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Layer Three: Accent Lighting

So far we have the sun working for us and our room filled with light. A lot of us would stop right there, but without the next layer of light your room will look flat and have no obvious points ofinterest.

Warehouse lighting is bright enough to see but lacks dimension. (via Mesa Tactical)

If you're having trouble understanding why you need layers of light instead just enough for you to be able to see, think about makeup. Is the point of makeup to completely cover up someone's face? No, the goal is to accentuate what is already there. And you do that by creating layers of foundation, powder, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, etc. You probably don't just cake on a ton of powder and call it day.

You know, unless you're this guy. (via - Luca Volpi)

The same applies to lighting. We want to accent what's in the room. This adds dimension and draws the eyes to features you want to accentuate. So, what's in a room that could be accented?

Kitchens usually have cabinets. To accent them you could run LED strip lights across the top and under the toe kick to make them stand out from the wall.

These lights separate the cabinets from the wall, adding dimension to the room.

Art is always great to accent. A track light from the ceiling could be directed at a painting or statue. Or you could light it from underneath with strip lights inside an aluminum channel.

A well lit piece of art can become the focal point of any room. (via DIY Network)

Shelves could be lit to display what's on them.


Even walls could be accented with up lights to add a sense of drama to a room.

Wall sconces can add a sense of drama to a room. (via

The possibilities are endless, but the idea stays the same. Adding accents will take a blah room to new levels.

Continue learning how to light any room with the fourth layer of light in Part 4>>>

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