3 Different Lighting Types and Where to Use Them

 3 Different Lighting Types and Where to Use Them

If you’re designing a new home or office, or if you’re doing some renovations to your existing home or office, it’s a good time to spend some time thinking about lighting in the different spaces. If you don’t add enough light to an area, it might be dark and unwelcoming, and adding too much light can make an area feel sterile and cold. Getting the balance right is important, so understanding interior lighting fundamentals plays an important role in the success of your use of light.

There are three primary types of lighting, each of which serves a specific purpose. Let’s look at these three lighting types and where you might use them.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is perhaps the most important type of lighting when it comes to pure functionality. It’s the type of light that serves the purpose of lighting up a room in its entirety. Usually, this means having some form of light fixture that is designed to uniformly shine light in the room, regardless of any other lighting sources that might exist in the space. 

There are countless options carried by electrical supply stores for ambient lighting no matter your needs. Ambient light fittings are usually ceiling mounted, but ambient lighting can be provided from a wall-mounted fixture or downlighting too. You’ll likely use some form of ambient lighting outdoors in the garden too in the form of wall lights or pathway lights. Think of ambient lighting like those fluorescent office lights that take a dark room and illuminate it. 

Task Lighting

Task lighting, as the name suggests, serves a more specific purpose and provides a specific amount of light to illuminate a task that is performed in an area. Task lighting is often in addition to ambient lighting, though they don’t need to be used at the same time. An additional hanging light over a kitchen workbench is an example of task lighting, as is a bedside lamp that allows you to read a book while lying in bed. This type of lighting is usually more directional and can sometimes be aimed by the occupants of the home.

Accent Lighting

Unlike our first two types of lighting, accent lighting often doesn’t serve a functional purpose, but instead is designed to draw focus to points of interest. Accent lighting is usually not particularly bright and is designed to be pleasing to the eyes. Accent lighting exists to provide focal points to things or spaces around the home where you want to draw attention to something.

These are the types of light that you might install under a cabinet or to illuminate the shelves of a wall unit. For example, ambient spotlights might be used to shine on a piece of artwork or family photographs on a wall to provide additional illumination.

Lighting is a powerful tool in creating effective spaces during interior design when used properly and effectively. If you can master the art of combining these three main lighting types to good effect, your new home or renovation will stand out from the crowd!

Paul Petersen

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