Get the Right Light

Bright Ideas - June 2021

Posted by Amy Wommack on Tuesday, July 6, 2021


Lighting defines spaces for living




Issue #124


June 2021



Get the Right Light




Lighting defines spaces for living


The popularity of open floor plans in residential spaces is one more reason to make sure to have the right lighting. In addition to providing comfort, functionality and safety, proper lighting helps define the different areas and activities in a multi-purpose room.


While one part of a large space may be for cooking and dining, other areas are often for TV viewing, doing homework or office work, reading and entertaining. With so many activities potentially happening in the same overall area, the lighting, along with furniture and other décor, must be strategically selected and positioned to be most effective.


The various layers of lighting should work together to provide ample ambient (or general) lighting where needed, with task lighting placed where specific activities take place. Accent lighting is key for highlighting special features and defining individual living zones.


Ambient lighting often comes from hanging or flush-mounted fixtures. Ceiling lights, such as cans or spots, also work well for this layer.


Task lighting may be provided by portable lamps, small pendants, mini spots, or any source capable of directing ample illumination onto a specific spot.


Accent lighting sets the mood and helps distinguish one part of a space from another. This type of lighting often comes from sconces or small portables. Dimmers are a must for accent lighting.


Multiple fixture types may be appropriate for the various layers of light depending on individual settings. Sconces may serve as ambient light in one space and as task lighting in another. Pendants may provide general lighting in one installation and serve as accent lighting somewhere else. That is where professionally trained lighting experts at ALA-member showrooms are helpful. They work with homeowners to determine what type and style of lighting will be appropriate and attractive for each situation.


For help finding the perfect light for your space, visit a nearby ALA lighting showroom. Go to to find a list of showrooms throughout the United States and Canada. Find more information at








Looking for inspiration for creating your best home? Browse the new issue of Lighting magazine. Pick up a free copy at a nearby ALA-member store or go to Ideas.Lighting to see the digital version.



Lighting magazine is presented by the American Lighting Association and Meredith Publishing/Better Homes and Gardens.


Pick up a free copy of Lighting at an ALA-member store, or get a digital copy at Ideas.Lighting. The magazine is also available for sale on preferred newsstands.





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