Downlighting refers to lights that shine their light downward; so they would be installed at a higher point to create this downward light effect.It is a popular form of lighting in interiors – most central light sources or spotlights will be downlights. It does cast unflattering shadows (especially for people) so it needs to be counterbalanced with adequate ambient lighting.
Uplighting is a popular lighting effect created by placing lighting fixtures on the floor and pointing them up. Thus creating the effect of “up lighting”. Uplighting is a very effective way to dramatically improve the ambiance of a space.
Wall washing is when light is uniformly spread out over a wall from top to bottom. Even illumination of the entire wall hides imperfections and eliminates shadows to create a wall washing effect, lights need to be mounted at or above ceiling height, so they can effectively “wash” up to 8 or 9 feet of vertical space. They also need to be situated far enough away from the wall that the light can spread out at a wider beam angle, usually about 2 to 3 feet. The light should be angled at eye-level or towards the center of the feature or artwork you want to highlight.
When a wall or objects that have rugged surfaces, a series of fixtures placed 6-8″ from the base will create a high contrast “black and white” effect. Grazing is perfect for high relief stucco or natural stonewalls; however, it can also be used to accentuate the unique bark texture of plants. This effect is the best example of the wonderful visual tension created by the interplay of shadows and light.
Spotlighting is used a lot in the task and accent lighting to highlight a particular feature of a room.
Perimeter lighting accentuates the dimensions of a room and expands its apparent size. Coving or cornice lighting is an effective way to do this
This effect is similar to silhouetting in that the fixture is positioned at the base of a wall behind the subject aiming up. The use of a non-reflector microfilament lamp combined with a clear lens creates a very sharp elliptical light pattern backdrop. Using this effect is an elegant way to enhance long straight flat walls-especially if they have symmetrically shaped plant material positioned in the foreground.