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You might think you don’t pay much attention to lighting, but you do, we all do. Lighting affects our mood and how we interpret space. Think about some of the establishments you have visited. In your memory, does the lighting look the same? Probably not.

Accent Lighting in Your Home

Let’s use a gambling casino and fast-food chain restaurant as an example. Casinos are generally dark with some large, hanging overhead lights. There is no natural light to speak of. Why? Because if you aren’t able to decipher the time of day, you’ll sit in your chair and continue to gamble. What you thought was gambling for an hour was six, but because the light never changed, you weren’t able to tell.

Fast food restaurants work oppositely. Restaurants such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell are often brightly lit and usually feature an architectural design with large gable windows. By lighting the space with bright and natural light, they are hoping to get you in and out of the restaurant so they can serve more customers without sacrificing table space. Now that we have a better sense of how light is used in the public sphere, let’s learn how we can create a mood in our private homes.

It’s All About the Lighting

You’re not going to want your house so dimly lit that you’ll sit in the living room like a hermit, but you’re also not going to want it so bright that you feel like you can’t lie down on the sofa and relax. To create a mood of comfort, and hospitality, and keep it stylish at the same time, you are going to need to layer your light sources.

There are three different types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task. Each lighting type satisfies a specific function in the home.

Ambient: The general lighting in the room. This includes overhead lights such as from a pendant light or chandelier drum.

Accent: This type of lighting highlights specific areas you want to be lit in your space. Accent lighting brings a lovely contrast to your interiors through its play with light and shadow, creating depth and intrigue. Accent lighting can be crafted by using table and floor lamps.

Task: Task lighting is just as it sounds; it’s used for performing and completing tasks such as reading, drawing, coloring, or painting. Using table lamps, you can shine a bright beam of light down on whatever you’re doing.

Now that we’re a little more informed, we know how to bring accent lighting into our home, and that’s through layering ambient, accent, and task lighting. Of course, if any of your lighting updates require electrical work, and you are not comfortable carrying this out yourself, it might be best to consult with a professional electrician, who can carry out the work quickly and safely for you.

What’s wonderful about table and floor lamps, in particular, is that they’re transportable. If you’re unhappy with where you have arranged them, you can move them to another area! And to our greatest pleasure, designers have created adjustable table and floor lamps that allow us to set them at the level we want them. This gives us more room to experiment and play with the lighting design in our interiors.

Another great thing about lighting is that it comes in all sorts of styles, so you are bound to be able to find one that suits your taste and the design of your home. For example, if your home is on the older side, or you simply love all things old and vintage-looking, you might want to look into antique lighting and see if you can find anything that takes your fancy there. Alternatively, those who prefer a more modern style can take full advantage of sleek designs that enhance the clean look of their interiors.

In a space such as the living room, you’ll want an overhead light (ambient), a table lamp (task), and a floor lamp (accent). In adjusting these light sources at different levels (e.g. the chandelier overhead, the floor lamp to eye level, and the table lamp to seating level) you’ll have a designed space of layered light. This will make your living room appealing to you and your guests while also making it attractive and user-friendly.

Too often we just come home and plop on the couch; televisions and smart screens are our only source of light. When you have a room with layered light, it changes your behavior; you’ll feel more awake and motivated.