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The 3 basic types of lighting

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Lighting design plays a key role in creating the right mood and adjusting the ambiance of interior spaces. Proper lighting makes all work easier and changes the mood of a space. Without proper lighting, not only your environment but also the interiors you have designed look dull and uninviting. Lack of lighting affects the ambience and also the perceived size of the room.

There are three basic types of lighting that can work to improve a certain room; the ambient lighting, task lighting, and the accent lighting. An excellent lighting plan maximizes the use of these three lighting types to illuminate a room depending on function and style. Task and accent lighting are more specific on its purpose while ambient lighting provides the overall illumination to a room.

Ambient Lighting (General Lighting)

This is one of the most common types of lighting. Ambient light is a soft glow that blankets your space just enough for you to function without causing a harsh glare. In photography and cinematography, ambient light is considered the “natural light” within a room. In décor, ambient light is very similar, except you create the ambient light by making the room’s lighting as natural and flat as possible. While ambient light is meant to get you safely from point A-to-B, it is not ideal for working closely with things or to highlight things around your space.

 Ambient lighting can be accomplished by using basic lighting fixtures such as chandeliers, track lights, recessed lights, and wall or ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures.




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Accent Lighting

This is a very concentrated light with the intention of drawing the eye to its focal point. Accent lighting is a way of adding style and drama to your home. This will help you illuminate the pieces you want on display, while shadowing dull areas. People use accenting for wall washing, artwork, bookcase displays, pieces of furniture, collections and the general architecture of their homes. Outdoor accent lighting is when you highlight parts of the architecture of your home or yard. This is very popular during the holidays, especially Halloween and Christmas.

Often times, accent lighting may be it’s own unique design element that is the showpiece of the space such as a LED strip lights, picture lights or flood lights.



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Task Lighting

This is a smaller more concentrated light. You want task lighting around when you’re working. In fact, some people call it office lighting. Task lighting is meant to help you see when you’re doing projects in which you need a finer light, such as, reading, cooking, writing, sewing and many other things. Task lighting only works well when it is used as a contrasting light. For example, if you have a low lit room with a table lamp turned on, the light in that area will be more effective with less glare than if the entire room was lit with a brighter light.

Task lighting allows us to place appropriate light sources where it is most needed, illuminating specific areas and providing visibility for activities such as reading, cooking, dressing, or doing homework. Focus on areas above kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, desks, or next to bedsides or chairs to determine the task light that is most appropriate. Most of the time, under cabinet lights and table lamps are used, or freely adjustable lights such as swing arm, gooseneck and floor lamps are used as task lighting.


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