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Task Lights With a Twist!

Task Lights

The perfect living space has the right blend of structural, decorative, and functional elements in it. You have both what soothes the eye and what’s practical for a living space. Novice home decorators are often under the impression that an element could either be one or the other and never the same.

Task lights combine the best of both worlds. This popular lighting solution is often incorporated in office spaces, living areas, and designated corners because of it’s purpose (as the name implies). Nowadays, however, designers are adding more flair to their designs with several varieties in shape, size, themes, and much more variations to choose from when it comes to task lighting. 

What Are Task Lights?

Acorn shape wooden pendant lamp

Shown in Image: Vidar Scandinavian Acorn Shape Wooden Pendant Lamp

As the name implies, task lights are lighting elements designed to help you achieve a particular task. Since all lighting elements provide illumination, task lights provide concentrated lighting for a particular task to be undertaken. 

For example; table lamps or desk lamps are task lights that focus light onto the book you’re reading, the journal you’re writing, or anything of that sort. Task lights form one of three broad categories of lighting, the other two being accent and ambient lighting. 

These lighting elements concentrate light onto a particular area and thereby reduce undue stress on your eyes that might otherwise result in a headache at best and diminish your eyesight at worst. You can even use task lights to perform intricate activities such as artwork, stitching, and other activities that require focus.

You’ll need to differentiate between task lights, ambient lights, and accent lights to better understand the role each of them play:

Task LightingAmbient LightingAccent Lighting
Concentrate light onto a particular area for dedicated illumination.Provide general illumination for the entire room.Accentuate features associated with or in close approximation with these lights.
Offer flexibility in movement in most cases.Are typically overhanging lighting solutions.Are only practical when they have something to accentuate.
Examples include desk lamps, table lamps, scones, etc.Some of these include pendant lights and chandeliers.For instance task lights, painting lights, and some types of scone lights.


Combining Form and Function With Task Lights

Circular wave pendant light

Shown in Image: Unna Artistic Circular Wave Pendant Light

The term ‘lighting elements’ is practically obsolete nowadays and the term ‘lighting solutions’ has taken its place. The latter encompasses a lighting fixture as a whole lot more than just that – it’s a part of the architecture, it adds artistic expression to a room, and provides a dedicated use even within illumination. 

In case of task lights, this dedicated use has been explained. We’re now moving onto the form of the lights which is basically the ‘twist’ mentioned in the title. When task lights were first introduced, they were layered on with ambient and accent lights to make the most out of a room in terms of lighting. 

Today, however, with every lamp you get a plethora of options for lampshades to choose from. The lampshades offer the form and are adaptable for any aesthetic. This is just one example of many of how versatile task lights can be. 

Task Lighting in Different Locations:

  • Living Room

Cozy living room with floor lamp

Credits: Renopedia, Living Icon Pte Ltd

Pendant lights (some variations of them) are considered as task lights. Basically, if the over heading light focuses on a particular space rather than general illumination – it provides task lighting. 

Different design options for task lights in living rooms include:

  • Bars or attachments for multiple pendant lights arranged in variable heights.
  • Different colored pendant lights attached onto the same framework.
  • Pendant lights in more ‘camp’s colors featured in contemporary living spaces.
  • Glass pendant lights mimicking chandeliers for more elegant living room designs.

For dedicated corners in the living room such as reading chairs, comfy recliners, or medication spaces, you might need task lights with more mobility. Namely, lamps.

Based on height, lamps can be categorized as either tall, standing lamps or short, desk lamps. The former are usually stand-alone furnishings in corners of living room over chairs or tables. The latter are found on tables or desks for reading or working purposes.

Variety is usually based on the lampshade instead of the lamp itself. This includes different:

  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Sizes
  • Bathrooms

Texture bathroom with ceiling lamp

Credits: Renopedia, DSOD Interior

In our opinion, if there’s one space in your entire home or apartment where your task light can really shine (pun intended) it’s the bathroom.

Task lighting over large vanity mirrors and dressers serve testament to their purpose. Most task lights in this regard are track lights:

  • With dimmers to make them more flexible in their use.
  • Featuring structural elements.
  • Boasting conceptual work (artistic elements) to them.
  • Dining Rooms

Alluring pendant lights

Shown in Image: Ejvind Scandinavian Alluring Pendant Light

The task that’s to be undertaken in the dining room is pretty straightforward. The pendant light therefore has to be overhanging the dining table. 

Pendant lights are commonly seen in dining rooms overhanging tables and come in multiple arrangements similar to those found in living rooms. The only difference in this case is that they should be adjustable with dimmers and options for fluorescent, incandescent, and other options as well.

  • Kitchens

Cute kitchen corner

Credits: Pexels, Vincent, Rivaud

Multiple task lights can be incorporated into kitchens. Most notably in open floor kitchens. Examples of task lights in kitchens are: 

  • Under cabinet lights 
  • Overhanging kitchen marbles
  • Overhanging kitchen tables

Island lights, referring to the kitchen island, adds more finesse to your kitchen space and also provides practical lighting for chopping vegetables and performing other cooking tasks. Make sure to hang them with enough space so that your family and friends can interact beneath them comfortably.

Under-cabinet lights are lights that hide underneath kitchen cabinets, other bathroom medicine cabinets and other storage locations that cast shadows on counters. Choose from various types such as puck lights that look like spotlights; or long strips of light, ropes or tape-type elements you can string around corners.


Task lights make up one of the three broad categories of lighting solutions. As the name implies, their use is for producing concentrated light in designated spaces for dedicated tasks. 

Modern task lights take form into account just as much as they do functioning. For more task lights with twists, visit Light Vault and browse through our extensive catalog.