Another component of the "layers" of light in a room, task lighting is directional light aimed at a specific task. It is a way to provide more light on a specific area to perform a task that requires more light than the ambient fixtures can provide. Task fixtures accomplish this without wasting energy trying to illuminate the entire space to the higher desired light level.
Desk lamps and ceiling pendants are good examples of task fixtures. A desk lamp in an office or a ceiling pendant above a breakfast bar can give the additional light needed to read a newspaper or magazine.
When aiming a task light, make sure the light source or bulb is shielded from the viewing angle to reduce or eliminate the direct glare of the source. If possible, use two sources for task lighting to minimize shadowing and reduce "hot spots' created by single light sources.