Easy guide to light layers for beginners | part 2

Hello design lovers!
A few weeks ago, I talked about the importance of layering light sources. Check the article here in case you missed it!
We’ve seen the difference between the three layers: AMBIENT, TASK and ACCENT. Today I’ve decided to show you some examples, so be ready for a lot of cool pictures! 🙂

Ambient lighting: the general overall lighting that every room needs.

© Photography:  Sharyn Cairns. Design: Mim Design

Task lighting: intense direct lighting to some areas where you need to fulfil a task.

© Photography: Sharyn Cairns Design: Whiting Architects and Carole Whiting

© Photography: Sharyn Cairns Design: Whiting Architects and Carole Whiting

Accent lighting: it helps balancing the overall lighting and creating atmosphere.

How do we mix them?

With the proper lighting design, you’ll have these layers mixed in the same room to meet various needs.
For example, in the image below, there are two task lights: a long pendant above the dining table and a wall lamp at the side of the sofa. They can have two different purposes (task) or they can be turned on together so that the combination of the two gives general ambient lighting to the room.

The living room in the image below shows two light fittings:

One is the pendant in the middle of the room; it gives some general (ambient) light, so it would be turned on most of the time. The floor lamp instead needs to be turned on in just two cases:

  1. Adding more general light to the space (balance) – accent lighting.
  2. Allowing people to read something – task lighting.


A little trick: if you need a pendant in a place with no electric connection don’t worry, you don’t need to rewire. Just use a longer cable to reach the point you like!
Holly Marder and Hedda Pier from Avenue Design Studio are great at doing this:

I hope this was helpful. Now it’s your turn to restyle your home lighting! Have you got all the layers in the right place? Let me know in a comment below!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2017 in the Best Newcomer Blog Category!
If you fancy to support me click here and vote so that I can make the shortlist! 🙂


I am Martina, an Italian designer based in London. I spend most of my time designing interiors or writing about it. I also love travelling. You may find me walking around the East End of London, drinking coffee and stopping at every single bookshop I bump into.

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