Let’s talk layers. There’s a reason designers love them. Fashion designers use layers to create new looks. Culinary designers craft amazingly delicious things with layers – think cake. Even scent is layered to bring out its nuances. So it is with lighting. Did you know you can use it to add depth and dimension to a room, switch the mood in an instant and showcase your favorite things? And, that’s just the short list.
You just have to know a few light layering basics. Add your imagination and you’ll be layering brilliant looks before you know it.
The 3 Layers of Lighting
Layer 1: Ambient Lighting
Think of it as a foundation or a canvas upon which to paint a distinctive lighting picture. It’s the big fluorescent box in the center of your kitchen or the track lighting or ceiling fan in your family room or great room. Or use evenly-spaced downlights & recessed lights to help create the perfect ambient light.
Layer 2: Task Lighting
Task lighting is the light you need to get the daily to-do list done. This layer of lighting is concentrated where routine tasks get accomplished, like homework, cooking, putting on your makeup, brushing your teeth, etc. That’s why task lighting is often under or over cabinets and around mirrors. Also, you can strategically place downlights & recessed lighting above countertops, slightly away from the cabinets to help shed light on high-task areas.
Layer 3: Accent Lighting
This is where it gets fun because accent lighting is about casting a glow on your favorite things. Accent lighting is decorative lighting – including fixtures that make a design statement and those that complement a room, furnishings and things like sculptures, plants, books…whatever it is in your home you want to illuminate.
Install downlights and use a dimmer to adjust the ambient lighting and highlight your accents.
Accent lighting can be a pendant over a bar, counter or kitchen island, a sconce on the wall or a light inside a bookshelf that makes a great room glimmer...the possibilities are infinite, and there is no wrong way to do it.
Content by Kichler