Recessed Lighting:Recessed lighting
is popular as a general lighting source. Recessed lighting may be in the form of 3" to 8" diameter "can" type fixtures consisting of a "trim
" and a "housing
". Recessed "trims" are the visible portion of the recessed light fixture and are available in hundreds of styles and colors to control the spread of light, reflect the light and/or match a particular decor or theme. The "housing" is the actual enclosure that is installed into the attic and connected to the power system. Different housings are available for new construction and remodel construction where attic access is difficult.
CAUTION: Where recessed lighting may be in contact with building insulation, an "IC" rated housing is required to prevent a potential fire hazard. In many office environments, general lighting is provided in the form of luminous fluorescent ceiling panels.Task Lighting:
Task lighting typically refers to the higher level of light provided on work areas such as kitchen islands, countertops and desks. Additional light is directed to these areas using recessed, track
. Concealed undercabinet lighting is also frequently used by lighting designers to provide task illumination without seeing the source (fixture).
Fixtures with either low or line-voltage halogen or xenon bulbs
provide a whiter, warmer light than fluorescent undercabinet lighting
. 5 watt xenon or halogen lamps spaced 6 inches apart are suitable for most task lighting purposes where the fixture is within 24" of the worksurface.
Whether recessed, track or undercabinet style, low voltage halogen or xenon lighting fixtures are smaller than line voltage lighting but require a transformer to change the voltage
from 120 volt to 12 volt. The transformer is included inside many low voltage fixtures but is also sometimes separate depending on the particular fixture and style.Accent Lighting:
To be effective, accent lighting should be approximately four times
the level of ambient (background) light in an area. Focusing light on an "accented object" or "area" draws attention to a picture, vase or other focal point.
Here again, halogen lighting type fixtures provide a whiter, brighter appearance than standard incandescent or fluorescent type fixtures.
The selected fixture should be directional, either a swivel or gimbal type fixture to aim the light exactly where it is needed. Adjustable surface mount fixtures, track fixtures and even recessed style fixtures are available with "aimability" in mind. For a dramatic museum-type effect, some fixtures can include a focusing lens for pinpoint accuracy.