Great lighting design is an art and a science. It can set the mood or atmosphere. We have all either walked into a room or seen photos in a magazine were the lighting design was an added layer of sophistication.
The American Lighting Association recognizes three types of lighting for a good lighting plan that addresses function and style for a home.
WHAT’S THE BRIGHT IDEA
Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting provides overall illumination, which allows you to see and walk about safely. It can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, recessed or track lights and with lanterns mounted on the outside of the home. Having a central source of ambient light in all rooms is fundamental to a good lighting plan.
Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, grooming, preparing and cooking food, doing homework, working on hobbies, playing games and balancing your checkbook. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and under cabinet lighting, as well as by portable floor and desk lamps. Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eyestrain.
Accent lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. As part of an interior design scheme, it is used to draw the eye to houseplants, paintings, sculptures and other prized possessions. It can also be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stonewall, window treatments or outdoor landscaping.
To be effective, accent lighting requires as least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Accent lighting is usually provided by recessed and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights.
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Photo Credit: Architectural Digest, Rockwell Group, New York Edition Hotel