How to Create Different Layers of Lighting in Your Home

February 20, 2018

As you light the rooms of your home, think of lighting in three layers: ambient, task, and accent. Lighting is one of the more inexpensive ways you can bring a dull room to life.


At Kaufman by Design, we will help you find the perfect way to make your home beautiful and properly lit where needed. Maybe you are thinking of how to light a room in your home currently undergoing a remodeling project. A fresh new space needs proper lighting. 

Start with Ambient Lighting.

Every room in your home needs ambient lighting—even closets. Start your layers of light by deciding which light source will fill the room, and where this light source should be placed. What is ambient lighting? It is your most prominent source of light in the room. It is generally featured overhead. Don’t stop there. All rooms need good ambient light. Use it as a starting point to help you determine what task or accent lights would be most beneficial to the room. For example, overhead, ambient lights tends to create shadows. Once you know where the unsightly shadows are in a room, you can plan your additional layers of light accordingly.

Determine the Purpose of the room and place it Accordingly. 

Task lighting is placed with a purpose. A lamp on a desk or next to a reading chair is has a purpose. The lights next to a mirror that eliminate unflattering shadows caused by the ambient overhead lights are also considered task lighting. The best way to create a flawless layer in your room? Consider it’s purpose. You will greatly appreciate this under the cabinets of your kitchen when you are cooking. If you have a home office, carefully select a desk lamp so that it will be sufficient to light your desk, but also complement the rest of the room’s decor.

Take Safety Concerns into Account when you Choose Light Sources. 

Task lighting can be used to light more than just task-oriented spaces. They are often used to serve a purpose. Make sure the walkways of your home are sufficiently lit for safety. If the safety concerns of your household include things like possible monsters in the closet, subtle night luminescence can also be accomplished with task lights.

Don’t give up on a dull Room. 

Now that you’ve added a layer of task lighting to your room, what’s next? It is time to add the layer focused on design: Accent lights. There are many different uses for this type. Deciding where it should be and how much light will be needed is unique to the decor and design of the room. Here are a few things to think about.

  • Are there any decor pieces you want to highlight?
  • Are there any places in the room that get less natural light from the windows than others?
  • Do you notice any unsightly shadows in the room?

Get an extension cord and a few light sources to play with. Even though accent lights is the last and most flexible layer, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much of a difference it can make.