Lighting 101: Task, Ambient and Accent lighting -September 9, 2020

Sep 9, 2020

When considering light in residential spaces it is important to not follow a one size fits all approach. This means that rather than installing a ceiling grid of downlights, creating an even wash of light with no differentiation, light fittings are chosen to fulfil three distinct functions in a space. By considering how an area will be utilised as well as its size and design, the light in your home can be curated perfectly to your needs through inspired lighting design.

There are three basic types of lighting: task, ambient and accent. When these are layered throughout a room, they work together to achieve a balanced and flexible lighting design, which responds to the needs and uses of specific spaces. Sii LIGHT is here to provide lighting solutions and we invite you to discuss what this means for you with one of our specialists today.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination to the space and is meant to create general and uniform lighting. It is often considered to be the first layer of light and sets the tone for a space. Ambient lighting is especially important in traffic areas such as hallways and stairs for optimal orientation and visibility.

Examples of ambient lighting include:

  • Ceiling mounted or recessed fixtures that direct light downwards
  • Wall washers that direct light onto the walls
  • Cove lighting

Task Lighting

Direct illumination designed for specific and detailed work, such as reading and writing at a desk or preparing food, task lighting is designed to illuminate the area where the task is being performed. Effective task lighting is glare free to prevent eye strain but directed enough to brighten the whole area. It is key in areas such as the kitchen to increase visibility of countertops during food preparation and cleaning. It is also increasingly important for those working from home, to provide sufficient lighting throughout the day and prevent eye strain.

Examples of task lighting include:

  • Pendants
  • Under cabinet lighting
  • Recessed and track lighting
  • Bathroom vanity lights
  • Reading lights and bedside table fixtures

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting highlights specific objects or areas in a space and has an output typically three times brighter than ambient lighting. Accent lighting draws the eye to specific areas and items in a room, including art, furnishings and architectural features to create focal points. Adjustable fixtures are preferred for accent lighting, as they allow precision and focus. The primary objective of accent lighting is to create a point of interest for the viewer, adding style and drama to a space.

Examples of accent lighting include:

  • Adjustable recessed spotlights
  • Wall Lights
  • Track lighting
  • Wall mounted picture lights