When you assess the lighting in your home, you should be able to pick out several layers of illumination. General lighting is typically centered on the ceiling, casting a bright light around the room. Task lighting, such as desk lamps, under-cabinet lights and reading lamps, are designed to help you get things done.
Finally, accent lighting makes particular features of your home pop, such as alcove artwork or custom kitchen cabinetry. If you’re hoping to add visual drama to your home, don’t skip accent lighting!
Types of Accent Lighting for Your Home
Depending on what you want to illuminate, you have many accent lighting options:
- Recessed lighting: Often positioned across the ceiling for general lighting, recessed lights can also serve as accent lighting. This is especially true of eyeball recessed lights, which allow you to angle the beam somewhere other than straight down. Aim the light at the clock above the fireplace or at a piece of art on the wall for effective accent lighting.
- Track lighting: Popular for modern or industrial designs, track lighting features three to five independently swiveling heads on a track. You can aim these fixtures however you want, using them to light up a built-in bookshelf or simply to provide indirect lighting around the room’s perimeter.
- Picture lights: Photographs and artwork really pop when a picture light is mounted on the wall directly above each frame. Because this creates an art gallery look, picture lights are usually reserved for formal settings.
- LED rope, tape and strip lights: These are perfect for creating indirect accent lighting to highlight unique architectural features. Mount rope, tape or strip lights in a cove ceiling, above your cabinets or under the bathroom vanity toe kick to make these features stand out.
- Cabinet, shelf and bookcase lighting: Show off your collection of valuable China, family photos, collectibles and books with lights mounted on the underside of cabinets and bookshelves. These can include puck lights, surface-mount lights, battery-operated lights and micro fluorescent lights.
- String lights: For a fun, playful feel, hang string lights in arches across the ceiling. These temporary accent lights are perfect for parties, especially around the holidays.
Benefits of Accent Lighting
With no specific useful purpose, what’s the point of using accent lights inside your home? Consider these benefits:
- Add beauty: The most obvious reason to include accent lights in your interior design is to set your home apart. Lighting plays a vital role in how your home appears, especially at night, and accent lighting enhances that look.
- Entertain better: String lights in particular add a fun, spunky feel to your home when you host parties. Your guests will appreciate the added beauty of these and other accent lights in your home.
- Improve nighttime safety: You can choose to leave some accent lights on all night to serve as nightlights. Toe kick lighting in the bathroom, for example, prevents you from stubbing your toe, and rope lights under kitchen cabinets light your way to the fridge for a midnight snack.
- Increase home value: If you’re moving soon, the addition of accent lighting is sure to make your home look its best during open houses. You may even be able to cushion the asking price after adding custom accent lights in a few rooms.
At Mr. Electric®, we offer complete accent lighting design and installation. Whether you want to add a single track light in your living room or make dramatic additions in several rooms, we have the skills to bring your vision to life. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.