Are you having trouble sewing, reading, or typing because of inadequate and incorrect lighting?
Task light should allow you to do intricate and detailed work with the least amount of eye strain and fatigue. It illuminates the tasks to be carried out in a given space such as reading, cooking, computer work. makeup, shaving, craftwork, etc.
A brighter light is required focussing at a smaller point of the room providing illuminance but illuminance alone does not govern visibility. Contrast is equally important, as the poor position of a light source may reduce contrast, compromising the visibility.
The most important purpose of task lighting is not increasing illuminance, but improving contrast.
Task Lighting fixtures include the following-
Table/Desk Lamps, Under cabinet lights, Pendant/Track lights, Vanity Lights, Floor Lamps, etc.
Obvious benefits of Proper Task Lighting
- Increased productivity
- Improved visual comfort,
- Less fatigue
- Less in energy expenditures
What should be the correct position of task lighting fixture?
The lamp source should never be in your direct line of sight. It should be above your head and out of your eyes. For a glass desk surface, position the lamp head at a 30° angle so you don’t get any glare or hot spots in your field of vision.
What Color-Rendering Index (CRI) should task lights have? What about the color temperature?
CRI is a means to describe the effect of a light source on the color appearance of objects being illuminated. The maximum possible CRI is 100 possible in ideal daylight conditions against which we compare all artificial light sources. Low CRI is often responsible for poor illuminance.
A CRI of 80 is a good benchmark for general tasks and most high quality LED lamps today have a CRI of at least 80. Lamps with a CRI under 60 should never be used.
Color temperature is measured in units of kelvin and describes the visual warmth or coolness of white light.
2700K – 3000K is considered warm white, 3500K is neutral, 4100K – 5500K is considered cool white, and daylight is 5600K – 6500K.
The Colour Temperature Range of 3100K-4500K is appropriate for task lighting. Light bulbs within this range will emit a more neutral white light and may even have a slightly blue tint
Halogen lamps or LED desk lights- Which is better?
LEDs only emit 1/5th the heat of a halogen lamp, which means :
a) you will never accidentally burn yourself on an LED desk lamp, and
b) You will save money on your energy bill.
halogen bulbs only last 2,000 hrs while LED lamps last 50,000 hrs.
In terms of aesthetics, unique, sleek, and modern designs are easily available in LED task lights. On the other hand Halogen lamps, options tend to be available in bigger fixtures
For a modern room, a sharp, clean-looking LED option would be the best. However if the space is classical in theme, maybe a halogen or incandescent lamp in brass or oil rubbed bronze finish would suffice.
In conclusion, you need to do your homework for finalizing task lighting to fit your living space as well as to provide you with enough illumination for general tasks. Whether your task is reading, writing, cooking, shaving, working on your craft, or drafting, all can benefit from the use of proper task lighting. Most tasks require plenty of high contrasting, cool light, which is best achieved through LED or CFL (full spectrum) light sources.
Ambient light means the light that is already present in a scene before any additional lighting is added. It usually refers to natural light coming through windows or can also mean artificial lights such as normal room lights.
The intent of ambient lighting is purely to illuminate the majority of space to about one-third of the task illumination level.
Providing any area with comfortable, balanced brightness throughout the room, it provides just enough light to allow you to perform your daily tasks.
It is the foundation of all the lighting of a room. Aside from the basic lighting functionality, the ambient lighting improves the sense of warmth and depth of a room or space, and yes definitely sets the mood.
Where to use Ambient lighting:
- Every room in your home
- Towards the center of the room
- Closer to the ceiling to diffuse light more effectively
Means of creating perfect ambient lighting:
Recessed lighting is typically used to spread light over a large surface and acts as a versatile means of providing both ambient and task lighting to just about any area in your home. Also known as pot lighting and can lighting, these lights are mounted in the ceiling or wall (most often in a ceiling) rather than surface mounted on the wall or ceiling.
As the name implies – any lighting feature that uses a ceiling-mounted support track or a rail to provide the electricity to individual light fixtures. Track lighting is similar to recessed lighting, except the lights are externally placed. It is an easier option if you don’t want to cut up the ceiling. It allows for flexibility in size and position. Track lights can light up various parts of the room, depending on where they are directed.
A light fixture that hangs from the ceiling that can be used to create a statement in any room such as the living room, bedroom, and patio. Chandeliers feature multiple lamps, often in multiple tiers, and are used for ambient lighting.
Ceiling fans with Lights
This most common device has seen a lot of improvement from its time of invention. One of the most recent advancement is the ceiling fan with light. It combines light together and ceiling fan together so that it can be used for decorative and other practical purposes
These backlit panels form an interesting and eye-catching headboard and double as decorative elements. It could be used in mirrors, background walls, bedsides, bathrooms, etc to draw attention to a specific element in the room.
CRI and Colour temperature for Ambient Lighting
CRI is a means to describe the effect of a light source on the color appearance of objects being illuminated. The maximum possible CRI is 100 possible in ideal daylight conditions against which we compare all artificial light sources.
CRI of 80 is acceptable and may be useful in places that require softer or more ambient lighting. As CRI drops below 70, color inaccuracies will become more evident to the human eye.
The Colour temperature range of 2700 Kelvin -3000 Kelvin is appropriate for planning Ambient lighting at home best suited for areas where you want to relax or entertain.
However, neutral and cool white light creates better contrast than warm white, they are also a good choice for the main ambient light in bathrooms. The cooler light will provide a more realistic idea of what we look like in the real world. Look for kelvin numbers between 4000K and 5000K for your main ambient bathroom fixture.
When you’re selecting bulbs for your ambient lighting, think in lumens, not watts
Since Ambience light is intended to provide a general layer of light, one can select low lumen levels for the same. Ambient lighting doesn’t need to be as bright or focused as task or accent lighting.A broad guide is to have general, or ambient, lighting in a space where you don’t perform concentrated visual tasks at 100–300 lux. General lighting needs differ for everyone. Failing vision, architectural obstructions, and personal preference can all impact the lumens you need to light your space.
Dimming is an important feature of ambient and task lighting. It enables you to set the light level to create the desired mood in an area or create the ideal brightness for a task. In addition, dimming provides energy savings by reducing the electric load of a light fixture.
Accent lighting is basically directional lighting, that builds on ambient lighting to add dimension and texture to a room’s lighting design. This type of lighting seeks to create a focal point and is typically used to draw attention to a specific feature, such as a piece of art or a plant, or to highlight architectural elements like wall texture or decorative coving. Effective accent lighting will draw your eye to the desired feature without drawing your attention to how it’s being lit.
The beam angle is one of the most important features for accent lighting which determines the width of the beam coming from a lamp. Most accent lighting fixtures can be set to direct the light where emphasis is required, usually with a vertical adjustment range of 35 degrees and 330 degrees around. The most important feature of an accent light is to provide a controlled beam of light.
Space elements that can be highlighted using Accent lights are Works of Art, Niches, Closets, Walls, Plants/ Sculptures, Facade, Passage/Driveway etc.
Means for Accent Lighting
As the name implies – any lighting feature that uses a ceiling-mounted support track or a rail to provide the electricity to individual light fixtures. Rows of track lighting are usually individually adjustable, so their lights can go exactly where you need them to go no matter what.
Just like at the world’s finest museums, you can get special lights just to mount the above art that you want proudly displayed. Picture lights are available in a variety of sizes and finishes, plus there are even some that use energy-saving LED lights.
Under Cabinet Lights
Other than task lights, these are great for kitchens because they brighten up the room and show off unique touches like countertops or backsplashes, but there’s more. They’re not just for the kitchen, either. Maybe you display some treasured items on shelves or in nooks where under-cabinet lights could be installed, for example.
LED Tape Lights
The bright output of tape lights is great for rooms that have a high ceiling where the cove is a good distance away from the ceiling. Due to the distance, the light must travel before it reflects off the ceiling, it can provide a desirable soft accent glow.
Wall sconces were once used to hold candles before electricity came into being. These eye level wall mounted light sources cast glowy points on a surface and diffuse light all around the room. They create coziness and a structure to the room, especially when they are placed symmetrically. Wall sconces are great choices for the interiors that are smaller. Since these don’t require any place in the floor space, when placed in the right position, they can create an illusion of a larger room.
Outdoor Accent Lights
Outdoor accent lights can highlight elements like trees, rocks, statues, the exterior of the house or anything you want. Many Accent lights are rated for use in wet locations, meaning they can be submerged in ponds or used to illuminate water features.
Consideration for Accent Lighting:
A combination of Narrow and wide beam angles is used to bring out a particular feature of the object. 3-dimensional objects are generally lighted from different directions. The most common beam spread used for accenting is 10 -30 degrees, so as to match the size of objects being accepted.
Glare, Brightness and Levels of light fixtures
The brightness of Accent light needs to be around 3 -10 times that of Ambient light. An angle of 30 degrees or less is maintained to manage the glare along with the use of shielding accessories like Hexcel louvers. Higher light levels may be required to accentuate dark-colored objects.
The object to be highlighted shall guide the light levels required. Hence the dimming options shall definitely add value to the light fixture
Accent lighting also needs to complement the other lighting in the space. One can use options of color filters, spread lenses, Hexcel louvers for the same. Colour filters also help cut downlight from the light fixture.
Accent lighting should not create sharp shadows and should illuminate the object in a pleasing way, particularly for thresholds and stairways, as sharp shadows can create confusion in floor levels and lead to tripping.
Illumination on a floor or highlighted object should not vary widely , as this would suppress the details of the object. Uniformly is measured as the ratio of average illuminances on the highlighted area. Lower the uniformity number, more even the lighting. Uniformity of 5:1 for general and task lighting is recommended.
Accent lights are generally placed 2-3 ft away from the wall, for ceiling height less than 12 Ft, and at an angle of 30 degrees vertical to manage glare.