Understanding Your Options

Sometimes we take for granted how important proper lighting is in our daily lives. It helps us get up in the morning, be productive during work, and allows us to relax in the evening.

We need different lights for different things. Here are the main types of lighting and how they work in your home.

General/Ambient Lighting

Ambient light is the most common source of lighting for full spaces. These are the lights usually attached to the ceiling and have the most powerful bulbs to project light over an extended area.

At home, this may be overhead lights sitting in your ceiling, a large chandelier over a dining area, or track lighting with several fixtures. Overhead lights can range from subtle, warm bulbs to bright, cool ones like you often see in stores and offices.

The amount of ambient light you need depends on the size of your room as well as the amount of natural light that comes through. For example, if you have a lot of windows that allow sunlight to brighten the room all day, you may not need full coverage from overhead lighting. You can opt for something smaller, track lighting, or a series of task lights.

Ways to Use Ambient Lighting

  • Brighten up space
  • Replace sunlight
  • Provide safety for moving around

Task Lighting

Task lighting is a fixture placed in a strategic location to allow for increased light when needed. For example, you may have a small light over your kitchen counters or on top of an island. Other popular task lights include reading lamps, desk lamps, and under-cabinet lights.

Task lights give a small boost of light when you need it most. You may place a lamp next to your favorite reading chair to only use when popping open a book.

Ways to Use Task Lighting

  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Sewing
  • Crafting
  • Working

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to focus attention on a particular area of your home. You may use accent lights on bookshelves to highlight prized possessions, or you may place lights on the top of furniture to add a dimension to how they look.

Ways to Use Accent Lighting

  • Highlight art
  • Show off valued possessions
  • Illuminate plants

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is a bit trickier because there is much less reflection to work with. Inside your home, lights bounce off of walls and furniture to illuminate a space. Outside, light is diffused much quicker due to the lack of surrounding walls.

Outdoor lighting combines the three aspects previously discussed: accent, task, and ambient. You may use spotlights to illuminate an area, task lights around a grill or sitting area, and accent lights to illuminate a path.

Finding the Right Bulbs

Just as important as the type of lighting is the bulb used to produce the light. You have options like fluorescent, incandescent, or LED. Plus a wide range of tones from warm to cool. It may seem daunting to picture the best option for every area in your home, but we have some tips!

For task and accent lighting, it’s best to go with a warm bulb, which is more of an orange color. This gives a subtle yet sophisticated look while not providing too bright a light. For ambient lighting, you may want to go a little cooler to ensure adequate lighting when sunlight isn’t helping.

For the type of bulb, LED is the best option as it can provide the right hue and brightness for any space. Though they may have a slightly higher upfront cost, they more than make up for it in energy savings and longevity.

Your Utah Lighting Resource

HedgeHog Electric is the top provider of electrical services in southwestern Utah. Contact us today at (866) 605-2113 for more information on how to improve your home lighting.