Three layers of light are typically observed: task lighting, general (also called ambient) lighting, and accent lighting. Combining and balancing these lighting types gives visual interest to the space and creates a more attractive, exciting and inviting environment.
Task lighting is most effective when used as a supplement to general lighting in work-spaces, conference areas, and on counter tops. Effective task lighting should eliminate shadows on the specific illuminated area, while preventing glare from the lamp or off surfaces.
Ambient lighting should radiate a comfortable level of brightness and provide a sense of relaxation and spaciousness. The light level should be uniform throughout the space, inconspicuous and neutral.
Accent lighting reinforces design aesthetics and creates a dramatic emphasis on shapes, textures, finishes and colors. It creates a visual interest in the space and enhances almost anything.