Lighting Research Center NYSERDA Lighting Patterns for Homes Image Map


Accent Lighting

Accent lighting, also called highlighting, emphasizes objects by focusing light directly on them. Accent lighting is used inside and outside the home to feature locations such as an entrance or to create dramatic effects. Points of visual interest can be created by highlighting artwork, fireplaces, plants, textured walls, or architectural details. However, overuse can create a space that appears to be disorganized or cluttered. Accent lighting is achieved by properly locating directional fixtures or bulbs. These fixtures should be located close to the object they illuminate. Avoid direct and reflected glare by using proper mounting locations and aiming angles and choosing fixtures that have baffles or shields to prevent a view of the light source. Install separate controls for accent fixtures so they can be used only when needed and sensitive objects such as photographs and artwork are exposed to less light. Create effective highlights and save energy by reducing the ambient light in the space surrounding the accented object. Additionally, choose background colors that contrast strongly with the highlighted object to reduce the light output required to achieve a dramatic effect.


Example Patterns