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10 Tips for Best Usage of Accent Lighting

Accent lighting can make anything look ten times more beautiful.  Look at the sun.  A little tip of the earth, and you have four beautiful seasons and a full moon.  There are as many tips for accent lighting as there are stars in the sky – but here are ten tips for accent lighting usage around your house and home.

•1)       Use accent lighting at parties and holidays.  (Because every day is a holiday!)

I know you want accent lights around your kitchen cupboards – but it’s more fun to have a party!  Hang twinkle lights or rope lights around perimeters, trees, and entranceways – white for formal, and for the festive – Color!  Color!  Color!  Put a string of lights under a tablecloth to highlight a buffet.  Bring centerpieces to life with overhead recessed lighting.  Hint: Don’t place lights behind where guests sit.  It could produce an unflattering shadow. 

•2)       Help out the sun – use accent lighting outdoors.

A trail of solar lights down your driveway makes a red-carpet entrance on party day – and for your family everyday.  Weave lights over a decorative fence.  Highlight your favorite plants, bird fountains, flags, or that special baby tree.  Gentle lights will compliment gentle nights.

•3)       Use accent lighting in your hallway or foyer.

Don’t spotlight the mud the kids bring in. Gentle wall sconces will make your guests feel warm and welcome – and keep their eyes off the floor.

•4)       Use accent lighting for your favorite possessions.

You don’t want to put the spotlight in your boyfriend’s face – just accent your favorite photographs, a Monet, or that old antique treasure box you found.  Even your favorite books can get the special treatment with accent lighting.

•5)       Use accent lighting to remember things.

What was I saying?  Oh ya – accent lights to remember things.  Here’s where you can have that little light under the cupboard highlighting your keys.  If you can’t see without your eyeglasses, place a soft accent light on your bedside table.  The right accent light will give enough light without disturbing your sleep.  If your clocks don’t have lights, brighten up the time with accent lights.

•6)       Use accent lights for color and texture.

Color your world with light. “Wash” a wall with light.  Highlight a spectrum of color or texture on a wall or ceiling.  Create a pattern of light, or use the accent lights themselves to create a pattern that produces a seamless design element.  You can create a subtle design with decorative sconces lined up under shelving or around a base of a bar.  For a more powerful effect, create a large design of light in the center of an empty wall.  It could be as simple as a star – or as abstract as a few lines from a Jackson Pollock masterpiece.

•7)       Use accent lights for creating depth.

Use the secrets of professional landscapers and photographers to create depth using a few accent lights.  Focusing the beam of light at a more acute angle on a textured object will create shadows that give the illusion of depth.  Use light and mirrors to give depth or space to a smaller room.

•8)       Use accent lights for architectural highlighting.

Accent the intricate details on your fireplace.  Bring out the insets of your built-in shelves.  If you pride yourself in the originality of your hardware accessories – show them off with some accent lighting.  Accent lighting can give the architectural elements of your home the visual status they deserve.

•9)       Use accent lights for your outdoor platforms.

Your porch, deck, patio and sidewalk can all benefit from surface mounted outdoor solar accent lights.  Even if the stars aren’t out – your outdoor nights can be comfortably lit.

•10)   Use accent lights to help you see.

Yes, it’s true.  Accent lights can help you see.  Seeing better does not have to be relegated to task-lighting.  Put accent lights where task lighting could use a little help.  Brighten up a child’s room with some colorful accent lights.  Get some funky accent lights for your teenager’s room – just don’t tell them it’s so they can see their homework better.  Get some durable accent lights for the worktable.

Accent lights can be used as creatively or as classically as your designer instinct allows.  Take some lighting tips from the evening stars – paint your home with lights and let their beauty accent your life.

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