Accent lighting highlights objects or architectural elements with narrow beams of light. It takes advantage of the fact that we judge the brightest area in the room or space to be the most important. Thus, accent lighting specifically directs our attention. It separates the important from the unimportant and visually brings objects to the foreground. Visually, a hierarchy of perception can therefore be established. For example, exhibits in exhibition spaces, reception areas in a foyer or special architectural elements are highlighted.
Accent lighting leads to good perception of shapes and surface structures. The directional light creates hard shadows and thus good modelling and brilliance
. A brightness contrast
of 1:10 is perceived as a strong contrast between the surroundings and the object.