Interior Illumination: The Three Essential Lighting Types

Posted on July 21 2020

Interior Illumination: The Three Essential Lighting Types


Interior illumination can be classified into three distinct lighting types, namely: ambient lighting such as pendant lights; task lighting such as desk lamps, standing lamps, spot or wall lights; and accent lighting which are used for decorative purposes or to make statements. 


Ambient lighting meets the necessary requirements for subtle and effective interior Illumination. 

  • Also known as general lighting, ambient lighting encourages hazard-free navigation throughout a room by bouncing light off the ceiling for even diffusing and minimal shadows.  
  • A dimmer switch allows one to adjust mood and timbre of a room’s ambient lighting. 
  • Typically, a central source, mounted on the ceiling, it addresses the practical requirements of ambient lighting. 
  • However, ambient lighting is simply the “base” layer in a well forecasted lighting implementation. Multi-layered illumination is achieved in concert with wall-mount sconces, portable lamps, and hanging pendants. 


Whilst ambient illumination welcomes one into the room, task lighting is focused on the myriad tasks one might action in the room. The demands of task lighting vary substantially from room to room.  

  • The kitchen demands strong, focused, shadow-free lighting at food prep stations; yet at the same time, warm and inviting illumination that underscores the room’s role in social gatherings.  
  • The bathroom demands highly focused vanity illumination; this assists one with very detailed personal grooming. 
  • The living areas have diverse lighting requirements and can be met with a variety of pendants, wall-mounts, and portables. This is due to activities such as reading, game-playing and general hobbies. 


Accent lighting is not just utilitarian. Lighting creates and complements thoughtful design. A room might play host to various textures, layers and works of art but these design aspects only garner appreciation when they can be seen. 

  • Accent lighting encourages one to focus attention on specific areas that highlight a room’s aesthetic features.  
  • Thoughtfully placed sconces will draw the eye to architectural elements, such as the interesting texture of a stone-clad fire-place. In the same way, a picture lamp tastefully illuminates a prized possession. 
  • In order to achieve its full potential, accent lighting should be three times brighter than the ambient light surrounding the area of focus.  

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