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Add Depth, Warmth & Function with Four Types of Lighting

Get the most out of the rooms in your home by knowing the four types of lighting, its purpose, and the types of lighting fixtures needed. Each lighting type has a different purpose and when mixed together adds depth and complexity to the look and feel of a room.

Task lighting does exactly what its name implies. It illuminates specific areas for task-related activities. Vanity lights, focused ceiling lights, recessed lights, and toekick lighting are some examples. Ambient or general light brightens the room while softening the potential harshness of task lighting. To achieve this look, use chandeliers, pendant lights, or wall sconces. Decorative lighting reinforces and complements your décor and adds layers of light to a room. Similar to ambient fixtures, elegantly designed chandeliers, sconces, and pendant lights also achieve this purpose. Accent lighting highlights specific architectural details, particular objects, or pieces of artwork to make them a focal point. Wall sconces, recessed lighting, or under-cabinet lights add accent lighting to the room.

Tips for Planning and Designing Your Bathroom Lighting

When it comes to turning the bathroom into a personal retreat, bathroom lighting is an essential tool. Establish a calm, peaceful atmosphere with some of our tips:

Layer the Light

When you're designing a large bath, it is vital to layer several kinds of light throughout your space. Most bathrooms start and end with task lighting. This includes vanity lights, ceiling lights, and recessed lights near the shower.

But why limit yourself to only basic utilitarian lighting in your private sanctuary?

Chandeliers can be used for layering on ambient or general light, brightening the room while softening the potential harshness of task lighting. Pendant lights are another source of ambient lighting. Although they can be difficult to place, they provide a unique look. If your ceilings are low, wall sconces are your best bet. Consider putting your ambient lights on a dimmer switch to accommodate a wide range of moods and tasks.

Stylish chandeliers, sconces, pendant lights, and other ambient fixtures do double duty as decorative lighting, reinforcing your décor while adding to the layers of light in the room.

Finally, think about training a dramatic accent light on a painting, a vase in a wall niche, a woven hanging, or an architectural detail to add unexpected depth and elegance to your retreat. Choose objects that blend with your other design elements and enhance the feeling you want to capture.

Safety First

For most of us, planning and installing unusual bathroom lighting is not the time to go DIY. In addition to the obvious safety issues, product selection can be tricky when you want to use dimmers or install lights near wet areas. Consult an experienced contractor, bathroom planner, or certified electrician before starting any electrical lighting project.

Learn more about how to choose bathroom lighting.

Kitchen Lighting Basics

Well-designed kitchens incorporate thoughtful kitchen lighting strategies while showcasing beautiful design details. Learn how to choose kitchen lighting.