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Your Quick Style Guide: Light Up Your Life

ByRebecca Rowe

The best interior design in the world is nothing without the right lighting, so it’s best to read up and make sure you’re making the most of your aesthetics!

AMBIENT LIGHTING

You will almost certainly be using this absolutely everywhere.

Ambient lighting is what you could consider your “standard” lighting. It is intended to provide enough light for you to see and move around: as basic as that. It can take the form of anything from chandeliers to bare bulbs and everything in between.

Where to use it: You will almost certainly be using this absolutely everywhere, so it pays to ensure that you choose a good light fixture that makes the most of it. For those social spaces, it’s also recommended to use a dimmer in order to create an ambience that is in tune with the time of day and the desired mood.

ACCENT LIGHTING

Where ambient lighting brings the room up to an operating standard of light, accent lighting highlight those parts which you really want to show off. Painting, plants and even just a particular wallpaper section can be brought to the fore with accent lighting.

Where to use it: Accent lighting is great for those rooms with plenty of features to bring forth, but also can work particularly well in a nighttime garden. Try using recessed ceiling lights just above a piece of wall art, or even just a cleverly-placed table lamp. The light fixtures themselves can act as points of interest all their own! Just remember to try and ensure the accent lighting is at least three times at bright as the ambient lighting for the full effect.

TASK LIGHTING

The kitchen, the hobby room and the study can all benefit from task lighting.

This is the most practical of the three. The cousin of accent lighting, task lighting is bright but also very carefully directed into a single spot. It is not intended to necessarily highlight any one thing in particular, rather, it’s used to provide particularly high levels of light for tricky tasks.

Where to use it: The kitchen, the hobby room and the study can all benefit from task lighting. Try to keep them pointed away from bright surfaces such as high sheen whiteware, however, as the powerful wattage of task lights can create uncomfortable glare.

Remember, good interior design makes use of varying levels of all three lighting types. Fiddle and experiment with your different lighting layers, and even try out different hues beyond the simple bright white. Lighting is a great way to make a point of difference in a home for sale or just to improve your own living space.

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