Ask G

Ask G: The difference between room and task lighting

Choose the right type of lighting for your needs

A sales assistant told me that a particular light was good for task lighting, but not room lighting. What did he mean?

Sara, WA

Halogen downlight

Credit: Everystockphoto

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'Task lighting' is also referred to as spot lighting or feature lighting. It provides a concentrated pool of light.

Halogen downlights, for example, are well suited to task lighting.

Task lighting is often used to shine a spotlight on paintings or other decorative features, in reading lamps and over kitchen benches.

'Room lighting' is really general lighting and is done most efficiently using a single bright compact florescent lamp pendant light.

Light is spread over a larger area - an efficient way to provide enough light for you to see your way to the bathroom without tripping over the coffee table.