Purpose of Lighting

Lighting design isn’t as simple as one would imagine it to be. When designing one’s interior, paying attention to what kind of light you use and where you use it is of utmost importance. It gives the room more pizzazz and transforms how space looks. To break it down, there are different kinds of lights used for different purposes which are: Ambient, Accent, and Task lighting.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient Lighting: Ambient lighting is intended to give an overall, even light to space. It can be the natural light that comes in from our windows or artificial light used to simulate the effect. It’s flat and usually soft. This is the type of lighting most of us are familiar with as this is what is generally used to light up rooms.

Task Lighting

Task Lighting: This lighting is task-specific. For example, task lighting is used near kitchen counters for easy cooking or near the study table where reading happens. This light is generally bright and used only when these tasks are performed.

Recessed lights

Accent Lighting

Accent Lighting: Accent lighting or Highlighting is used to draw attention to objects, landscapes, or areas. This type of lighting covers a relatively small area. It’s used outdoors (to highlight the landscape, show certain plants, or even on pathways to light the way), indoors (when displaying art pieces or on the ceiling as additional lights). Accent lights not only help make the room more aesthetic but also draw the eyes of the viewer towards whatever it’s lighting. When used in multiple numbers they can also produce ambient lighting.


Layering these three kinds will look gorgeous and be practical at the same time. Always design based on functionality- if you’re decorating a hallway, maybe set up the accent lights first and then the other two, in the case of the living room, ambient light takes priority, and so on. And finally, don’t be scared to experiment.

Lighting in the home can be used to create a warm and welcoming effect when relaxing or to provide functional light for tasks such as reading, sewing, watching TV, dining, or security. Light creates 'atmosphere' and varied lighting in the home can provide a range of different 'scenes' and moods. In order to provide different moods and effects, in the same room, different kinds of lighting may be needed. This will allow some lighting to be used for low-level mood lighting, and more to be used for functional purposes such as reading or sewing.