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Importance of Layered Lighting in Your Home

Posted on July 2, 2015 by Miller and Smith Blog Team

There has been a noticeable trend among designers and builders when it comes to lighting design. It seems as though everyone is talking about the importance of layered lighting and asking how to do this well in residential interiors. But, what is layered lighting and why is it important? Today, we are going to address both of these questions.

What is Layered Lighting?

Just as interior designers use pattern, color, and texture to create visual interest within a space, the same layered approach is used in lighting design. The term “layered lighting” refers to combining different lighting elements to create a harmonious and visually comfortable space, which is achieved through the use of three important types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task lighting. 

  • Ambient Lighting: The first important layer of lighting to have in your home is ambient lighting. Also known as “general lighting,” ambient lighting evenly lights the space, mostly avoiding dark corners while also putting some light on the walls. Ambient lighting is usually attained by ceiling-mounted light fixtures and provides light mainly for general vision and orientation. Examples of ambient lighting include pendants, cove lighting, down lights and wall washing. Since ambient lighting is usually uniform and diffuse, it can come across as bland, which is why the next layer of lighting, accent lighting, is needed.  
  • Accent Lighting: The second important layer of lighting needed in a space is accent lighting. This type of lighting is most commonly used to highlight certain features in the space such as interesting architectural elements, floral arrangements, and artwork. The main goal of accent lighting is to draw attention through contrasts in brightness. Examples of accent lighting included track lighting, wall washing, amiable down lights and directional luminaires. Other accent lighting elements, such as a starry sky effect using points of light, decorative light fixtures, color and silhouetting, can also be used to create visual interest and balance in a space.  
  • Task Lighting: The third important layer of lighting to have in a room is task lighting. Task lighting provides supplemental illumination for specific tasks or activities that would typically require more light such as reading, personal grooming and preparing meals. Task lighting can be included as part of the general lighting system in a space or as additional localized lighting. Examples of task lighting include a portable desktop lamp, table lamp, floor lamp and reading lights. 

Why is Layered Lighting Important?

Layering light in a space is the key to effective lighting design and is important because it provides functionality and visual interest to every room. Here at Miller & Smith  we are proud to offer stunning new homes with gorgeous interiors that include high quality and professional lighting options. Come visit any of our new home communities and tour our model homes to see an exemplary display of layered lighting and get some ideas for your own new home!  

Sources: Lighting Design 101: Layering with LightProgress Lighting Blog