In the lighting world there are three key players: Task, Ambient, and Accent. Which one you use is dependent upon what exactly you desire illuminated. Here is a guide to help you determine which lighting is best for your interior space.
Task lighting is used for exactly what its name implies- tasks. Duties and activities such as reading, grooming, preparing and cooking food, doing homework, working on hobbies, playing games and balancing your checkbook all require task lighting. Depending on the task, different task lighting will be required for peak performance. Take reading, for example. In order to read in peak condition, you want light coming from behind your shoulder. This can be accomplished by placing a floor lamp either at the right or left of the reading chair.
Ambient lighting provides an area with overall illumination. It should radiate at a comfortable level of brightness and allow one to see and walk about safely. In some cases, the laundry room for example, ambient lighting can also serve as the task lighting for the space. In other cases, such as a dining room chandelier, ambient lighting is the main source of light and can be accompanied by other smaller accent lights. Ambient lighting however is the focal point and will enhance the beauty of your fine china and furnishings. Dimmers can be installed to create different mood effects. Try a dimmed setting to create the illusion of candlelight.
Like an accent wall, accent lighting adds drama to the room by creating visual interest. Accent lighting draws the eye to specific features such as plants, paintings, photos, and other art pieces. Try highlighting a family portrait with accent lighting using wall mounted picture lights. Or use it to highlight the texture of a brick wall, fireplace mantel, or outdoor landscaping. Accent lighting can also be used to highlight your collections.
As a general rule, accent lighting requires as least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Just make sure not to over do it.
Other Tips to Consider…
* Consider energy-efficient bulbs for longer lasting energy and lower electric bills.
* Consider under cabinet lighting for kitchen countertops. Make sure to mount them as close to the front of the cabinets as possible to avoid glare.
* Consider an adjustable, lighted magnifying mirror that will provide ideal lighting for grooming.