Lighting is classified by intended use as general, accent, or task lighting, depending largely on the distribution of the light produced by the fixture.
Task lighting is mainly functional and is usually the most concentrated, for purposes such as reading or inspection of materials. For example, reading poor-quality reproductions may require task lighting levels up to 1500 lux (150 footcandles).
Accent lighting is mainly decorative, intended to highlight pictures, plants, or other elements of interior design or landscaping.
General lighting (sometimes referred to as ambient light) fills in between the two and is intended for general illumination of an area. Indoors, this would be a basic lamp on a table or floor, or a fixture on the ceiling. Outdoors, general lighting for a parking lot may be as low as 10-20 lux (1-2 footcandles).