Types of lighting

Fundamentals of Art and Design 3(1+2)


Types of lighting

Lighting the interiors needs to be functional and should also be decorative. Three types of lighting are necessary, namely

  1. General/ Ambient lighting
  2. Task lighting
  3. Accent lighting.
  1. General/ Ambient lighting:
  2. The lights which are used to light up the room, passages, and staircases are known as ambient or general lighting. General lighting describes the total light available in a room area. It must be sufficient to ensure movement and should be of high intensity for simple tasks. With advancement of technology the general lighting can be provided in various intensities to produce bright, medium or subdued light or dim light such as for watching television. Ambient lighting usually comes from indirect fixtures that provide a diffused spread of illumination. Directional fixtures can also be aimed at a wall to provide a wash of soft light on top of the walls or above doors or windows, from ceiling or wall fixtures, from indirect lamp. Cove lighting or other architectural lighting is inconspicuous and conforms to the lines of the architecture.


  3. Task lighting:
  4. Task lighting needs to be provided where high intensity of light is required, like reading, drawing, sewing, darning or high perfection in fine art/ task is desired. Task lights offer high intensity of lighting without high general illumination. It illuminates the particular area where the visual activity takes place. Provision for individual fixtures that direct light onto the work surface is essential. Task lighting also helps to define a field of concentration for example, a bright light on a desk surface, for example, tends to fix our attention on work.
    Task light is produced in particular places, usually by portable table and floor lamps, but also by straight or curved lighted rods and by lights behind ground glass that is in flush with the wall. Such task lighting are necessary for reading, writing, working, card games and drawings etc.


  5. Accent lighting

    Accent lighting provides sufficient light for the specific area/task rather than general illumination. Their uses are many and varied, chiefly to make visual focal points of centers such as coffee table or dining area or high lighting special objects such as accessories in the room. They are supplementary to the general light source which is appreciated. So, accent light chiefly fills an aesthetic need or highlights an area or an art object. Standard picture lights, the wall bracket, strip lamps over bookshelves, table lamp down lighters, up-lighters and wall washers can also give the effect of accent lights. Accent light sources also exist such as special lighting for shelves, niches and up-lighters for plants. The range of such sources encompasses semi-recessed eyeball fittings, surface and track mounted spot lights, together with fully recessed directional fittings. The general and accent lighting needs to be planned according to the atmosphere desired.

Last modified: Monday, 20 February 2012, 6:44 AM