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The terms ambient, task and accent lighting may not be familiar to you, but they’re responsible for lighting your surroundings as you continue to read this article. Understanding what they mean, the reasons for separating them, and how to use them effectively is crucial for setting the perfect lighting scheme for your home.

These terms are referred to as the three layers of lighting design.

We’ve explored the difference between the three layers of lighting before, which you can find in our interior lighting design blog. But here, we’re taking a deeper look into accent lighting to ensure the aesthetical value of your space isn’t forgotten.

What is accent lighting?

Lighting is often divided into two categories – mood and functional lighting.

As you may have guessed, functional lighting serves a direct and practical purpose. For instance, projecting light onto kitchen worktops improves safety when preparing food. On the other hand, mood lighting is used mostly for decorative reasons. This could involve highlighting artwork or the architectural shapes of your home.

So, where does accent lighting fit? Accent lighting is used to draw attention to certain elements of your space by shinning extra light on them. This way, you can put your favourite piece of art or painting in the spotlight (literally).

The benefits of accent lighting

As simple as accent lighting can be, it can make a huge impact on the overall feel of your room, and serves several benefits. Here are a few your home could take advantage of with the right execution.

  1. Improve the atmosphere of your home - Looking for a subtle way to set the right tone in a room? Accent lighting can do just that. This holds true especially when paired with dimmers. This gives you the power to transform a room from lively and welcoming to dark and cozy.
  2. Create a stunning focal point - Accent lighting has the capability to turn your guests’ heads as they enter the room. A stunning focal point will create that ‘wow’ factor in your home and can range from central fireplaces, to paintings, architectural structures and more. The right accent lighting can bring your statement piece to life.
  3. Accentuate your wall décor - Relying on overhead lighting to bring attention to your decorations doesn’t work well. With accent lighting, your wall décor can stand out effortlessly and complement the rest of your interior design.

Examples of accent lighting

What would a lighting design blog be without some inspiration? Let’s take a look at some accent lighting examples below.

Works of art

Accent lighting is commonly used to highlight beautiful paintings. Why not draw attention to a fantastic piece of art?

art work accent lighting


Wall designs with patterns, textures and shapes can be paired with accent lighting to give that creative touch to a room. This works extremely well using a stand-out wall behind your TV.

wall accent lighting

Cabinets & shelves

Accent lighting can also be used to accentuate your shelving units as well as what sits within. For instance, you could use this to enhance your book collection, or draw attention to family photos.

shelf accent lighting

Plants & sculptures

With the use of outdoor spotlights, you can illuminate trees, plants and other decorative pieces to give your garden a new look and feel.

garden accent lighting

Paths & driveways

Paths alongside your house, in your garden and your driveway can be lit beautifully using wall lights or garden posts. This will help transform the exterior of your home as well as increase the safety of your property at night.

path accent lighting

Accent lighting from the experts

If you’re looking to transform the look and feel of your home with lighting design, be sure to consult with a specialist. At Hampshire Light, we use ambient, task, and accent lighting to give our clients the lighting scheme their property deserves. Contact us for more information, or book your complimentary design consultation today. We’d love to hear from you.


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