Set the mood with accent lights
It's no secret that the lighting in a room has a huge impact on the way the furniture and accessories and everything else in that room look, and on the way you feel when you're in that room -- anyone who has stepped into a spa room with warm decorative lighting fixtures on the walls, or into an office where the fluorescent lights are invasively glaring down, has experienced the difference that the right or wrong lighting can make.
Accent lighting is designed to do exactly what its name implies: it accents a specific area or feature of your home, from the kitchen backsplash, to the staircase, to the original sculpture in your hallway. Since the very purpose of accent lighting is to draw attention to itself and whatever it is illuminating, its use needs to be executed with care and taste.
Accent Lights for Backlighting
Accent lights can be used to highlight some of the smaller treasured possessions that contribute to the style of a room. Your collection of crystal figurines in the sitting room curio, or Wedgwood china in the dining room hutch, or leather-bound first editions on the living room book shelf will become significantly more eye-catching when the shelves they sit on are illuminated from behind by accent backlighting.
Outdoor Accent Lighting
Accent lighting can be just as effective outside your home as it is inside. Decorative night nights beside your driveway or walking pathway are both a pretty visual detail and a conscientious safety precaution.
Another popular outdoor use for simultaneously functional and decorative lighting is to illuminate your house number when it's located somewhere other than on the side of your house. Having accent lights shining on that wooden sign or big decorative rock out at the street will make all the difference in the world when the pizza guy or first-time party guests try to find your address after the sun goes down.
For outdoor accent lights, it is much more convenient to have lights that you don't have to turn on. Look for battery-operated, motion-sensor LED lights, or solar-powered lights to maximize your energy efficiency.