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3 Tips to Lighting a Room


1. Break your room into layers.

Think of your room as a cake. And, just like a cake, each layer builds on the other:

  • General/ambient lighting is the main layer of the cake: the substance. It’s typically 75% of the room’s light; it assures you can walk into a space without bumping into furniture. For larger rooms, ambient lighting may require a few ceiling fixtures.
  • Task lighting is the cake’s frosting: without it, everything is drab and falls apart (and isn’t very appetizing). Task lighting helps you accomplish everyday chores or tasks – from reading a book to chopping vegetables to brushing your teeth. Write down all of the tasks that take place in a room, and make sure you plan lighting around them.
  • Accent lighting is the ice cream on top: enhancing all the flavors and finishing off the cake (or, in this case, room). Accent lighting serves as a decorative element, enhancing certain architectural details – like coves, tray ceilings and decorative trim.
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