When we light spaces we never want to over light them, as shadows create mystery and drama. In order to achieve this effect, there are three categories of interior lighting you need to know about: ambient (or general), task, and accent. A successful lighting scheme requires a combo of all three; what we in the biz call “layering.”

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1. SET THE TONE WITH AMBIENT LIGHTING

This provides general illumination and is most often found in recessed lighting, chandeliers, and other ceiling fixtures. Recessed halogens, positioned around the perimeter of a room, can fool the eye by appearing to push back the walls. But go easy on the downlights: Avoid zillions in each and every ceiling, so that rooms are lit up like an airport runway. Dimmers are key here, as they will enable you to control the amount of illumination according to the daylight. You’ll get far more control over brightness and mood with dimmers, so as the day progresses, you can control various lighting scenes.

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