Accent Lighting

Accent lighting provides a way to focus attention on architectural or decorative aspects of a room. An illuminated wall niche or spotlights focused on a painting draw your eye to these features. Track lighting or recessed “eye ball” style lighting can be used to illuminate interesting wall features or simply provide a wash of light across the painted surface. A wall wash can be very dramatic in itself!

Even a simple collection of flickering candles qualifies as accent lighting. Plus, you get the added benefit of a wonderful aroma to further enhance the atmosphere. Now, I’d say that’s a great value lighting solution!

With the types of lighting fresh in your mind, carefully examine the kitchen photo above to see how all three types were used together to awesome effect.

A big key to versatile interior lighting, in my opinion, is being able to adjust the level of illumination through a dimmer switch. Most of the new lighting fixtures I had installed in my home are adjustable. Dimmer switches are easy to install and give you the power to fine tune the lighting level. I’ve found this can create dramatic, night time effect.

Accentuate The Positive With Beautiful Accent Lighting Tips In Your Kitchen

Accent Lighting Examples

  • How about installing an lighting accent right inside a glass door cabinet for instance. This will give the cabinets a more dramatic look. Or use spotlights to show off your prized collection of knick-knacks or Lenox fine china .
  • Place a low voltage halogen light directly below a beautifully sculptural design glass and direct the light up.

This will illuminate the room with a most unusual glow and this would be specific to your own design. Use a fluorescent light to go behind the glass. Colored glass looks exceptional displayed with this kind of lighting.

  • Use a low wattage halogen light or rope light to highlight the space under the cabinets. Also, halogen lights are ideal for highlighting key spots such as a collectable or piece of fancy artwork.
  • High-light your beautifully arranged Orbit Spice Rack or cookbook shelf by clipping a small spotlight underneath the shelf just above the books. This adds a lot of pizzazz to the room.
  • High-light your greenery which can bring a little outdoor life indoors to your kitchen. Furthermore small light spikes can be inserted directly into the pots.
  • Another option is to use an up-lighter on the floor behind the plant. Direct the light to bounce off the floor and the ceiling so that the light spreads back to the plant. This adds a wonderful new visual element to the room.

Light Rope

  • Rope Light
  • Wac pendant lighting

As you can see, an accent can come in the many forms such as floor lamps, table lamps, track lighting, recessed cans, mono points, low voltage linear systems, in-wall or underneath cabinets, and much, much more.

There is a wide variety of lights to accent the kitchen available on the market today. This is going to be a vital decision in the design of the lighting you choose for your kitchen.

So take your time! It is important to choose the lighting that best suits your purpose and satisfies your style and taste.

Used sparingly and with a keen eye to focus the lighting where needed – this type of lighting idea in the kitchen will create a dramatic and dynamic visual impact!

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Ambient Lighting

This type of interior design lighting is the source of general illumination in a space. It’s the room’s overall splash of light. Examples of ambient light include lamps placed around the room, overhead lighting (such as recessed lighting within the ceiling), as well as ceiling mounted lighting fixtures.

Imagine ambient lighting as the basic level of lighting for any room. During the day, sunshine streaming through a window plays this role. Other examples of ambient lighting include:

Tips for Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting refers to general lighting that usually lights up an entire area or room. Ambient lighting is a general illumination that comes from all directions in a room that has no visible source. Whether it’s a floor lamp or chandelier, every home needs ambient lighting. This type of lighting is in contrast to directional lighting.

Ambient lighting plays an important role in the life of a home. Ambient lighting sets the mood for the space, and this can include natural lighting, accent lighting or candle light. Add ambient lighting to each room to provide an even wash of light.

Ambient Lighting:   Ambient lighting differs from task lighting in a way that, its purpose is to provide an equal flash of light throughout a room as opposed to concentrated light for a specific job. This type basically ensures that a room is comfortable and that its inhabitants make their way around the room without tripping on unseen obstacles.

Ambient lighting fills the undefined areas of a room with a soft level of general light, enough for someone to navigate through the room.

An ambient lighting plan may comprise both artificial light from light fixtures as well as natural light from the sun that comes in through windows. The mood of a room greatly depends on the way you organize ambient lighting. Even the style of the actual fixtures can influence the atmosphere in substantial ways.

Bedroom

The bedroom can be a tricky area to light since it is a room of function and relaxation. Plenty of light is needed for dressing areas with bedside table lamps to create soft ambient lighting for relaxing and practicality. A bedroom should retain its romantic and soothing qualities. The most classic setup for a bedroom is a single fan light with incandescent lamps, but more contemporary lighting solutions can provide a more even illumination and give you additional freedom in controlling the mood at any given moment. This can be achieved using a series of recessed lights, track lighting, or pendant fixtures along with some well thought out wall sconces that are controlled independent of the overhead lighting. Installing a dimmer for the overhead fixtures allows you to further adjust the brightness and mood. Installing a large chandelier can produce a very dramatic effect, but for that you need to remove the ceiling fan.

Bathroom

Ambient lighting plays a much less significant role in the bathroom than task lighting. Practical needs to be given consideration as people need to have a good light source for shaving. Generally this can be achieved by spotlighting or having a specially designed shaving light on an angled style bracket. For relaxation candles are still popular, however the latest designs styles include wall lights placed either side of a mirror. Nevertheless most of the people choose to light the bathroom with recessed ceiling fixtures or a small chandelier. Pendants can also be used effectively in the bathroom to provide a more contemporary look.

Living Room

This is the room which comes into its own when creating beautiful lighting effects. Decorating with central lighting is an old fashion now. These days, wall lights and an array of table lamps are preferred. The size of the lamps will depend on how much light you want and the size of the room. The living room is a great area for utilizing natural light from windows since most everything that takes place there is typically not private. This option provides a very natural, broad-spectrum light and even has the potential to keep a room warm during cold times.

A single fan light may work great in a living room in a country or classic style. Using a combination of recessed down lighting, decorative sconces, and desk and floor lamps can generate a modern and intimate atmosphere. Be sure to put different switches for the different types of lighting and to use a dimmer control of the overhead lighting.

Kitchens are quite often illuminated by fluorescent strip lights. Many modern kitchens opt for halogen spot lights and under counter lighting to produce sufficient, directed light to where it is needed most. In a way this style of lighting creates its own ambient lighting in a practical way.

The kitchen is the one room where one must find a versatile lighting solution that functions as both general lighting and task lighting since separating the two within the walls of the kitchen are practically impossible. The most classic setup for the kitchen is a long light fixture with fluorescent bulbs, but this option is not ideal for task lighting purposes. Fluorescent lights are well suited for providing ambient light in the kitchen area for their wide dispersal of illumination and low heat output. A more better option that works well is a track lighting system with halogen lamps. This option is quite flexible since each head can be individually adjusted and additional lamps added at any time if the initial light is not enough for kitchen activities.

A popular, modern option for kitchen is to install fluorescent lights on top of the cabinets, providing an inviting, clean glow to the overall appearance of the kitchen.

Dining Room

This room needs to have different lights to suit different occasions. Family meals with children should be well lit without being too bright. Occasions like, friends get-together or romantic evenings require much more subdued lighting effects. These can be achieved by using wall lights, floor lamps or table lamps placed on dressers and of course a romantic dinner requires candles. The most common setup for the dining room is a single light fixture, usually a chandelier, centered over the table. This provides enough general lighting and gives the room a focal point. The dining room is yet another place where you want full control over the intensity of the lighting, so make sure that you use a dimmer.

Hallway

This part of your home needs to a balance between practical and ambient. Practicality is an essential aspect simply so that you can see your way in and out of your home safely. It is quite common to find flush or semi-flush fixtures in hallways. But the hallway is a place where you can get creative with general lighting. A series of wall sconces or uprights on each side can produce an interesting mood and open up a narrow hallway. If your hall is decked with artwork, using track lighting and adjusting the heads to shine on each painting is great way to combine ambient and accent lighting. Softer lighting can be created by either having wall lights or a table lamps placed on a table or shelf.

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Style Lighting

Lighting fixtures themselves play an important role in defining the personality and style of your space. I think this is second only in importance to ensuring you are incorporating the three layers of light. A glass chandelier lends an feeling of classic opulence to a space and dresses it up. Similarly, a streamlined, metallic fixture can help create a modern feeling in a space.

For ideas and information oriented specifically toward interior design lighting fixtures check out lighting-fixtures-tips-and-designs.com . I have found some handy advice there. (Note: Link opens a new window)

Going Green

You can help conserve natural resources when you choose energy efficient light bulbs for your interior design lighting plan. Not only is this a more eco-friendly approach, it can be a cost savings to you in the long run as you reduce your energy bills.

Look for Energy Star certified light fixtures as well as bulbs like the compact fluorescent light (CFL). CFL bulbs use 75% less energy than typical tungsten bulbs, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. That’s more money in your pocket over time.

In summary, a well organized, interior design lighting scheme uses all three methods of lighting for best effect. The style and personality of the scheme is largely determined by your choice of fixtures. Remember to choose energy efficient bulbs. You will save some money while also having the satisfaction of knowing you are playing a part in protecting the environment.

Light Fixture Styles

Thomas Lighting fixtures can be seen as belonging to one of three styles, Classic Traditional, Fresh Traditional, and Transitional:

M2016-22 (Wisteria Collection)Classic Traditional: Inspired by distinguished European furniture designs, this look combines timeless details with handcrafted finishing. An air of nostalgia is achieved through rich texture, curvaceous silhouettes, and antique inspired features. The look is elegant and refined.

M2333-26 (Napa Collection)Fresh Traditional: A base of classicism layered with contemporary elements of form and finish define this style.  Classic design details are reinterpreted through streamlined pattern, scale and shape. A unique blend of ornate details and clean lines, fashionable design yet durable materials, makes this style beautifully livable. M2053-78 (Cosmopolitan Collection)Transitional: A peaceful coexistence of traditional and contemporary finishes, materials and fabrics equate to a classic, timeless design. Styles are simple yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or soft shapes. A lack of ornamentation keeps the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design, offering an aesthetic sense of balance that is pleasing to the eye.

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Task Lighting

Task lighting is used to illuminate a specific area for a more practical reason – reading, for example. A desk lamp used to light a work table and an under cabinet light used to illuminate a kitchen counter would be examples of this type of interior lighting.

Task lights are focused on a limited area for a specific purpose. They provide the extra level of illumination that ambient lighting alone can’t adequately provide.

Other examples of task lighting include:

  • Swing Arm Lamps
  • Wall Sconces
  • Adjustable Floor Lamps

Tips for Task Lighting

Lighting is a key element in setting up the right mood. Every room has different set of roles in everyday life and lighting them would not only create warmth in the atmosphere but would also build up a welcoming atmosphere. It adds style and grace to each room and thus enhances the whole house. It is one the best ways to create a soothing environment in the home. Lighting is not only used to illuminate the rooms but is also used for artistic purposes. It can be used to highlight the stylish furnishing, colorful walls or decorative items. There are many options available to lighten up your home and give it a complete look. Various bulbs with different styles, designs and voltages are available in the market. And as lighting varies from room to room, these bulbs can be used based on the need, requirement and functionality of the rooms.

There are various options available to lighten up the bedroom, living rooms and kitchen. Strategic placement of traditional lamps, Ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting are the few options which you can use to create a better ambiance within the rooms. Below we have discussed each and every option so that you can understand as which lighting would be the best to illuminate your room. Also this guide will help you to understand the purpose of types of lighting and will further help you in making the right purchases.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is used to illuminate a particular work area. It is the lighting which gives bright and focused light. You can use this type of lighting where you want maximum light for working. Task lights are normally used in the working areas in the kitchen to cut and cook. They are also used in vanity area in the bathroom so as to get ready and in the reading room to read books. Task lighting can be used in different forms. You can include it as lamps as well.

Ambient and Accent Lighting

Ambient lighting gives the natural light effects. These are used to create a warm look within the room and can be used in living rooms as well as dining rooms. Accent lighting is one of the creative lighting options which can be used to create dramatic look within the room. These are used for highlighting key elements in the room like theme based accessories, highlighting fire place etc.As it is a difficult task to efficiently distribute the lighting throughout the room you are advised to be very careful while identifying the right type of lighting. We will now discuss how efficiently you can use the lighting to illuminate your room.

Bedroom Lighting

Bedroom is one of the places in the home from where you normally start your day. It is place you get ready for work early morning. It is also the place where you relax after working for the whole day. Therefore as the bedroom serves both the services it becomes more important to efficiently distribute the lighting throughout the room. You can install several sources for light instead of having just single light at the center. The range of lights will serve all the purposes. If you want large amount of light in your room then you can illuminate all the light sources and if you want to create a relaxed environment then you can switch on few lights. You can place side table lamps on both sides of your bed. This will allow one person to relax and sleep and other person to read his favorite book. Remember to keep the light switch near your bed so that you do not have to every time get up to turn it on or off.  You can also use dim light pendants to create relax mood.

Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom is another place where you normally start your day. It is place you get ready for work early morning. It is also the place which is frequently used by family members during the day and night. Therefore a bathroom needs varied lighting. You can install a task light in the vanity area so as to get ready in the morning. This will also help you in applying makeup or shaving while going for a party. You can use dimmer controls or fixtures if you think the lighting is too high.

Living Rooms

Living room is the place for relaxation. Therefore it is advised to use dim lights which can not only create a welcoming environment but a calm and cool atmosphere within the room. However, if you have created a reading room then you can install a task light or a table lamp. Install a light opposite to your television to get a clear picture while viewing it.

Kitchen Task Lighting

Kitchen is the place where you cook and therefore it the place where you often need enough light while cooking. In kitchen, bright lighting becomes necessary to illuminate to highlight key areas like work place for cooking and cabinets. You can use task lights in these key areas. Track lighting with halogen bulbs is other option which can be used to illuminate your kitchen. These are not only easier to install but can be adjusted as per your needs and requirements.

Dining Rooms

You can use a chandelier or dim light pendants above your table to create a relaxing and comfortable environment to eat and gossip. You can also install bright bulbs along with dimmer control or can install recessed ceiling fixtures which you can adjust as per your requirement.

Things to keep in mind

Firstly, one should be clear about the directions to which your room is facing to (i.e whether it is south facing or north facing).

You should also assess as of how much amount of light that particular room draws in during the day. This will help you in taking decisions relating to lighting because the level of light the room draws changes from season to season. For example, during summers the room facing towards North would receive less light while in winters it might become a little dark during afternoons.

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