Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lighting 101

Though we tend to focus on furniture and decoration when it comes to interior design, lighting is an integral part of our home! There are four basic types of lighting that should be used in different parts of the home to design the best atmosphere. The lighting types are ambient, task, accent and decorative. Let’s take a closer look at each one!

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting fills the undefined areas of a room with a soft level of general light, enough for someone to navigate through the room. Common ambient lighting fixtures are lamps, sconces or cans.
This room isn’t particularly bright but the soft spotlights provide a nice, calming light.
Task Lighting

Unlike ambient lighting, task lighting is generally a bright light that illuminates a particular area where a visual activity, such as food preparation, crafts or reading takes place. Task lamps and pendants are great for this type of lighting.

As you can see here, the lamp next to the bed is bright enough for some reading, even if the rest of the lights are dimmed or off.    
This nicely illuminated room would be a good place for reading, scrapbooking, crossword puzzles or anything that requires an attentive eye.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is similar to task lighting in that it consists largely of directed light, but accent lighting is used to focus attention on artwork or architectural features instead of to help you do a task. Generally provide with track, spot or picture lights, accent lighting helps set a mood or provide drama in your decorating space.
This light perfectly illuminates the flowers, making them the focal-point.
Decorative Lighting

Any of the three previous types of lighting can come in the form of decorative lighting. This type of lighting draws attention to itself and can sometimes even be the centerpiece or focal point of a room. A chandelier above a dining room table is a perfect example! It’s very important that you select the proper type of decorative lighting to create the environment you desire. Candles, chandeliers and lighting over a furniture grouping are common uses of decorative lighting.
These lights are clearly the focal point of this room, thus setting the tone for the space.
These big lanterns are a perfect example of decorative lighting. They are being used for light, yes, but they are also great decoration pieces.

When you are designing the lighting of a room, be sure you know what theme you’re going for! And keep in mind that a well-lit room is a well-designed room.


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