Explaining the Different Types of Indoor Lighting

12/19/19
Modern kitchen featuring multiple types of indoor lighting.

Proper lighting is key to your home’s functionality and comfort. However, every area serves its own purpose and needs its own design. How can you relax in an overly bright, glare-filled living room? To help you create the setting you want, we’ve outlined the different types of indoor lighting and how to use them in your home.


Ambient Lighting

What Is Ambient Lighting?
Ambient light provides a soft glow that supports a space’s functionality without producing a harsh glare. It’s created by making the room’s lighting as flat and natural as possible. Also referred to as “general” light, ambient is one of the most common types of indoor lighting.


When/Where is Ambient Lighting Used in the Home?
Ambient light can be thought of as a room’s “normal” lighting and is used all over the home. Applied correctly, it creates an environment for relaxation, visiting with friends and family, and general use. When lighting a room, start here.


What are Common Fixtures for Ambient Lighting?

  • Wall and ceiling sconces
  • Ceiling fans
  • Recessed lights
  • Pendants (with clear or light-colored shades)
  • Chandeliers
  • Track lights
  • Table and floor lamps


Task Lighting

What Is Task Lighting?
Task lighting is smaller and more concentrated than ambient. It’s directed toward a specific area to provide more visibility and detail for completing a particular task.


When/Where is Task Lighting Used in the Home?
This style is used in spaces where you’re working and need finer light, such as cooking, reading, writing, and much more. The enhanced brightness and concentration naturally help you focus on and identify details of the task.

To work properly, task lighting must be applied in contrast to the environment’s normal illumination. For example, a reading lamp used in a more dimly lit room produces less glare and shadow effects than one in a brightly lit room. 


What are Common Fixtures for Task Lighting?

  • Under cabinet lights
  • Pendants (with dark colored shades)
  • Swing arm lamps
  • Reading lamps
  • Office/desktop lamps
  • Vanity lights


Accent Lighting

What Is Accent Lighting?
Similar to task lighting, this style concentrates its illumination on a specific area of the room. However, it’s used to highlight a certain object or decoration (rather than help you focus on close-range work or tasks).


When/Where is Accent Lighting Used in the Home?
Accent lighting is more about adding artistic style or aesthetics to a room than functionality. Because of that, it’s often used in settings like museums and art galleries. You may have paintings, photos, furniture pieces, or other display pieces around your home that you want to highlight, and accent lighting is the answer.


What are Common Fixtures for Accent Lighting?

  • Track lights
  • Wall sconces
  • Recessed lights
  • Spotlights
  • Step lights
  • Picture and display lights


Notice that some fixtures, such as recessed lights, appear under more than one type of indoor lighting. Fixtures can come in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes, so make sure they match the setting you’re trying to create.

Your home should be a place for comfort, relaxation, and peace. Lighting can make or break a room. Stafford Home Service offers professional lighting design and installation to ensure your home’s lighting matches your style and desired atmosphere, including dimmer switches and receptacle outlets for plugging in lamps. Contact us today to learn more.

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