Ever wondered about the difference between accent lighting and mood lighting? Learn about the broad categories of interior lighting and it will be so much easier to choose the best kind of fitting for the job. While some lighting solutions are designed strictly for a specific purpose. For example, you wouldn’t use a desk lamp to light a living room. There is also a fair degree of overlap in the various fields.
If a pendant lamp has a shade which narrows the light into a tightly defined pool over a dining table, it could be described as taking the role of an accent light because it creates an inviting, well-lit area that is brighter than the rest of the room. But if it has a more open, transparent shade which allows light to fill the room in all directions, then it would be more accurate to say that it’s providing ambient light.
This is the kind of light that comes on when you enter a room and flick the light switch. Dimmers can be used to vary its intensity, which is usually high to medium depending on what kind of living space you are illuminating. Downlights, pendants and oyster lights all fall into this category, and the fittings usually illuminate the room from above by being attached to the ceiling.
A desk lamp is what people usually think of when talking about task lighting, which is any fitting designed to direct light at a reasonably high intensity to help you see what you are doing. Other examples of task lighting include pendants or strip lighting over a food preparation area, or a decorative freestanding lamp near a sofa in the living room, so you can relax with a good book.
Any fitting that directs light onto a specific area or object, making it significantly brighter than its surroundings, is classified as an accent light. Common examples include spotlights used to showcase artworks on the wall, or pendants used to cast a warm pool of light over a dining area, making it feel welcoming and intimate.
Now that multicoloured LED (light-emitting diode) light strips have become so inexpensive, more and more people are letting their creativity run wild in the field of mood lighting. The low-voltage lights are safe for DIY installation, and are normally adhesive-backed so you can stick them wherever you wish in just seconds. Attach the strips in ceiling alcoves or behind furniture to influence the room’s atmosphere in any way you wish.
Learn the best type of lighting to use in any situation, and you’ll never have to strain your eyes again!