How to Layer Lighting Effectively
Understanding how to layer the lighting in your home can completely transform the atmosphere of each room. Here is our expert guide to layering, including the three main types of lighting and some top tips on how to use them to improve the lighting design in your home…
Layering light means mixing and matching different kinds of lighting to create the perfect mood and atmosphere in a room. To effectively layer lighting in any space you should include multiple sources of light. This means you will need to find just the right combination of ceiling lights, table lamps, floor lamps, etc.
These multiple sources of light will allow you to create different light moods according to the different ways you use a room. For example, you may use your dining room for work during the day, but like to entertain guests of an evening. Both of these settings can be effectively achieved by using different combinations of light in this one space.
The key to a good lighting plan is a layered approach that combines the following three types of light: ambient, task and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting: This is the main type of lighting layer that you need to you need to light up the room. This is usually the main ceiling light or ceiling spotlights.
Accent lighting: The second layer of light is known as the accent lighting layer. This layer allows you to highlight points of interest in a room, such as artwork or architectural features. Types of fixtures typically used for accent lighting include wall lights, up/down lights, spot lights or LED strip lights, installed in bookshelves or under worktops for example.
Task lighting: The final lighting layer is task lighting, which is lighting that helps you to perform a task. For example a desk lamp in your office space or vanity lights around a dressing table.
Task lighting doesn’t have to be just for practical use. Using carefully planned layering, means you can use task lighting in union with ambient and accent lighting to create an effective overall atmosphere in any room.
Top Tip - Invest in a Control Device
Once all your layers are in place, it is a good time to invest in a central control device for switching and dimming all of your lights. Most devices allow you to set ‘scenes’ that can be activated at the push of a button and by making each layer separately dimmable, you can create a wide variety of moods and functionalities.