Originally posted on November 2, 2016 - price and availability of particular products mentioned in this post may have changed.
Lighting is easy to overlook when you're caught up in the excitement of decorating (or redecorating) your home, but plays a vital part in determining how your home looks. It is essential for safely navigating your home and carrying out your daily activities—and it has a huge impact on the mood of your space.
There are three types of lighting you should consider when lighting your home: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting is the diffuse, general-purpose light in a space. It allows you to see in your space and is what you need to walk around safely. Daylight and ceiling-mounted light fixtures—like recessed can lights, pendant lights, and track lights—most often provide this kind of lighting.
Task lighting is brighter and more focused than ambient lighting. It gives focused light in a small area so you can easily see what you're doing when performing tasks like reading, cooking, or working at a computer. Pendant lamps, task lamps, desk lamps, and track lights often provide this kind of lighting.
Accent lighting is the decoration of the lighting world. It shines the spotlight on architectural features, accent furniture, or pieces of art to help direct attention to them and create more visual interest. While track lighting is common for highlighting things like art and architecture, wall sconces and torchiers can stand on their own as accents and accent lights.
The best lighting for your home layers ambient, task, and accent lighting to give you enough light for your activities while creating an atmosphere. Lighting not only completes the look of your home—it enables you to see it.