How do you light up a room? It depends on the room and what you need the light for. To a lot of people lighting a room involves flipping on a switch, but to get a room to really light up there is actually more to it.
To make a room feel warm, relaxed and comfortable, layering lighting creates more of an ambiance and softer feeling. Blending various sources of light help produce a character in a room, that is welcoming. So how do you properly use light in a room and what should you consider?
Types of lighting
Ambient light gives of non-specific illumination. This is the light you expect when you flip on that light switch. It provides a room with illumination. Table and floor lighting can be considered accessories in a room that gives it character but also assist in creating the overall ambiance in a room. This is due to the amount of the light they cast. Ambient light can come from fixtures mounted on the ceiling such as recess, track, light fixtures, and/ or wall sconces. It provides the basic light we need in a room.
The light that comes through the windows is also ambient light because it can flood a room during the day with light.
Task light is like its name, it helps illuminate a task you may be doing. Reading, cooking, homework, office work; task lights flood a specific area to help you see what you are doing better to prevent eye strain. Consider pendants that are suspended from the ceiling, under cabinet light mounted in the kitchen or a table lamp next to a chair for reading. Wall lighting in bathrooms is another great source of task lights.
An accent Light accentuates a specific area like a fireplace, painting, sculpture or can be used also in outdoor landscaping. It can actually help draw attention to things you want people to notice in your house. Track lights are great for this to highlight art, or flood light onto a wall.
Sometimes a room can do fine with just one type of lighting but in most cases layering the lighting creates a nicer ambiance in the room. Also many find that having just one type of light like recess light in the kitchen is not sufficient enough to aid in the many tasks that are performed. Therefore by combining the different lights creates the visual effect desired.
Additional Information on Lighting