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Layering With LED Lights

Contemporary Living RoomAs well as illuminating a home, your choice of lighting can impact the way a room feels and looks. The best interior designs rely on a technique known as “layering”. This is where ambient, task and accent lighting are combined to create a visually interesting and functional space.

It goes without saying that we have LED lighting options to help you achieve all of these effects.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting refers to a room’s general lighting, primarily for visibility and orientation. This is typically provided by ceiling-mounted luminaires, such as pendants, downlights and tracks.

Generally, you’ll want to have a general ambiance of around 50-60 lux for a living room.

If you’re not sure, lux is the total lumens you have divided by number of square metres that are being illuminated.

So an example of this is as follows. Let’s say you have four downlights, each providing 250 lumens. This gives you a total of 1,000 lumens.

Now let’s say that these four downlights are illuminating an area of 10 square metres in size. You would divide 1,000 by 10 – giving 100 lux.

Naturally then, the amount of light you need is largely dependent on the size of your room, and also your personal taste. Some people will prefer more light than others.

Here’s a tip – avoid LED bulbs with a high colour temperature, as they can end up making a space appear cold and clinical. Instead, we would advise using warm white LED bulbs, which helps make a room feel intimate.

Task Lighting

Task lighting provides supplemental illumination for activities that require more light, such as reading, shaving and food preparation. It usually comes from bright, localised light sources such as desk lamps.

Ideally, it should be brighter than your ambient lighting, but not by so much that it draws attention.

One of the most common types of task lighting is under cabinet lighting. By throwing a clear, bright light onto the kitchen work tops, it becomes easier to see when preparing food.

Our 12V LED Light Bars and Single Colour LED Strip Lights are ideal for task lighting.

Accent Lighting

Sometimes referred to as feature lighting, accent lighting is used to accentuate particular features of a room, such as paintings and ornaments. Of the three, accent lighting tends to be the brightest, as it is supposed to highlight specific areas of the room.

Imagine a room with a painting on the wall. If we only used ambient lighting in this space, the painting would not stand out. Now suppose we add a GU10 LED Spotlight with a narrow beam angle above the painting.

The resulting contrast in brightness between the painting and its surroundings accentuates the appearance of the painting.

The balance of light you use will depend on the type of room you’re lighting. For instance, a kitchen or home office may require brighter task lighting, while a living room or relaxation area may benefit more from ambient and accent lighting.

Ultimately, combining these three in different ways, tweaking each one will result in the best compromise between functionality and personal taste, giving you the best results.

If you want to discuss your LED lighting options for your own home, give us a call on 0116 321 4120, or send an email to

You can keep up to date with everything here at Wholesale LED Lights by liking our Facebook page, and following us on Twitter @WLEDLightsUK and using the hashtag #WLEDAware.

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