Story by Micaela Arnett / April 25, 2023

The Glow Up:  A Charleston homeowner’s guide to layering the three main types of lighting (ambient, accent, and task) for maximum design impact.


Ambient light refers to the general lighting in a home that creates the overall ambiance with fixtures like chandeliers, pendants, and floor lamps.

Three Light Beaded Rope Chandelier 

Charleston Lighting and Interiors 

Chandeliers are ceiling suspended with multiple bulbs incorporated into one fixture.

Nubia Pendant 

Celadon Home

Pendants add personality and intimate light for a more moody, atmospheric vibe.

Tropical Brass Floor Lamp

J&K Home Furnishings 

Table and floor lamps are classic and easy to arrange at different heights for visual variety.


Accent light comes from smaller, more decorative fixtures like sconces and wall mounts that highlight your home’s artwork and architecture. Sconces are usually used in bathrooms, hallways, and at the bedside.

Whit Wall Sconce

Carolina Lanterns & Lighting 


Task lights are just as they sound, increasing your fine detail visibility for various tasks in your most used spaces like the kitchen and bathroom.

Lettie Flush Mount

Shanty Shoppe

Kohler Occasion Semi-Flush Drum 

Gateway Supply Co. 

This includes recessed or canned lighting built into the ceiling, track lighting installed beneath your upper cabinetry, and flush or semi-flush lights which are typically placed in the middle of a room. 

Cover Photo by Patrick Brickman | Home Built by SHELTER Custom-Built Living

Local Lighting Specialists:

J&K Home Furnishings,  Shanty Shoppe,  Charleston Lighting and Interiors,  Lowcountry Lighting Studio,  Design on Tap,  Carolina Lanterns & Lighting,  Celadon Home,  Gateway Supply Co.,  Ferguson Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Gallery,  Iola Modern,  Charleston Lamp Company,  CLEOD Glass + Works,  Danco Modern Furniture,  Steven Shell Living 

Featured Fixtures: