessed fixtures, pendant lighting, and portable or desk lamps.
Another name for accent lighting is highlighting. This type of lighting is used to draw attention to a specific object in a room, like a piece of artwork on a wall, a prized sculpture, plant, or even bookcase. It’s also not relegated to indoor use — you’ll see property owners use accent lighting to highlight beautiful garden features, a tree, deck, or water feature. Accent lighting also helps widen a space by giving the impression that the area is larger than it is. Examples of accent lighting are track lights, direction recessed fixtures, or wall-mounted fixture.
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