Three Types of Lighting for Room Remodeling

Jeanette Joy Fisher

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When remodeling a room, choosing the correct lighting is one of the most important considerations. Proper lighting sets the atmosphere of the room, creates a particular mood, or provides accent to an architectural style. Lighting also accentuates the good aspects of a room or disguises a room’s shortcomings.

There are three main types of lighting, general, task, and accent. Each has its own specific uses, depending on a room’s needs.

General Lighting

General lighting is sometimes called ambient lighting, and is the foundation of any room’s lighting scheme. It is what provides the overall illumination of a room, enabling the occupants to be able to walk around the room easily and safely.

There are many types of general lighting, such as chandeliers, wall or ceiling fixtures, and recessed or track lighting.

Task Lighting

Task lighting allows a room’s occupants to perform specific activities such as writing, reading, dressing, or cooking, depending upon the room being addressed. There are a number of possibilities when it comes to task lighting, such as pendant lights, portable lamps, as well as recessed or track lighting.

The important consideration for task lighting is that it must be bright enough to prevent eyestrain without causing glare or distracting shadows.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is designed to add drama to a room through the creation of visual interest. It can be used to spotlight paintings, plants, sculptures, or to highlight an unusual wall texture or drapery. Accent lighting generally focuses at least three times as much light on the focal point as the general light in the room, and is usually provided by recessed, track, or wall mounted lighting.

Using the three types of light dramatically improves the overall look and feel of a room, and should be one of the most carefully considered parts of any remodeling plan.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see


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