Lighting makes the Difference

Use a variety of lighting “layers” to make a room beautiful. These layers will satisfy the different lighting needs in a room.

Information written and provided by American Lighting Association.


From providing the illumination you need to complete daily tasks to setting the mood for a romantic dinner, lighting serves multiple purposes and has a deep impact on the design of your home. This means you will need several types of lighting in a complete lighting layout.

General or ambient lighting is the overall lighting in the room. General lighting fills spaces with a soft level of overall light. This level of illumination allows enough light to be able to use the space. Ambient light levels will change with time of day and season; the levels should let you enjoy the room without being too dimly lit or with too much glare. Ambient lighting can come from a ceiling mounted light fixture in the center of the room, a series of recessed fixtures throughout the room, or any other combination of lighting that provides general illumination.

Task lighting is needed in the “working areas” of the home. The kitchen and bathroom benefit the most when the proper light is in place, so there is no glare or shadows and the light is bright enough to see easily without straining your eyes. Having a suitable lighting layout includes the positioning of the recessed lights based on the height of the cabinets. Under cabinet lighting in the kitchen helps you prepare food. Sconces by the bathroom mirror help you get ready to go out. A desk lamp, or a lamp by a comfy chair will help you read. Task lighting helps you do what you want safely and without eye strain. 

Accent lighting is a requirement when you want to feature any design element in your space. Artwork and architectural details stand out when accent lighting is focused to draw attention to them. Check out to find your nearest American Lighting Association showroom! They offer trained experts and are wonderful resources for anyone looking to purchase lighting, ceiling fans or control products.

Tips for a Functional Lighting Layout

–Lighting control is key for customizing the levels of light in your space. Lighting controls are becoming more advanced with smart products that allow you to set your lights on a schedule, adjust the brightness and even change the color of your lights in some cases.

–Know your light source, then select the proper control or smart control system to ensure compatibility.

–When hanging a fixture over a table or island, the perfect height from the surface will often be between 30 and 36 inches and will depend on the volume and style of the fixture.

–To make a statement: instead of using one chandelier over a table, think about a series of two to three pieces positioned over the table.