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3 Types of Lighting for Your Home: Task, Ambient & Accent

A beautiful home is one that is well-lit, whether by natural sunlight or light fixtures. But not all light fixtures perform the same job. In fact, there are 3 main types of lighting: task, ambient and accent. Installing the wrong type of light in your home could cause eye strain especially as you get on in years so it’s important to know what the lights can do. Not sure about their respective functions? Read on as we dish out their differences.





  • provides illumination for everyday tasks such as grooming and shaving
  • usually found in bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, reading corners etc
  • as we get on in years, our eyes need brighter lights for some tasks like cutting and slicing in the kitchen so make sure you install light fixtures that are bright enough and glare-free
  • for tasks such as reading or doing homework, it’s best to buy a cantilevered lamp that can adjust its angle and height
  • avoid shadows by angling the light over the working area and if you’re writing, be sure to position the lamp opposite your writing hand
  • avoid shining the lamp at your computer screen for a glare-free experience, have it illuminate your working area or fix a light strip above your table if you don’t have space for a table lamp

Examples of Task Lights: desk lamps, bedside lamp, under-cabinet lights in the kitchen, vanity light



  • fills in for natural light so it provides the overall illumination in the room
  • usually provides light via a central light fixture
  • can be rather boring if it’s your main source of lighting so be sure to mix and match with other types of lighting
  • for a ‘moonlight’ effect, fit your ceilings with recessed light fixtures that shine downwards for a pattern that imitates moonshine

Examples of Ambient Lights: cove lights, chandeliers, pendant lamps, wall-mounted lights



  • adds interest to a particular area or gives added dimension to the room design
  • create a festive ambience by adding reflective surfaces such as mirrors and crystals to bounce the light around the room
  • to create interesting shadows or silhouettes, place a backlight behind the object you want to highlight
  • for landscapes and paintings, point a spotlight at a focal point in the picture or flood it with a wide beam if your paintings are in a frame and you want to avoid light glares
  • you can also place well lights, which can be concealed by plants, on the ground to create an upward lighting effect

Examples of Accent Lights: recessed lights, track lights, uplighters, spotlights


The key to creating a well-lit home is not to just fall back on a single type of lighting. Play around with different light fixtures to create a unique backdrop to your home and you may be surprised to see the huge difference it can make to your humble abode!

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