Light is one of those things: when it’s right, you may not even notice its brilliance, but when it’s wrong, there’s little else you can focus on (literally). By knowing the basics, you can always choose the right light.
There are three basic types of light—task, ambient, and accent.
Task lighting is what you’ll use in work areas like the kitchen and bathroom, where seeing every detail without straining your eyes is important. Pieces offering task lighting include pendants, under-cabinet lighting, and recessed down lights.
Accent lighting is used to draw your eye to the good stuff—your artwork, your mantle, those beautiful exposed beams. Pieces offering accent lighting include sconces, washers, and track lighting.
Ambient light or General Light illuminates an entire room. It is the light that replaces sunlight in the evening, and is essential in any home. Pieces offering ambient lighting include pendant lights, chandeliers, and track lights.
As you consider your design plan, decide what activities will be taking place in each room to determine what light you’ll need most. Then, add other elements of light. For example, a pendant offering ambient light in your living room provides a relaxing atmosphere, but a floor light next to your favorite chair offers direct light to read the next bestseller by.