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The 4 types of residential lighting you need to know about

The 4 types of residential lighting you need to know about

Lighting plays a key role in the design of a home. From how spacious the room appears and how comfortable it is, to how the ambience is and how pleasant it looks, lighting has the ability to influence multiple factors. So whether you are designing your own home or someone else’s, it is important to know the various types of lighting available for homes and the functions each of them accomplish. Understanding the different types of lighting and its effects can help you create a home that is not just beautiful but also highly functional.


1. General / Ambient Lighting:

General lighting refers to the primary lighting that is available in a room. General or ambient lighting is used to produce an even lighting throughout the space. Ceiling lights, track lights and chandeliers are all used as sources of general lighting. The amount and source of ambient light used in a room will depend on the type of room itself. While bright chandeliers, recessed lighting and ceiling lighting are used widely in living and dining areas, bedrooms often need lesser lighting and use recessed and cove lighting and floor lamps. The general lighting in a room is the foundation to build on when choosing lighting for your home, and using products like recessed lights and glareless deep downlights are recommended here as they provide adequate lighting while being subtle.


2. Task Lighting:

Task lighting, as the name suggests, provides lighting for various tasks. Be it office work, studying, reading, cooking, painting, knitting or even eating, some types of tasks require more lighting that is focused around a specific area. Task lighting is used to help achieve this. Pendant lighting in dining areas, table lamps in a study or by the bedside, and strip lights and under cabinet lighting in kitchens are all examples of task lighting. Task lighting conserves energy by providing more light only where required, and makes it safer for you to work around the house. New innovations in lighting like the healthy light by soraa also make task lighting safer for working in the evening without impacting your sleep.


3. Accent Lighting:

Accent lighting is used to draw focus on features and items that you want to bring attention to. A more focused and directional light compared to the other types, accent lighting is also brighter. It makes use of this contrast in light to accentuate certain areas in your home. Accent lighting includes picture lights that highlight artworks and photographs, lighting for plants, hobby displays and bookshelves, track lighting and wall sconces on feature walls, and lighting that brings focus to architectural features. Accent lights are often forgotten but can be a very useful tool in adding more character to your home.


4. Decorative Lighting:

Decorative lights draw focus onto themselves by being unusual and eye catching. These lighting pieces form part of the decor of the home. Decorative lighting is also versatile in that it can be a source of task or ambient lighting as well. Decorative chandeliers, wall sconces and pendants are all examples of these, as they are striking and command attention while providing general and task lighting to spaces. Items like candles and candelabras, string lights and some table lamps are also used as decorative lighting in homes.


A common mistake in choosing lighting is using just one type of light in a space, which makes it appear flat and uninteresting. The four types of lighting work as layers in the home, creating a more dynamic and appealing space. When deciding on the lighting, focus on general lighting first, with task, accent and decorative added on in each step. This approach helps in creating a good balance in the light available in a house. This order is useful in choosing only what is necessary to light a space and helps avoid selecting one too many pieces in any of the categories.

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