Types of Home Lighting: Interior Lighting Design Basics

Types of Home Lighting: A successful plan consists of three fundamental layers or types of home lighting. By including each layer in a room, you can be sure that it is properly illuminated.Types of Home Lighting. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room design. It does more to create the mood in a room than almost any other design element. Yet often it isn’t given enough consideration. In order for a lighting plan to work, it needs to be just that – a plan. Lighting plans can range from very simple to very complex, depending on what you’re looking for. But it doesn’t have to be difficult for you. A successful plan consists of three fundamental layers or types of home lighting. By including each layer in a room, you can be sure that it is properly illuminated. Here are the three layers or types of home lighting.

Types of Home Lighting

Layer 1: Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the general, indirect lighting that evenly illuminates a room and gives it an overall glow, yet the source is inconspicuous.  Some ways ambient lighting can be provided are:

  • Natural light from windows
  • Overhead light fixtures
  • Chandeliers
  • Wall sconces
  • Recessed ceiling lights
  • Track lighting

Ambient lighting is the general, indirect lighting that evenly illuminates a room and gives it an overall glow, yet the source is inconspicuous. Natural light is a form of ambient light.

Natural Lighting – Better Homes and Gardens

Layer 2: Task Lighting

Task lighting focuses light on a work area so that you can perform specific tasks such as reading, crafts, cooking, or applying makeup. Fixtures that provide task lighting include:

  • Reading lamps
  • Desk lamps
  • Under-cabinet lighting
  • Vanity lights
  • Directed track and recessed lighting

Task lighting focuses light on a work area so that you can perform specific tasks like reading.

Reading Lamp – Houzz

Layer 3: Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight a specific object or part of a room, such as a work of art, a plant, or an architectural feature. Some people refer to this as mood lighting. Examples of accent lighting include:

  • Picture lights
  • Can lights and uplights
  • Niche lighting
  • Chandeliers with dimmer switches
  • Wall sconces with dimmer switches
  • Lighting inside glass or wire door cabinets
  • Track and recessed lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight a specific object or part of a room. An example of accent lighting is the lighting inside glass-door cabinets.

Lighted Glass Cabinet – Better Homes and Gardens

There are a few fixtures that are on more than one list. Wall sconces and chandeliers provide ambient light, but can also function as accent light when you use dimmer switches. Track and recessed lighting work as all three types depending upon which way you direct them.

Here are a few things you need to think about before you make a lighting plan for a room:

  1. What type of mood do you want to set in the room?
  2. What tasks will be performed there?
  3. What do you want to highlight?
  4. What do you want to hide?

A well-lit room is not only functional, but it’s also warm and inviting. Take some time to plan things out first. By knowing the types of home lighting, it will help you to create the room you want.

Peggy

 

 

Top right photo - Better Homes and Gardens

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About Peggy Pardo

Interior decorator, professional organizer, DIYer, blog writer, author of The Moving Handbook
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