Lighting Style and Trends Blog

The Art of Layered Lighting

Posted by Heather Asiyanbi on Wed, February 03, 2010

To achieve the best lighting effect throughout your home, it's best to light in layers. You'll add depth and dimension, making every room in your home a true stand out.

Light layering is really defined as grouping lighting fixtures to provide the same type of light throughout a room or space. The kitchen is one of the examples for layering; recessed can lights, mini-pendants over the kitchen island, under cabinet lights, and accent lighting to spotlight special pieces in glass-front cabinets. Click here to see more Kitchen Lighting.

To properly layer a room or space there are three types of lighting:

Overall/Ambient Lighting

This is the general illumination that lights a room. It is usually a chandelier, a ceiling fixture, or a recessed can light. It can be a table or floor lamp if no ceiling light exists.

Task Lighting

This usually relates to lighting you will need while working or reading. Task lighting can be a reading lamp, desk lamp, under counter lighting, and more.

Accent Lighting

Typically used to illuminate special features like wall art or special pieces on a bookshelf, accent lights are meant to work without being seen. They should never be the focal point.



How to use Layered Lighting Outside

With more people using their yards and patios as outdoor living space, layered lighting can enhance the feeling of being in a room.

Yard and porch lights serve as overall or ambient lighting; Outdoor Wall Sconces or Outdoor Wall Lanterns on the sides of or above entry doors act as task lighting; and strip lights along deck stairs or special lights for water features are the accents.

A note to remember when planning the Outdoor Lighting for an outdoor room: Lights that are too bright or having too many lights can limit the visibility of stars. Some states, like California, require that any lights attached to buildings or outbuildings like sheds and garages use energy efficient bulbs and/or be activated by light or motion sensors.

Tags: Layering Light, Design tips

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