Types and Purposes of Accent Lighting

Accent lighting can be what makes a room a piece of architecture or a landscape a masterpiece. This type of lighting provides a focal point and draws attention to a particular detail or area. They may also be called highlight lighting. The major types of accent lighting are recessed lights, track lights, picture lights and landscape lights.

Recessed lights are installed in a narrow, hollow area of the ceiling. They project light down and may project a narrow or wide beam depending on the size of the fixture used. The light fixture itself may be simple or ornate. However, simple styles are most often used to detract attention from the light and to instead attract attention to the area or piece that is being lit. These accent lights are perfect for drawing attention to particular portions of a room, such as a reading nook or a porch.



Track lights are multiple lamps installed on one long metal piece. They are typically installed along a ceiling although they are occasionally found high on a wall. Track lights come in many varieties with some of them being hanging globes while others feature basic metal housing attached directly to the track. Those that are directly attached to the track can usually be manipulated to shine on a particular object. For example, one light may be pointed at a picture while two others on the same track are pointed at two different chairs. Track lights are perfect for highlighting several items at one time.

Picture lights are hung directly above, or occasionally, below a work of art or a photograph to illuminate it. They are typically narrow and long and have a white or other reflective coating inside them to increase the light on the object. Most often, they are mounted directly on the wall although they may also be attached to a picture frame.

Landscape lights draw attention to special features of a yard or garden. Some common examples are pathway lights, pool lights or lights that shine on a stunning tree or bush. Other landscape lights may point up at architectural features on the home or building.

Accent lighting of all kinds draws special attention to the most important part of a room or landscape. They highlight the best features of an item. Making the choice between recessed, track, picture or landscape lights rests simply on the ultimate use of the light.



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