My goal is to help you find the perfect lighting for your space and create the perfect lighting layout. When it comes to selecting lighting, first determine the size of the area of focus. The area of focus is the space in the room that needs light. The size of the area will determine which fixture type is most appropriate. There are three main types of lighting: Ambient Lighting, Task Lighting, and Accent Lighting. A great lighting layout is achieved by designing well-layered ambient lighting in concert with accent lighting, and task lighting.
Ambient lighting is the ‘base layer’ in a thoughtful lighting layout; it is what will allow us to walk into a room. It meets the necessary requirements to safely and effectively illuminate the interior design of a space. Also referred to as general lighting, ambient lighting allows for easy movement throughout a room by bouncing lighting off ceilings for even diffusing and minimal shadows. Typically, a central source, mounted to the ceiling, meets the practical requirements of ambient lighting.
Accent lighting is not only utilitarian, but creates and compliments the interior or exterior design. A room’s textures, features, and attributes will only garner appreciation when they can be seen. Accent lighting allows you to focus attention in specific areas that highlight a room’s aesthetic features. In order to achieve its full effect, accent lighting should always be brighter than the ambient lighting that surrounds the area of focus.
Task lighting focuses on the myriad of things that might occur in a given room. The demands of a task light will be determined by the task at hand. For example, kitchens require strong, shadow free lighting in areas where food preparation will take place, as well as warm, inviting illumination that highlights a kitchen’s role in social gatherings. Other examples to consider are the detailed grooming tasks that will take place in a bathroom, or reading, hobbies, and game-playing. Each task at hand will have their own lighting requirements, which can be met with a variety of pendants, wall-mounts, and portable fixtures.
The First Layer: Establish Necessary Ambient Lighting
The Second Layer: Determine the Required Task Lighting Specific to Each Room’s Use
The Third Layer: Enhance the Aesthetic Design Features with Accent Lighting
In terms of selecting a fixture that accents a space, I focus on the materials, and how they will compliment the design of a room. Plating, frame, quality, and craftsmanship are what make some lighting fixtures superior to others.