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Photo: John O'Hagan

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There are four basic types of lighting. Each of these should be incorporated in every room for a balanced effect. General lighting, also referred to as ambient light, is the most obvious solution. The best plan combines a source of natural light with electrical fixtures placed throughout the room. Task lighting is essential for a specific function, such as a bedside reading lamp, desk lamp, or under-cabinet lights in a kitchen. Accent lighting is another component. It is ideal for highlighting objects such as art, bookshelves, or architectural focal points. Utility lighting is often overlooked. These sources are important where safety is a concern, such as in a basement stairway or near an exterior trash receptacle.

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