The light in a room is important not only for safety reasons, but also to perform tasks and to highlight things of interest. In order to achieve this, there are 3 layers of lighting that should be used.
1. Ambient Lighting
Ambient lighting is the essential layer of lighting because it provides overall and adequate light to the space. Chandeliers, pendant and recessed lights are the most common fixtures used.
2. Accent/Decorative Lighting
Accent or decorative lighting is used to draw someone’s eye to a particular area, whether that’s spotlighting a piece of art, an outside column or landscape. The lighting fixtures for accent lighting are usually sconces, track lighting or up lighting.
Lighting that is used strictly for aesthetic reasons and not because of the light it gives is considered decorative lighting. This type of lighting includes glass, colored or shaped features.
3. Task Lighting
Task lighting refers to any light that helps you do a certain task. This type of lighting would include things like reading or desk lamps, floor lamps and vanity lighting.
Accent and task lighting can be provided by the same source of light, so the 3 layers doesn’t mean you need to have 3 separate lights. When placed correctly, they will build on each other and help create a perfectly lit space.