Layering lighting is the most effective way to create and swap between atmospheres and moods, within a home; it creates adaptable lighting to suit the different activities that will take in any one space; and, is about strategically arranging lighting, building up and combining different layers of light using ambient, accent and task lighting.
Ambient Lighting refers to the ‘main’ lighting source within the room. This is the lighting typically provided by overhead pendants and other ceiling fixtures, although could also refer to a lamp, or other source of lighting.
Accent Lighting refers to the lighting strategically placed to highlight the features, or points of interest, within a home. Accent lighting should ideally be three times brighter than the ambient lighting and can also be used to reach spots ambient lighting cannot reach.
Task Lighting refers to the lighting sources that support specific tasks within an area. An example of task lighting could be, a floor lamp providing light, over a favourite reading chair.
The three elements of lighting do not necessarily need to be distinct from one another, each of these lighting categories’ can be achieved in different ways, for example, through downlighting, up lighting, wall washing and highlighting. To develop a layered lighting scheme, use at least two lighting elements, the most effective schemes could involve three or four elements.
When thinking about layered lighting contemplate one room at a time and think about any themes and colour schemes you wish to compliment; as well as considering lifestyle, personal preferences and the practicality of any choices intended.
Look for features to highlight and take time to muse over the different styles of lighting available. If remodelling, try to research how chosen styles could be installed and how practical this would be. Think about the colour schemes and the creation of mood using different fixtures and colour temperatures.
Once you have researched and thought about your choices, the planning process can begin…