Let’s face it: all rooms in your house most likely have more than one function. For example, you probably use your living room for entertaining friends over coffee, reading a book alone, or to entertain guests for dinner. If this is true, why limit a room to only one source of lighting? A lighting design with different layers of lighting help the room look its best.

Here are the basics to have you mastering the three types of lighting to suit every occasion in your home!

There are three types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. Each one has a different task but all together, they make a well-lit room. We will go over what each is and why it’s important to have them in all your rooms.


The Three Types of Lighting for Every Room


1. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides overall illumination. This type of lighting should emit a comfortable amount of brightness, generally to allow you to walk around the room and do general tasks safely. In smaller rooms like a walk-in closet, basement, bathroom, etc. the ambient lighting is the only source of lighting.

Light fixtures that make great ambient lighting include chandeliers, spread out recessed lighting, track lights, ceiling mounted lights, and many more. They’re just general lights that someone switches on right when they walk into a room to see.

A great way to make ambient lighting more adaptable to different situations is to use a dimmer. The dimmer will let you change the feel of the room when it’s used for different purposes.

2. Task Lighting

Task lighting provides lighting specifically for areas where certain tasks are performed, such as reading, cooking, homework, hobbies, doing makeup, sewing, etc. Some areas that need task lighting can be kitchen counters, over an office desk, the bathroom, or beside a chair for reading. Task lights are not meant to light up a whole room, only the area that is being used for a particular activity.

Task lighting can be achieved with recessed lights (ex. underneath kitchen cabinets to light up the counter), floor or table lamps, pendant lighting, or track lighting. This lighting should light the area evenly, free of shadows or distracting glare, and bright enough to prevent any strain on the eyes.

3. Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is all about highlighting your home décor. It’s creates a visual appeal and is used to draw the eye to paintings, statues, architectural features on the wall, shelves, sculptures, plants, fireplaces, or pictures. Homeowners should take advantage of this lighting to make a room’s theme go from good to amazing! It can even make a room look larger when the light is placed in the right spot.

Some lighting fixtures we have suggested for in the other types of lighting can be used for accent lighting as well. Just make sure that the accent lighting is three times brighter and aimed on a focal point so that the light does not blend with the ambient lighting and becomes useless. Sconce lighting, recessed lighting, track lighting, or battery-powered wall mounted lighting make great accent lighting fixtures. Candles also make great accent lights, but they’re not as convenient.

Where do I get all these lighting fixtures?

Red Deer lighting provides a huge selection of lighting fixtures to help you accomplish your lighting design for any room. Browse in store or check out our selection online here: