Easy guide to light layers for beginners | part 2

| Martina Pardo | Archive

Hello design lovers!
A few weeks ago, I talked about the importance of layering light sources. Check the article here in case you missed it!
We've seen the difference between the three layers: AMBIENT, TASK, and ACCENT. Today I've decided to show you some examples, so be ready for a lot of cool pictures! :)

Ambient lighting: the general overall lighting that every room needs.


© Fantastic Frank


© Photography: Gidon Levin. Design: Maayan Zusman and Amir Navon


© Photography:  Sharyn Cairns. Design: Mim Design

Task lighting: intense direct lighting to some areas where you need to fulfill a task.


© Kinfolk


© Tiffany Grant-Riley

Beaconsfield House 02 810x1024

© Photography: Sharyn Cairns Design: Whiting Architects and Carole Whiting

Red Hill 011 810x1024

© Photography: Sharyn Cairns Design: Whiting Architects and Carole Whiting

Accent lighting: it helps to balance the overall lighting and creating atmosphere.


© Circa Lighting

kartiny v interere gostinoj i zala 9

© Lilabi

150611 Tribeca VIPP1013 B

© Pia Ulin

How do we mix them?

With the proper lighting design, you'll have these layers mixed in the same room to meet various needs.
For example, in the image below, there are two task lights: a long pendant above the dining table and a wall lamp at the side of the sofa. They can have two different purposes (task) or they can be turned on together so that the combination of the two gives general ambient lighting to the room.


© Fantastic Frank

The living room in the image below shows two light fittings:


© Bo Helsinki

One is the pendant in the middle of the room; it gives some general (ambient) light, so it would be turned on most of the time. The floor lamp instead needs to be turned on in just two cases:

  1. Adding more general light to the space (balance) - accent lighting.
  2. Allowing people to read something - task lighting.

A little trick: if you need a pendant in a place with no electric connection don't worry, you don't need to rewire. Just use a longer cable to reach the point you like!
Holly Marder and Hedda Pier from Avenue Design Studio are great at doing this:

IMG 3197

© Avenue Design Studio

IMG 6593 550x825

© Avenue Design Studio

IMG 6442

© Avenue Design Studio

I hope this was helpful. Now it's your turn to restyle your home lighting! Have you got all the layers in the right place? Let me know in a comment below!

Martina Pardo

Written by: Martina Pardo

I am Martina, an Italian designer based in London. I spend most of my time designing interiors or writing about it. I also love travelling. You may find me walking around the East End of London, drinking coffee and stopping at every single bookshop I bump into.



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