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Lighting Guide – Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

December 6, 2016

Lighting Guide – Part 2

How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Welcome back to Part 2 of the Lighting Guide. Last week we covered light and shadow and the importance of lighting in general to your homes. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

Today, the focus is on introducing the specific layers of lighting within your homes.

But first….. Lighting & Our Mood

Lighting can have a major impact on our mood, and you may not even be aware of it. If you have your Christmas tree, and decorations up by now, you will be able to get a sense of what I am talking about.  Think about how fairy lights and candles provide a magical warm glow to your interiors. They certainly make for a  comfy, cosy feel to our homes. However, if you switch on the overhead lights to your room, you have bright static lighting in contrast, providing a completely different look and feel to the same room.

By implementing layers of lighting to your spaces, you can dramatically change the mood within your spaces from functional to atmospheric.

Layering your lighting also provides you with the ability to set different scenes. This is particularly useful if you have an open plan areas. It provides you with flexibility. For example from preparing dinner, to dining to sitting and relaxing.

So What Are The Three Layers of Lighting?

Ambient Light

The easiest way to put ambient lighting into context is to think of it as the basic general lighting that we all have in our homes. This could be your ceiling pendant, down/spot lights, as well as wall lights. It’s the light that enables you to navigate around your homes safely. Ambient light provides a uniformed, static light to your homes.

We will all have some form of ambient lighting to our homes, but it is also the starting block to which you layer other lighting to.

TIP: The trick with ambient lighting is that it doesn’t have to come from one source. Mixing it up will provide a more interesting and flexible lighting system to your spaces, whilst offering more depth and feel to the room.

Lighting Guide - Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Image Bnjum

Here a combination of ambient lighting has been utilised to full effect. From the decorative pendant to the use of wall washers, downlights and recessed lighting.

This space is also a great example of layering lighting within a dual purpose space, where dining and living room are combined. By providing a flexible lighting system such as above, lighting can help define areas in an open plan space.  Flexible lighting helps keep the areas that are not in use alive, and not lost visually by means of dimming areas not in use.

Lighting Guide - Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Image Minimalisiti

Here recessed wall lights provide ambient lighting in a creative way for navigation purposes. Offering a softer more decorative look, and feel to the space than down/spot lights would have created.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is pretty self-explanatory. It is the light by which you perform specific activities. It provides you with direct focal illumination to be able to carry out everyday duties such as reading, studying, preparing food, and washing etc.

Lighting Guide - Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Image Jelega

Above, the kitchen island is lit by Edison light bulbs, which provides essential task lighting, whilst the dining area also receives task lighting in the form of pendants. A different source of task lighting is used to the worktop area by way of LED strip lights, enabling food to be prepared safely.   The lighting at different levels within this space defines each area, and their purpose with the brightest being the worktop lighting as you would expect.

Lighting Guide - Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Image Houzz

If your bedroom is on the small size, and space is at a push, opt for a hanging pendant light to provide you with task lighting. It’ll leave your bedside table free for the things you love.  Don’t forget, whatever light you choose, it should fulfil its function, and in this case for reading and not just for lighting up your bedside table!

Lighting Guide - Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Image teamne

Desk lamps are ideal for work stations at home. However, another alternative is to use task lighting that is suspended over your working area. The trick is to position it so it fulfils its function. Too high or too low and it will fail as a task light. This lighting solution also leaves you with more room on your desk, and in my case, the answer to more room to spread your work out!

Lighting Guide - Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Image Decoist

Bathroom vanity lights positioned either side of a mirror will ensure that there is no glare. Check out my Bathroom Lighting Edit post here for more details on lighting your bathroom.


This type of lighting is used to highlight different aspects of your rooms, such as artwork, and architectural features. Accent lighting draws your attention to the parts of the room that you want to see. If you read Part One of this guide, you will recall that our vision is instinctively drawn to the brightest points in a room. By adding accent lighting to your spaces will draw your eyes around the room or to a specific part that you wish to highlight.

TIP: As a general rule, accent lighting should be stronger in illumination than ambient lighting to ensure it isn’t lost.

Think along the lines of directional lighting wall washers, table lamps, recessed lights. Here accent lighting has been used to full effect, highlighting artwork as well as built-in shelving. It also enhances the focal point of the room.

Here subtle accent lighting has been used in this scandi living room ensuring the corner of this room receives our attention. The contrast between the height and size between the ambient pendant lighting, and the lowness of the pendant accent lights, works well in drawing our vision to a different point of this gorgeous space.

Lighting Guide - Part 2 How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting

Image homesthetics

Table lamps are great way to utilise accent lighting to draw your eye to certain points in a room such as this atmospheric dark styled space.


In addition to the above layers of lighting there is decorative lighting. Any source of light can be decorative from statement lamps to chandeliers. They add interest and can enforce the style of the room of which they light.

Here these simple, but decorative hanging pendants, add pops of colour to this rustic styled space. They also help define the dining area providing interest with their colour and form.

I’m finishing off with this amazing spectacular chandelier that adds to the drama and impact to this contemporary living room. Its form, and size speak for itself as a statement piece to this space.

Next time…..

I hope you’ll join me on Friday, when I’ll be discussing ways you can easily adapt your homes to introduce layers of lighting, and lots more advice and lighting tips. Don’t worry if you rent or aren’t in a position to have a complete rewire of your homes. I will be covering ways to implement lighting changes without the upheaval!

Until next time, have a great week!

As always, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read todays post!


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