Various Types of Lighting and How to Use

Light has the power to transform the temperament and ambiance of a room. Apart from providing illumination for vision, light can invite visitors, persuade shoppers and attract guests to a hotel, business, and restaurant and many more. It determines how one will feel when they enter a place. A great lighting setup incorporates a combination of various types of lighting.


Whether for ornamental, working or relaxing purposes, interior designers can choose from three different types of lighting which include;

• Accent
• Task and,
• Ambiance/General Lighting

1. Accent Lighting

The main goal of accent lighting is to draw attention. It is a great way of enhancing the decoration. Accent lighting targets at illuminating only the focal points while locking out some spaces. This type of lighting can be used for various purposes such as artwork, wall washing, display of bookcases, and furniture pieces among other collections. In other cases, it can be used outdoors to highlight various architectural points in a yard during holiday celebrations.

Where is it used?

When installed correctly, accent lights will only direct the attention of the viewer towards the object or space being lit. It diverts their attention from the type of light used. Recessed and track lights are commonly used for accent lighting. LEDs are also preferred because they neither create heat nor radiate UV light. The accent lights should not only illuminate but also protect the object being lit by reducing damages that may be caused.

2. Ambiance Lighting

Ambiance lighting is aimed at setting the tone for a room by providing sufficient glow. It is sometimes considered natural and is ideal for use in cinematography and photography. When designing ambiance lighting, one has to make it as natural as possible. This type of lighting can create a good space for working, living and relaxing. This is why others refer to it as mood lighting as it can capture the curves of one’s face and make them physically attractive.

Where to use

Ambiance lighting is commonly used in yoga studios to help rid of stress. To create this type of lighting, one can either choose a track or recessed lights. The advantage of these types of lighting is that they work well with most ceilings. However, one should be careful not to overuse the lights especially when the ceiling is too low. For those who want a more welcoming feel and look, they can select LEDs with color temperature.

Other types of lights to choose for ambiance lighting include pendants and chandeliers. They are ideal, particularly for tall ceilings. Users can select them based on the heights of their ceilings. Wall lights and sconces can also work well for ambiance lighting. They should also be used sparingly to avoid over-lighting space.

3. Task Lighting

Also called concentrated light, task lighting helps users to accomplish various tasks. It is often confined and can be sourced differently. This type of lighting can be adjusted based on an individual’s needs. It means one can either brighten up or darken a space to suit their tasks. When installing task lighting, one should focus on reducing glare and eye strain.

Where to use

This type of lighting is good for use when cooking, reading, hobbies, and crafts, working and even studying. When choosing task lights, one should consider the type of activities they want to do as well as their age. Older people tend to be light sensitive and demand brightly lit spaces. Experts recommend that great task lights should provide a minimum of 269 lumens and a maximum of 1076. This is equivalent to 40-100 watts.


How to create task lighting

One can use various types of light sources like overhead track and recessed lights, desk and task lamps, halogen bulbs and LED bulbs. If using task lamps, one should angle or adjust them to suit their needs. Proper position of these lamps also helps to reduce glare and eye strain. Halogen bulbs are also ideal as they produce light similar to natural sunlight. These bulbs use a small amount of energy and are very bright. They also produce direct light and don’t get hot when used for long.


Since the dawn of time, light has always attracted mankind. Apart from allowing us to accomplish various tasks, light can alter our moods, transform the ambiance of a room and turn around the moods of home occupants. Among the main types of lighting include ambiance, task and accent lighting. Each of them is designed for different purposes. Ambiance lighting is ideal for providing glow while task and accent lighting are used for accomplishing various tasks and highlighting specific points respectively.
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