If there is one thing that all lighting designers agree on, it is that the key to good lighting is the use of layered lighting. Using layers of light not only allows for maximum functionality and flexibility out of a space, but can also be used to create a variety of moods.
There are three layers that should be considered and included in every lighting design: general (or ambient) lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.
General lighting is typically the first layer to take into consideration. It consists of ceiling mounts, down lights, pendants, and cove lighting (like above cabinet lighting). General lighting is used to uniformly light a space, and tends to be a soft light.
Task lighting is used to provide extra light needed to perform specific activities. Examples of task lighting may be a desk lamp a student uses for homework, or under cabinet lighting that helps you see when chopping vegetables! These usually consist of table and floor lamps.
Accent lighting is used to draw attention to something using a brighter contrast. In a lot of cases, it is used to highlight artwork or architectural details. A lot of accent lighting is usually used in landscape architecture to highlight a specific tree or textured wall. These usually consist of track lighting, down lights, and decorative lamps.
Dimming and controls:
A good thing to consider when using layered lighting is the controls. It is especially helpful to have each layer on separate switching and dimming. This allows for the widest variety of moods and functions available to the user!
Still have some questions about using layered lighting? Come in or schedule a consultation with us! We’d love to answer any questions!