Layers of Lighting: 3 Key Ways to Create the Perfect Lighting

Posted by Daniel Edelman on

Light has the amazing ability to transform a space.  It can add depth and alter the ambience or tie together bold decor. It can open up a small space or highlight the smallest details. When planning lighting for your home, it is important to consider how you use each space.

"[Lighting] is about more than simply style; it's about lifestyle."
-David Littman, Founder and Chairman, Hudson Valley Lighting

Ambient Lighting
Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, provides overall illumination for a room and is intended to create a uniform level of lighting throughout the space. It radiates a comfortable level of brightness without glare and allows you to see and walk about safely.
[caption id="attachment_466" align="alignleft" width="695"]Chandeliers, ceiling mount, and recessed fixtures Chandeliers, ceiling mount, and recessed fixtures[/caption]

Task Lighting
Task lighting targets a specific area in a room, and is intended to illuminate a specific function or task. This could include areas for preparing and cooking food, homework or paper work, working on hobbies, grooming, reading, or playing games. Task lighting should be bright enough to prevent eye strain and should be free of distracting glare and shadows.
[caption id="attachment_467" align="alignleft" width="781"]Undercounter lighting, pendant lighting, floor lamps, desk or table lamps, and sconces Undercounter lighting, pendant lighting, floor lamps, desk or table lamps, and sconces[/caption]
Accent Lighting
Accent lighting, also called highlighting, draws attention to a particular object such as architectural details, artwork, plants, bookcases, or a sculpture. It adds drama to the room by creating visual interest. In order for accent lighting to be effective, it requires at least 3 times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it.
[caption id="attachment_465" align="alignleft" width="495"]Recessed or track lighting and wall mounted picture lights Recessed or track lighting and wall mounted picture lights[/caption]
Here is an excellent example of all three layers used in the kitchen. There are recessed can lights for ambient lighting, pendant and under-cabinet lighting for task lighting, and accent lighting in the top cabinets to highlight the décor.
Layers of lighting

Want a little more inspiration? Check out our "Bright Ideas" board on our Pinterest page.

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