Proper task lighting is a very important and often overlooked aspect of any room or work environment. Task lighting is localized lighting that provides the correct amount of light exactly where it’s needed to suit the task at hand. It’s a beam of light that is directed on the surface and therefore would highlight the area you are working on. Examples of specific task lighting applications include reading, writing, working, using a computer, craftwork, cooking, putting on makeup or shaving, etc.
Don’t confuse task lighting—the application—with a task light–the fixture. Many different kinds of fixtures can provide task lighting, including downlights, vanity lighting, pendants, etc, without being designed specifically to do so.
Task lights and task lamps are lighting products designed precisely for that purpose; they are often portable fixtures with a cord and plug, or under-cabinet lights. Types of task lights include, but are not limited to, desk lamps, swing arm desk lamps, overhead spots, wall-mounted reading lights, under-cabinet lighting, table lamps, and even book lights.
It isn’t efficient or even effective to use the same amount of light across a whole room or work environment, so that’s why we need task lighting and task lights. A good desk lamp is particularly important in the modern work environment or home office, as viewing a computer monitor requires far less light than does reading a typewritten page.
Overhead lighting levels can be reduced to a level appropriate for monitor viewing, which creates a softer, more pleasant overall atmosphere and saves energy. Work surfaces can then be supplemented with task lighting from desk lights or reading lamps to give workers total control over where and how much light they need for other tasks, such as reading a document.