According to renowned lighting designer Jean Rosenthal, “lighting affects everything light falls upon. How you see what you see, how you feel.” While Rosenthal was talking about theatrical lighting design, the quote applies to lighting for interior design, as well.
Of the three critical components of lighting design, ambient lighting serves to impact the look and feel of interior spaces. Here’s a closer look at what ambient lighting is, why it matters, and several tips for using it to illuminate your home in a functional and aesthetically pleasing way.
What Is Ambient Lighting?
Design theory holds that all lighting plans should incorporate three basic types of lighting: task, accent, and ambient. While the first two types are more specific in purpose, ambient lighting refers to the overall illumination of a space. Also called general lighting, it represents a room’s primary source of light. As such, it is the foundation upon which all other lighting is layered on.
Ambient lighting comprises many different sources of light. For starters, natural light qualifies as ambient lighting. However, lighting that replaces natural light also falls under this category. Many different types of light fixtures serve this purpose, including ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures, wall sconces, chandeliers, recessed lights, light kits on ceiling fans, torchieres, and track lights.
Ambient lighting is responsible for providing a comfortable level of brightness in a room. In this sense, it supports both safety and convenience. However, ambient light also dictates a room’s ambiance by adding warmth and depth to your living space. It can even be used to make a room look larger.
Ambient Lighting Tips and Tricks
Now that we’ve established what ambient lighting is and why it matters, it’s essential to learn how to use it to illuminate your home effectively. When considering your options for ambient lighting, consider the following tips:
Assess Your Location
The first thing to consider is the location itself. Does the room get a lot of natural light? Passive light sources can be both adequate and appealing. You can also use mirrors and other reflective materials to amplify natural light.
After assessing your space’s natural lighting, you’ll have a better sense of where to place your fixtures. Introducing the right combination and placement of light fixtures and lamps can have a balancing effect while simultaneously bringing the room to life.
Stay True to Your Design Sensibility
Also instrumental in guiding your ambient lighting plan is your personal design sensibility. Do you prefer conventional and classic or modern and minimalist? Not only does a particular light fixture set the tone for the space, but it also communicates the desired style. Additionally, choosing ambient lighting fixtures with finishes that coordinate with the rest of the room creates cohesion.
Consider the Intensity of Your Lighting
Light color and intensity are also important. Again, this is guided by a room’s appearance and usage. For example, living rooms and bedrooms may benefit from the warm, even glow facilitated by soft white incandescent bulbs. Meanwhile, garages, laundry rooms, and other task-oriented spaces may benefit from the higher illumination levels of fluorescent lighting.
Use Dimmers for Added Functionality
Lastly, don’t underestimate the potential of dimmers on ambient interior lighting. These handy controls allow you to alter the light in a room with the push of a button or the twist of a dial.
Looking to Set the Mood of Your Room with Ambient Lighting? Fashion Light Center Has Everything You Need
Interior designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz told Elle Decor, “Light is the magical ingredient that makes or breaks a space; it’s one of the most important elements in all [of] my interiors.” If you’re hoping to improve the look and feel of your home, ambient lighting – paired with complementary task and accent lighting – is an invaluable part of the puzzle.
One of the leading lighting stores in CT, Fashion Light Center is a trusted source for interior lighting for homes. For expert advice aimed at brightening and beautifying your home with hanging wall lanterns, interior wall lights, and other interior lighting fixtures, schedule a consultation with the FLC team in Greenwich CT, today. Our specialists are happy to answer all of your questions and help you design a lighting scheme that suits your personal style.