Your guide to properly lighting a room

Proper lighting is essential for any home. Without it, there would be no color, and when there isn’t enough, it dampens the energy of a room and depresses your spirit. That’s why it’s important to maintain a balance between personality and functionality when it comes to the lighting of room.

good lighting plan for any room involves a layered approach that combines three types of light: ambient, task and accent lighting. Certain types of fixtures lend themselves to each category, and with just the right blend, they can make any room in your home come to life.

Ambient lighting

Also known as general lighting, ambient lighting offers excellent overall illumination to a room by providing a comfortable level of brightness without glare. It allows you to move about the space without banging your shin into the furniture. Having a central source of ambient lighting in all room is key to a good lighting plan.

Examples of good sources of ambient lighting include: track and recessed lights, wall mounted lights and ceiling mounted lights, such as chandeliers.

Task lighting

Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, cooking, doing hobbies, or playing games. This type of lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows, while directing the light to exactly where you need it. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and under-cabinet lighting, as well as by portable floor and desk lamps.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is a great way to add a little drama to any room by creating visual interest for both the interior and exterior of your home. For interior design, it is used to draw the eye to key features such as houseplants, paintings, sculptures and other focal points of a room. Exterior applications highlight the texture of a brick wall, window treatments or outdoor landscaping.

To achieve the desired effect, accent lighting must provide at least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Accent lighting usually is provided by recessed and track lighting, wall-mounted picture lights and sconces.

Common ways to layer lighting and achieve optimal balance:

Dining room

This dining room combines ambient light via a ceiling-mounted light over the dining table and accent lighting by the four, evenly positioned wall-mounted sconces.

Living room

This living room provides all three types of lighting: ambient (the ceiling light), task lighting (floor and table lamps) and accent lighting (the wall-mounted light above the picture).


The layout of this bedroom provides ambient light (ceiling light) and task lighting through the two bedside table lamps.

Morris Home has a wide variety of options to help you create the perfect balance of light for any room in your home. Just see any sales person at any one of the several Morris Home locations in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus or visit