Task Lighting- Illuminating your subject
A major problem with central room lighting is that it is often not bright enough to illuminate the task you are trying to perform. There is often something between you and the source of the light, casting a shadow over what you are trying to do, making everything more difficult. The easiest way to eliminate this problem is to increase the light emitted by your current room light fixture by putting in a brighter bulb. Unfortunately this permanently increases the light in the room and can be oppressive when you do not need to see things close at hand. The solution is task lighting.
The most common form of task lighting is found in kitchens. Undercabinet lights are installed behind a facia panel and provide direct light onto work surfaces. This eliminates the problem of shadows falling across food preparation surfaces and greatly reduces the risk of accidents when using kitchen implements. Undercabinet lighting is available to purchase both online and at regular “offline” outlets.
Task lights are also extremely useful in other rooms of the house. A clip-on spotlight can be moved around a room to whoever needs it and wherever it is needed. An angle-poise lamp can be positioned differently depending on the particular task you are undertaking, whilst a floor standing lamp can be more permanently positioned to provide backlighting to compliment the primary source of light in a room.
Many manufacturers offer bathroom task lighting, mainly in the form of a light above a mirror with a shaver socket incorporated in the design. Be aware that these need to be fitted by a qualified person, water and electricity are notoriously bad bed fellows and there are many regulations governing light fittings in bathrooms.
The bedroom is another location that task lighting has many advantages over central room lighting. A couple can have a task light each, allowing one to continue to read when the other wants to go to sleep. A room that contains a display of some description will benefit hugely from the addition of task lighting. Whether it is a low voltage track lighting arrangement, that allows spotlights to be directed onto a display cabinet, or a small uplighter that bathes a painting in a natural glow both will have the desired effect. They will naturally draw the eye of the onlooker to the item or items on display.
An easier way of bringing task lighting to a room that is lit only by a central lighting fixture is to change that fixture for one that is itself a task light. Many companies offer central task lighting, a three way spotlight fitting or a track light with a central feed are just two ways of changing the whole feel of a room without great cost or expense.
As with any electrical work always ensure that it is completed by a competent person, A badly fitted light is as dangerous as no light at all.