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Decorating with Accent Lighting

Decorating with Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is considered to be a very popular way to embellish various architectural designs or art pieces in one’s home. What an accent light does is transform an ordinary painting, vase, sculpture, or artwork into something spectacular. Instead of having your favorite painting blend in with its surroundings, its unique details can be enhanced by an accent light, making it a focal point of the room. However, choosing the correct kind of lighting is important in order to achieve the look you have in mind, and avoid being disappointed.

Where to Begin

Selecting a room and an art piece that you want to emphasize is typically the first step. Certain areas in the house, such as laundry rooms, workshops, and closets, are not the ideal place for an accent light because, needless to say, these spaces do not require a particular style or ambiance. However, areas such as the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and even the exterior of the house are perfect places for an accent light. After the room is chosen, look for a dimly lit area in the room, where there is a limited amount of ambient light - corners are usually good choices. In order to obtain maximum effect, the accent light should be roughly four to five times the level of the ambient light in the area. When you find a suitable spot for an accent light, the next thing to do is choose which art piece will be in the limelight. After that is done, the tougher decisions begin.

Types of Accent Lights

There is a wide variety of accent lights available on the market. It is important to choose the one that suits your purpose and satisfies your goal. A typical accent light is usually a bright, white light that is not supposed to illuminate the entire room, but is designed to be directional and aimed at the specific art piece in order to highlight its unique details and particular attributes. Accent lighting comes in the form of floor lamps, table lamps, track lighting, recessed cans, mono points, low voltage linear systems, in-wall or in-ceiling fixtures, and more.

When it comes to lighting an object such as a piece of art, the MR-11 and MR-16 spotlights are very good choices for directing a narrow and powerful beam on the target. However, nothing gets the job done like low voltage halogen bulbs. They are known to be very accurate and their beam of light is unmatched when compared to other methods of accent lighting. The bulb is also important. Test a variety of them and choose the one that produces the desired effect. The fixture you select should work well with the bulb, and can either blend in with the rest of the room, or it can be unique and complement the art piece. There are many possibilities to choose from, but the important thing is to choose a fixture that suits your taste and pleases you. Check this site for more information on the numerous different fixtures on the market.

When a room has simple ambient lighting, it is more or less the same as every other room in the house. It tends to be drab and boring. Art pieces do not get the proper attention they deserve, and their fabulous details go unnoticed in the ambient light. If you are unhappy because your favorite art piece is not receiving the admiration it deserves, an accent light is just the thing for you. Give that painting, vase or sculpture that extra kick by highlighting it with an accent light - reveal its true beauty and fill its viewers with awe.


Donovan Gauvreau


Art Historian, Donovan Gauvreau lectures about art therapy with a focus on creativity development. He believes we can learn from the great masters in art to communicate ideas and feelings through painting. He provides content for www.AaronArtPrints.org to educate and inspire people to take a glimpse into an artist's life to better understand the meaning behind their work.


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