Downlighting is just that: lighting that shines down to illuminate a space. Down lighting can sometimes be referred to as general lighting. Once it was simply the only light source in a room — that single fixture in the middle of the ceiling. If this is your only option placement and quantity of fixtures are the keys to attaining a balanced lighting level while reducing dark corners. Pot lights are also considered downlighting.
Another important aspect of lighting a space for those with diminishing eyesight is visual cuing. Visual cuing provides an additional reference point for judging distance or depth when entering a space or approaching objects. The lighting at the base of these cabinets or toe-kick lighting contrasts well with the dark floor and midtone cabinetry creating a readily visible contrast. But people will just think it's cool.
Although floor lamps and table lamps obviously differ in their typical size and placement both have the ability to add gentle task lighting for reading while also infusing a general glow wherever they stand targeting anywhere from the center of a room (say on a sofa table) to a dim corner.