How to correctly use task lighting in the home

How to correctly use task lighting in the home

Whilst often an overlooked aspect when refurbishing a room or work place. Task lighting is in fact an important part of the design and function of a room. Task lighting does exactly that, it gives a correctly focused and direct light onto a particular task area. The direct beam of light highlights a specific area such as a computer desk, kitchen worktop, bedroom dresser, reading nook or bathroom sink area. Task lighting is key to avoid eyestrain. Using one main source of light isn’t effective. This type of light will only give one wash of illumination over the whole of the space. But it doesn’t light specific areas that may need a stronger or brighter illumination. That’s were task lighting comes in.

Task lighting shouldn’t be confused with actual task lamps. Although one of the main fixtures used for task lighting. There are many different styles of lights that can be considered for the role of task lighting. Including pendants, under cabinet lights, wall lights and down-lights. These styles of lighting are usually adjustable such as swing arm desk lamps or angled floor lamps.

Kitchen and office spaces are the two main rooms in a home that will require the most task lighting. However, every room will need some sort of task lighting. Whether it be a reading corner lamp in the lounge or a bedside wall light in the bedroom.

Task Lighting Rules

To get the most out of your task lights we advise you follow some simple rules:

  1. Lights should be correctly located to the task not in front of it. Keep them facing downwards to avoid the brightness of the light glaring into your eyes.
  2. The lamp should never be directed in the line of sight. They should be located above the head and towards the task at hand. Take care if you have metallic or glass surfaces as this may reflect the light up into the eye. The same rule applies if there is a TV in the room.
  3. A dimmable option will work best if there are several reflective surfaces in the room. Some LED table and floor lamps options will give a more directional light source too.
  4. If you are right-handed place the light on the left, if left-handed vice-versa

How to correctly use task lighting in the home

For work surfaces avoid any shadows by placing the lamp in the opposite direction to which you write. For instance, in a home office a desk lamp should be angled towards your writing material not behind your writing arm. Alternatively, if you are working with both hands a low level pendant ceiling light that gives an overhead direct pool of light will suffice. This is ideal for work stations such as a kitchen worktop or island. Where you would usually be using both hands for chopping and mixing.

How to correctly use task lighting in the home

Task Lighting for the bedroom

If you’re an avid bed-book reader the best type of light has to be natural light. However for night time readers you’ll need a little more help. Mounted wall lights with an adjustable neck are the best source of light, clip on lights will also work well and can be clamped to bed headboards too. We advise you choose lamps with an in-line switch or install a switch nearby so you don’t have to get out of bed to switch the light off.

How to correctly use task lighting in the home

Task Lighting for the living room

Firstly, think about what tasks you might undertake in your lounge area. For reading, place a small table lamp on a side table that can be angled correctly to give a direct light onto your page. Alternatively, for reading nooks place an angled or curved floor lamp behind your chair and slightly to the side to give an overhead light. Positioning the light slightly to the side will improve visual performance and prevent the light from reflecting off the page.

Floor lamps in task lighting

Task lighting for the bathroom

Having the correct task lighting scheme in your bathroom will promote self-confidence and give you a great start to your day. The bathroom is one of the rooms in the house that we fill our time with doing many tasks such as makeup application and shaving. The mirror area needs to have sufficient lighting that will give a positive light such as a shadow-less illumination. This can be achieved with the use of wall sconces, install two either side of the mirror for an even illumination. We’d advise not to have a direct light above the mirror as this can throw light onto the forehead which in-turn creates shadows across the eyes, nose and chin area.