3 Types Of Lighting For The Perfect Ambiance
All over TikTok, people are adding small lamps in places they need a little extra light like the kitchen counter, bathroom vanity, and bedrooms. Overhead lighting is out and small lamps are back.
It’s a popular audio on TikTok, and a rule for life. The big light is, of course, the blinding, singular source of overhead light in any given room. Some are attached to a fan, others aren’t. They’re bright, far-reaching, and usually overkill.
Design Makers + Breakers: Lights
Image via B+C
Many designers will say that harsh overhead lighting is a common faux pas. It creates unnecessary shadows and can feel sterile and aggressive.
This TikTok audio is usually accompanied by stunning shots of romantically-lit homes, low-light lamps, decorative lights, and dreamy interiors. The trend points to an important lesson in interior design: lighting matters.
All over TikTok, people are adding small lamps in places they need a little extra light like the kitchen counter, bathroom vanity, and bedrooms. So is overhead lighting out and small lamps back?
First, let’s discuss the different types of lighting each room needs and why they’re important.
Types of Lighting Each Room Needs
There are three main types of lighting that each room needs: ambient, accent, and task.
Ambient is usually overhead, like that annoying one on your fan, but could also be recessed lighting, chandeliers, or sconces. While these kinds of lights are needed for general purpose, the trick is to make them dimmable. Having control over just how bright your ambience lights are, and having the ability to adjust based on the time of day makes all the difference.
Accent lighting is also important for creating cozy spaces within a room, for example, defining the living room from the dining room. Think little, table lamps, and picture, track, and up lights. They are used to highlight a specific piece of art or accompany a sitting area.
Lastly, task lighting is just what it sounds like: lights you use when doing something specific. For example, the lights above your bathroom sink, pendants over the kitchen island, or a standing lamp next to your favorite reading chair. These are usually necessary aside from your design skills.
The key is to have a mixture of these three light sources. They each have their own role and add to the ambiance of a space. Most homes inherently have ambient lighting. When you move in, they’re there. And most people add task lighting for essential light where you need it. But accent lighting is often overlooked.
The Trendy Little Lamp
Which brings us back to the trendy “little lamp.” Those small, vintage-style lamps on kitchen counters, bedside tables, or playrooms are the accent lighting addition all of our homes have been craving. It rounds out the room and completes the dynamic design. No wonder we love them.
And perhaps after three years of living in our homes non-stop, we’ve learned the power of romanticizing one’s life. Turning in for the night and “closing the kitchen” by the light of a small lamp is infinitely more appealing than the horror of full light on the situation. The low lighting calls for more intimacy and a slower pace.
Why You Need One
Image via Urban Outfitters
Creating rituals in your home is what will make you feel centered and connected to it. The simple act of going around to turn lights on or off can signal something more than just the need for light: the starting or ending of a work day, a beloved nighttime tradition, or the peace of knowing sleep is coming soon. Like making yourself a special drink to unwind or playing your favorite comfort TV show, keeping just the little lamps on can be a similar treat after a long day.
Plus, these lamps are so affordable. The small size and basic structure makes them unremarkable and easy to find. I’ve thrifted a few for under $15 and found some favorites on Amazon for under $50. If you’re looking for a classic pleated lampshade, this one is a gem.
Look around your home and ask yourself, what type of lighting do I have in here? Odds are, you’re missing one.
What's your favorite type of lighting? Let us know in the comments and check out our email newsletter for more home hacks.
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