Task lighting

Task lighting refers to any lighting that is used specifically for certain tasks such as food preparation, reading or doing homework. It’s important to know what task lighting is, what it’s used for, and how to incorporate it at home.

While a combination of natural, ambient and accent lights will be sufficient in many spaces throughout the home, task lighting provides a fit-for-purpose solution where extra illumination is needed. Choose fixtures that suit the job at hand. Small pendant lights create a spotlight effect ideal for compact spaces. However, those same spotlights may be distracting for a kitchen island. In that case, multiple, larger pendant lights may work better.

To help you determine where you might need task lighting, consider what activities you do in each room of the home.


When lighting a kitchen island or other food prep zone, track lighting can provide clear and direct illumination, while stylish pendant lights can offer a decorative element in addition to their practical use. Under-cabinet lighting provides an unobtrusive solution to countertops, lighting the required area without taking up valuable counter space.

Row of Hoyann pendants above a kitchen island. Under-cabinet lights in a kitchen.
Left: Row of Hoyann 250 pendants above a kitchen island in the Ashford display by Celebration Homes. Right: Under-cabinet lights in a Metricon kitchen.

Living room

Task lighting is used to add visibility to a small area, with light bright enough to illuminate small details, reduce strain on the eyes, and avoid distracting shadows. In living areas, tightly-focused pendants, wall sconces and downlights are the most common light sources for task lighting. Moveable floor lamps and desk lamps can also be used for tasks such as reading.

Clarence industrial style pendant, Corey 200 pendant, Luca bamboo wall lamp.
Left: Clarence industrial style pendant in a living room nook. Middle: Small Corey 200 pendant positioned near a side table. Right: Read easily with the Luca bamboo wall lamp nearby.


Will you opt for fixed lights like wall-mounted swing-arm lamps or beautiful sconces, or mix it up with freestanding lamps? Commonly used for reading in the evening, task lighting in the bedroom should be positioned to direct light where needed, minimising eye strain and avoiding unwanted glare.

Orwell reading light. Tinker wall lamp. Desk lamp on bedside table.
Left: Orwell wall light directed for nighttime reading. Middle: Tinker wall lamp with pivoting head. Right: Freestanding desk lamp on a bedside table.


In this area, activities like applying make-up, shaving or other forms of grooming are made easier with carefully-placed lights. Installed either above the bathroom mirror or down either side, these task lights illuminate the face evenly and reduce shadows cast by downlights. When it comes to mounting fixtures on either side of the mirror, aim for mid-face level to provide a soft, even glow across your face.

Downlights and backlit mirror in marble bathroom. Falper backlit mirror in dark bathroom. Burton Ball wall lamps near mirror and vanity of stone bathroom.
Left: Downlights for ambient light and backlit mirror for task light in a Hallbury Homes display. Middle: Falper backlit mirror. Right: Burton Ball wall lamps near the mirror and vanity of a Boutique Homes display.

Home office

Working in front of a computer for long hours can cause discomfort and eye strain without sufficient light. A focused light source, such as an adjustable or articulated desk lamp, directs light exactly where you need it, ensuring a comfortable and practical working environment. Task lighting is important for your eye health. Inadequate lighting can cause eye strain and lead to vision problems.

Pivot Round pendant in home office. Nook Collections desk lamp. Edgar wall light in home office.
Left: The Pivot Round pendant provides task illumination and style. Middle: Desk lamp from Nook Collections. Right: A discreet option; the Edgar pivoting wall light.

To learn more about task lighting and how Amphis can guide your lighting layout, contact one of our team members.