The biggest mistake that people make when choosing a room’s lighting is that they choose the ambient lighting first. The thinking here is that you want to take care of the biggest space first and then add to it. However, this thinking is backwards. Lighting up a room this way typically ends up creating harsher light than what you want in your home. The correct order for choosing your light fixtures is:
#1 Task lighting
Select all task lighting first. Define what the purpose of the room is. If multiple tasks are to be completed in the room then determine whether you want matching or complimentary light fixtures. Select as many task lighting fixtures as you need for adequate light to complete all regular tasks in the space.
#2 Accent lighting
After choosing your task lighting, you can add your accent lighting. You will want to highlight only one or two areas of a room with accent lighting. You don’t want your accent lighting to compete with your task lighting. It should be subtle and should compliment the task lighting that you choose.
#3 Ambient lighting
Finally, choose your ambient lighting last. Although it is spread throughout the room, this light is really designed to fill in the spaces that aren’t covered by the other two types of lighting. If you have chosen very bold designs for your other fixtures then choose an understated overhead lighting fixture for your ambient lighting. If you have stuck to simple fixtures in the rest of the room, you can make a dramatic statement with the style of your ambient light fixture.