Creating visual interest with accent lighting

Ambient lighting plays a very important role in an overall lighting design for residential just as it does for commercial lighting schemes. It is the soft fill of non-directional light provided by chandeliers and pendants, that helps humanize the space.

Accent lighting, however, will provide a focus of light on furniture, works of art, plants, etc., effectively drawing an area together. It is the layering of various light sources that creates a comfortable and flexible lighting design, and there is no single luminaire that can perform all the required functions of lighting for a space.

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Since track lighting casts shadows onto work surfaces, it is not the best choice to be the source of task light. Some interesting effects that can be created with accent light fixtures:

  • adding focus
  • highlighting architectural details
  • backlighting sculptural shapes
  • shining narrow beam uplights against a wall

Track lighting is best used as a source of accent lighting for a number of reasons. It is portable, readily available, and will work in temporary, low-budget, spaces. Even though these light sources aren´t as low-profile as recessed spots, they add a wonderful texture to a space. Like in artists´ studios, where lighting must be highly flexible, thanks to its directional quality, track lighting is more than appropriate when objects and displays need to be moved around.

It is a great solution in situations where there is not enough ceiling depth for recessed units and, in rental spaces, when portability and flexibility are required by changing exhibitors.