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What Is Ambient Lighting?

What Is Ambient Lighting?

In every living space, lighting plays a big role in setting the mood and providing a functional light source for the people within the space. While there are many types of lighting, it’s best to know about the main one: ambient lighting.

Ambient lighting, or general lighting, serves as the primary source of light in a room. It is about creating “natural light” that covers all your immediate surroundings.

You want to achieve a soft, warm glow that blankets your space and is bright enough for you to easily navigate around it, but soft enough to not cause a harsh glare. Effective ambient lighting provides basic light functionality while creating a warm and cozy mood for your room.

Fixtures That Create Ambient Lighting

Recessed Light

Recessed lighting works well when used throughout an indoor space. These fixtures are installed into a hollow opening in the ceiling. The light produced goes in a downward direction as either a broad floodlight or a narrow spotlight.

Recessed light is quite versatile. It can be installed into all types of ceilings and in different rooms like the bedroom, kitchen, living room, and den. However, keep in mind that if your ceiling is low, you should use just enough recessed lighting so that it won’t overwhelm the space.

Chandeliers and Pendants

These light fixtures are perfect for high-ceiling rooms because they make a statement in what could otherwise be cold, imposing spaces. They can be used in foyers, in grand living areas, and even in bathrooms.
It’s important that you measure the height of the room and the lighting fixture. This way, you get the suitable illumination for the room and at the same time avoid making the chandelier a nuisance for people walking around the space.

Wall Sconces

These are wall-installed light fixtures that usually (but not always) direct light upwards. Wall sconces are versatile because they can be used in both indoor and outdoor areas of a home. For instance, they can be used in outdoor spaces like patios and porches. Meanwhile, they can also be installed in bedrooms, bathrooms, and indoor hallways.

Since wall sconces are installed a few meters from each other, they can generate a gentle glow. It’s best to just use one or two sconces to maintain a soft quality of light. If you use too many sconces and put them close to each other, you could end up with harsh lighting that ruins the relaxed atmosphere of a space.

Choosing the Right Wattage

The goal of ambient lighting is to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetic depth. Therefore, besides the location and appropriateness of your light fixture (after all, it wouldn’t be a good idea to use a chandelier for the porch), the light wattage should be spot on.

You can determine the right wattage according to how you will use the space. For instance, if the fixture is your main source of light for reading or working, then you should opt for higher bulb wattage. On the other hand, if the space is mainly for lounging and entertaining, then a dimmer bulb is the way to go.

Aside from wattage, color temperature is also an important consideration in ambient lighting. Yellowish light mimics dusky, early evening light, which makes it appropriate for restful and relaxed spaces. Meanwhile, choose a cooler, bluish temperature for your room if it is intended to give off a more energetic and productive vibe.

Final Thoughts

Achieving the perfect ambient lighting can be a complex project. It involves finding what type of lighting fixture and what level of illumination is ideal for a specific area in your space. What’s more, it has to blend style and functionality to be fully effective.

With so many options out there, it’s impossible not to find the most suitable ambient lighting for your space. Don’t be afraid to be creative, because when executed well, ambient lighting can bring so much more life to any room.

This article was written with the help of homely.com.au

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