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10 Ways to Light Up Your Home


9
Accent Lights
Sconces are just one example of accent lights.
Sconces are just one example of accent lights.
©iStockphoto.com/ArtBoyMB

Accent lights are directional lights whose main purpose is to provide visual separation in a room. They're secondary lights in a room, and as a rule of thumb, they should be three to five times brighter than the ambient light level [source: Light Bulbs]. Wall-mounted fixtures, such as sconces, are a good example of accent lights, as are table and floor lamps. For example, a chandelier in your dining room would provide ambient light, and one or more wall sconces would be the accent lights. Another use of accent lighting is to showcase a feature in a room, such as a painting or a collection. You've probably seen this in art museums. The ambient light is usually dim, which evokes peace and quiet, and the accent lights highlight the paintings, keeping you focused on the art. You can do this in your home as well, and it doesn't have to be fine art. If you have a big, beautiful plant you want to highlight, you can put a spotlight on the floor behind it and let the light bounce off its leaves, creating shadows and drama. Typically, a spotlight or floodlight is used to accent an object, though tracklights also work in certain applications. Higher wattage incandescent bulbs are often used in table lamps and wall lights for accent lighting, and halogen lamps are primarily used in spotlights.


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