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Lighting Tips

Accent Lighting for Visual Appeal

It’s common to see beautifully lit home facades that wash light over the exterior of a house. But did you know these lighting effects can be used inside the home, too? We’ll show where and how to place accent lighting for visual appeal in your home. 

Directional Lighting
Directional lighting aims the light onto the room’s architectural features, artwork and walls to create visual drama. The lighting illuminates the object by striking it at a 30-degree angle and at a setback distance measured from the vertical wall surface where the painting or other artwork hangs to the light fixture’s center point. This angle minimizes potential glare and shadow that would detract from the artwork, décor or feature. Directional fixtures can have Directional lighting to four or more multi-directional heads and are offered in various styles, finish and size options.

Popular techniques that use directional lighting include wall grazing and wall washing.

Wall Grazing
Positioning lights closely to a wall, two feet or less away on the floor or the ceiling creates a narrow beam of light that hits on the wall at an angle. Wall grazing highlights the texture of the wall, offering an exciting and dramatic effect. Place the light closer to deepen the shadows or further away to create a broader shadowing effect.

Hinton Pendants | Midvale Fan

Wall Washing
Wall washing creates the opposite effect: washing the wall with light highlights its smoothness by eliminating shadows. Mount the lighting fixtures on the ceiling about 2 ½ to 3 feet away from the wall to create a wider beam angle. Recessed fixtures are often used to create a wall-washing effect. 

Briarwood Collection

Backlighting and Uplighting
Create beautiful effects using LED tape lights, undercabinet lights, and recessed downlights to backlight objects and architectural elements. Position the light around or underneath the object creating an aura of light and shadow around it. The best places to use backlight accents include inside alcoves, under cabinets, beneath furniture, behind screens or displays, and underneath steps.

Uplighting uses fixtures such as wall sconces to direct light up towards the ceiling. Mount these lights on the middle third of the wall or slightly higher to illuminate vaulted ceilings, crown molding, accent ceilings and other architectural elements of interest. 

All these accent lighting techniques create contrast or focal points in a room. Try one or a combination of techniques to add a gorgeous visual effect to your home. Discover more accent lighting here.