Understanding Different Types of Lightings in a Space

Lighting can significantly alter the mood and ambience in a space. However, we often downplay the importance of lighting in a space, choosing to focus immediately on a design theme and palette when we embark on renovation. But the truth is lighting is everything in a space. In fact, in any well-orchestrated design, there should be a mix of different types of lighting. So what types of lightings are there? Read on to find out.

Ambient Lighting

There are essentially three layers of lighting – ambient, task and accent. Being the dominant light source, ambient lighting provides even and overall illumination in a space. The purpose of ambient lighting is to create uniform lighting throughout. This is usually the first light you would reach for to instantly introduce light into the room. Also referred to as mood lighting, ambient lighting provides a soft glow that rests easy on the eye.

Examples of ambient lighting include cove lightings, recessed lightings, pendants and chandeliers. Cove lightings for example, is a nice ambient source mounted on ceilings such that it bounces off the ceiling or upper wall, while acting as an architectural element. If you are in favour of ambient lights that allow for some intensity adjustments according to mood and atmosphere, opt for dimmers. They can provide the warm and inviting feel you covet.

Put some thoughts into your designs. Create an extraordinary look by combining a chandelier with cove lighting. The shape above mirrors the dining table below. This becomes an immediate centerpiece where attention naturally gravitates towards. (Design: Sky Creation)
Strategic placements of cove lightings in a dark space can add dramatic appeal to leave quite an impression. (Design: Sky Creation)

Task Lighting

As the word suggests, task lightings are meant for performing specific tasks. These lightings are more targeted, as they are meant to illuminate a specific function. This could be a table lamp on a writing table, a standing lamp overlooking a reading armchair, or sconces beside a mirror above the bathroom vanity. In kitchens, undercabinet lighting mounted underneath upper cabinets is extremely popular.

Pendants are a great way to make a visual statement in a space. Here, a pair of pendants featuring modish, geometrical outlines lends contemporary flair to the over design, while doubling as reading lights. As a tip, hang your pendants lower than you usually would to create an intimate feel. (Design: Sky Creation)
Undercabinet lighting is the ideal task lighting for all the chopping and cooking undertaken in the kitchen. (Design: Sky Creation)

Accent Lighting

Accent lightings draw attention to focal points in a space. Think of lights sources that highlight artwork or an architectural detail. Track lightings, for example, are great accent lightings that bring emphasis to a feature, while lending industrial or modern contemporary character to a space. Recessed lighting can also function as accent lighting.

Track spot lightings bring attention to a brick-exposed feature wall adorned with a handful of frames. (Design: Sky Creation)
There is no design rule saying that you can’t mix various light sources in a small space. Here, the designer infuses different styles in the same space to create a distinct look. Wall lights that illuminate the steps on the stairs are a subtle addition to elegant sconces and an iconic ceiling fixture. (Design: Sky Creation)

Combining light sources is a sure recipe to a well-lit space. As a general rule of thumb, designers plan the layers of light in a room by considering first ambient lighting, followed by task and accent lighting. While you’re planning, do not forget to ensure that there is plenty of natural light coming in too!