What Is An Accent Lamp?

What is an Accent Lamp and How are They Used?

what is an accent lamp and how are they used

Compared to table lamps, accent lamps are smaller, usually have only one bulb socket, and can use bulbs with up to 60 watts.

Because of their small size, from 22 to 24 inches high, accent lamps are generally used to highlight and act as decor around the home. While they can still provide lighting, their primary purpose is to complement the style of the room.

The 3 Basic Types of Lighting Explained

While more prominent sources of light in the home have a purely efficient function, smaller lamps can fall into one of three categories.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the first form of lighting to consider when designing a room, but it doesn’t have to serve a decor purpose since it’s often not on display. These sources of light help create a well-lit, ambient atmosphere in the room.

It can come in the form of large table lamps, floor lamps, and even ceiling fixtures.

Task lighting

Task lighting refers to the lamps that adorn your desk or reading corner. Their specific purpose is to cast light in one location to help with detail-oriented or focused tasks and alleviate eye strain.

These kinds of lamps have distinctive shades that angle the light downwards instead of radiating it out, like ambient lighting.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is used to help highlight important decor pieces or draw attention to a specific part of the room. These types of lighting are like task lights in that they angle the light in one direction instead of multiple ones.

These can include track lighting, recessed lighting, or spotlight-style lamps. Because they are meant to draw attention, they can be up to three times brighter than ambient lights.

Accent Lamp Lighting and How It’s Used

Think of accent lighting as a spotlight for your home. These kinds of lamps highlight artwork on the wall, vignettes on a table, or some other important and noteworthy decor piece.

Sometimes, the accent lamp serves as a piece of decor by creating a foundational layer for a vignette, an arrangement of items that add style and personality to the home. Transitional lamps are a good example of this.

How Do You Use Accent Lamps in Your Home?

how do you use accent lamps in your home

Accent lamps are meant to be a stylish and functional addition to your home’s decor. They complement any overhead lighting you may have and make the room brighter than it would be with just sunlight from windows.

Where to Put an Accent Table Lamp

As accent lamps are meant to catch the eye, place an accent table lamp anywhere you want to draw attention or cast mood lighting.

Place them among other decor items to create a cohesive or complementary style, or use one in your living room or near your entryway to welcome guests and give them a taste of your design vision for your home.

What’s a Good Height for a Table Lamp?

what’s a good height for a table lamp

Use accent lamps to balance out your room’s dimensions. If you want the room to appear taller and larger, use recessed or track lighting or accent lights to brighten artwork high on the wall.

If you want to create a cozier scene, include shorter accent table lamps. Typical accent lamps are no more than 24 inches tall to complement but not overwhelm the style of the room.

How Much Does an Accent Lamp Cost?

how much does an accent lamp cost

As accent lighting comes in many shapes and sizes, you can find a wide range of styles from different retailers to fit just about any budget.

Depending on the type of bulb and the manufacturer, lamps can range from $20 to upwards of several hundred.

James Marshall
About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »