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A Guide to Lighting Terms

A Guide to Lighting Terms

Jan 1st 2018

Unless you’re a seasoned lighting designer, many lighting terms can be obscure, complex and confusing since there are so many variables involved with the lighting industry and its products. To clear up some of the mystery surrounding lighting terms, we’ve put together a glossary so that you can easily familiarize yourself with the different buzzwords that you may come across when shopping for lighting fixtures. 

First of all, it’s important to note that when it comes to understanding lighting design and shopping for modern light fixtures, lighting is categorized into three main types of lighting and they are:

Accent Lighting - Accent lighting is lighting that is used to highlight a particular item or object like a work of art. Effective accent lighting is usually four to five times brighter than ambient lighting in the space. Accent lighting includes backlighting and uplighting and uses fixtures like wall sconces and track lighting.

Ambient Lighting - Ambient lighting refers to general lighting that usually lights up an entire space or room. This type of lighting provides a substantially uniform lighting of a space and does not supply specialized or localized lighting like the focused beams that both accent lighting and task lighting provide. Ambient lighting includes fixtures like modern chandeliers, classic ceiling fans and table lamps.

Task Lighting - Lighting that is specifically installed to light up an area where a task is performed is known as task lighting. Examples of task lighting include kitchen island pendant lights and LED lights. Proper task lighting is integral to any space that requires specialized lighting as its job is to highlight the task at hand. 

When you're trying to find the perfect type of light fixture for your space, consider the types of lighting you will need to showcase your decor to ensure you cast the proper glow with the right light for the job. Looking for more tips? Check out our Guide To Accent Lighting and other informatice articles to help you find the perfect combination of lighting types and fixtures to light your space.