3 Ways to Use Lighting for Maximum Impact

Black half sphere pendant lighting fixtures above dining room table in open concept home

Lighting can be one of the last things a homeowner thinks about in the middle of a renovation or new build and is often one of the finishing touches that happen at the end. Yet lighting is just as important as any other design element and plays a crucial role in the success of your interior design project.

Good lighting has a profound yet subtle effect on a room because it ultimately affects a space’s mood and ambiance. For example, when you walk into an intentionally lighted room, you gain a sense of calm and comfort without realizing that the lighting plays a considerable role in achieving that effect. Similarly, your space can come across as gloomy and uninviting when the lighting is dim or poorly laid out — no matter how beautiful your interiors may be.

To better help you master this step of the design process, we’ve laid out some essential lighting principles to keep in mind, along with three key lighting techniques to help you accentuate your space.

3 Types of Lighting to Use for Maximum Impact

When thinking of how to use light in your space for maximum impact, your lighting choices should ultimately be varied and dramatic. You want to look for opportunities to achieve the right balance of light and shadow, where the lighting can illuminate specific focal points of a room while being the focus of interest itself. Ultimately, we recommend connecting fixtures to dimmer switches that can create different effects. We also recommend using a combination of task, accent, and ambient lighting to achieve your desired look.

Reading task lamp beside bookshelf and leather arm chair

Task Lighting 

Task lighting illuminates a specific area where a highly visual activity, like reading or food prep occurs. Lighting these particular areas is often achieved by using individual fixtures to direct light. Some considerations to keep in mind would be avoiding harsh lights or lighting that casts any unattractive shadows. When it comes to using the right kind of bulb, we recommend bulb temperatures of 3000K for task lighting. 

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is similar to task lighting in that it largely consists of directional light. Primarily decorative, accent lighting is generally used to focus attention on artwork or to highlight architectural features. Accent lighting can also do wonders for setting the overall mood of a space. We recommend bulb temperatures of 3000K when used for accent lighting. 

Ambient or General Lighting

Ambient or general lighting fills the undefined areas of a room with a soft level of light. This type of lighting is well suited for watching TV or improving safety when navigating a space (think under a cabinet in a bathroom, for example). Generally speaking, ambient lighting comes from indirect fixtures that provide a diffused spread of illumination. Ultimately, bulb temperatures of 2700K are best used for ambient lighting.

Set the Right Tone by Keeping Your Lighting in Mind From Day One

In the end, adding a mixture of task, accent, and ambient lighting to a room can make a significant impact on your space and how everything comes together in your interior design project. Don’t do your beautifully designed room a disservice by leaving your lighting to the very end. Follow these tips to set the right tone for your room and to help get the most out of your space.