Interior Lighting Essentials: Lighting 101
Any lighting scheme will incorporate at least one of these key lighting elements. Consider this your lighting basics primer.
Ambient lighting is general lighting; it is the base on which all other lighting is planned. This lighting is the foundation lighting that allows you to turn a knob or flick a switch and move through your room without tripping over the dog. Often overhead lighting is the go to for this type of lighting, or if your room needs a general lighting boost, a torchiere can supplement your ambient light level.
This is the lighting that you rely on to do things–reading, cooking, shaving–these all require task lighting. In your kitchen it might be the pendants over your island or the under cabinet lighting. In your bathroom it may be your makeup mirror or vanity lighting. In your bedroom or den it might be a swing arm light that you read by. These are the lights you rely on every day.
Accent lights are the crown jewels of any lighting plan. These lights add dimension, sparkle, and focus to your lighting plan. Recessed lighting functions as accent lighting when it grazes a stone fireplace wall or directs a spotlight on a piece of art or sculpture. Picture lights are a very popular form of accent lighting. Sconces on a dimmer in the dining room with candles on a table bring a warm and inviting atmosphere to an evening meal. A tabletop accent lamp can bring warmth and beauty to a decorative display. And, not to be neglected, in the bedroom these lights create a romantic atmosphere. At Typhoon we call this type of lighting expressive, it allows you to highlight parts of your environment that are important to you.