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What Is Ambient Lighting and How To Create It?

What Is Ambient Lighting and How To Create It?

  2022-12-02         sparksdirect         Product News » Ventilation News

Lighting plays a central role when it comes to enhancing the aesthetic of your home. With the right tone, colour and temperature of lighting you can create a warm and welcoming mood in your home.

However, proper utilisation and placement of lighting are often overlooked, which in turn leads to a bad lighting situation. Bad lighting downplays the beauty of your interior and creates a bland setting. 

Lighting has three basic types that are essential in improving the mood of a room; ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Task and accent lighting are more specific in their purpose while ambient lighting provides the overall illumination of a room. 

A suitable lighting scheme will utilise these three types of lighting for enhanced aesthetics. But the most important of them is ambient lighting, which shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Here is our guide about what ambient lighting is and how you can create it at your home or any other setting.

What is Ambient Lighting?

Ambient lighting is commonly known as general lighting. Ambient lighting usually comes from the primary source of light in a certain room. It sets the tone for the rest of the lighting in a room. Apart from providing illumination in the room, it also creates a sense of depth with a welcoming atmosphere.

In essence, ambient lighting provides a foundational level of illumination that allows you to see and navigate around a room. Ambient lighting does not give too much glare and is relaxing to the human eye.

Therefore, a central source of it for every room is essential to achieve an excellent lighting scheme. The right source of ambient lighting will need a strategy in choosing which lights to use and where to place them in a room.

Ambient lighting can be provided by installing basic lighting fixtures such as chandeliers, track lights, recessed lights, and wall or ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures. There are many ways to set the right balance of ambient lighting and it comes down to the room you are trying to illuminate. 

In certain settings such as a laundry room, the primary source of lighting can also serve as task lighting.

The main purpose of ambient lighting is to create a cosy, relaxing environment that isn’t taxing on the eyes. 

How To Create Ambient Lighting?

Down below we have compiled a list of factors that need to be considered when choosing ambient lighting for rooms in your home.

Choosing The Location For Lighting

Choosing The Location For Lighting - see the Azumi table Light at Sparks

When choosing the location to install your light fixtures, you will have to evaluate the room when it is dark. You can start by turning off the lights one by one until you reach the least possible illumination without losing visibility. Now take note of areas that need to be accented.

These spaces often include pathways, reading areas, fireplaces, coffee tables, bookshelves, seating areas, and plants. You can use task and accent lighting to illuminate these spaces.

While selecting the location to install your light fixtures make sure that they provide a balanced illumination throughout the room. Lighting just one corner of a large room will make it unbalanced. On the other hand, installing lights in every corner of the room will result in too much glare which is not comfortable at all.

The best way to achieve balance is to install lights in the front space of a room. Use a lamp or other accent lights to illuminate the back corners and bring them in sync with the other parts of the room.

Choosing The Type Of Lighting 

While creating ambient lighting you will also have to choose the type of light fixtures ideal for your needs. The size and the amount of light a fixture can provide are also something you have to consider. 

If you’re looking to stick with a single brand that caters for a variety of lighting fixtures, check out the UK's premier designer and producer of contemporary lighting, Astro Lighting.

Choosing The Light Intensity

The right light intensity can be chosen according to the setting of your room. While doing so you will have to choose the right colour temperature of light. You can create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere with the right colour temperature. 

In order to do so you should choose warm white LED lights or strips to have a cosy yellow glow that is pleasing to the eyes of occupants.

The temperature or warmth of a light is measured in Kelvins. It ranges between 2000K to 6000K, with the former having a flame white colour while the latter having a cool white colour. 

The optimal range is between 2000K and 3000K varying between flame white and warm white. This kind of lighting is great for creating a cosy atmosphere around seating and living areas while still offering enough illumination for people to be able to perform basic tasks.

Another thing you should keep an eye on is the colour rendering index (CRI) of the light fixtures you are installing. The CRI of a light source refers to its ability to show the actual colours of various objects in comparison to a natural light source such as sunlight.

It's measured on a scale from 0–100, with 0 being a poor CRI and 100 being the best.

For homes and residential buildings, we recommend a CRI of at least 80 or above to make things practical.

Choosing The Right Look 

Choosing The Right Look - see the Ginestra 400 Pendant at Sparks

Although the major part of an ambient lighting scheme consists of chandeliers, track lights, recessed lights, and wall or ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures. You will also need accent lighting pieces to get a more balanced aesthetic. So while choosing these accent lighting pieces you should consider them as part of the room's decor and complement your furnishings. 

Lamps with neutral tones are the best option but if you want a dimmer scheme you can choose darker colour shades.

There are many different brands to choose from when pairing the right aesthetic and lighting conditions. A favourite of ours here at SparksDirect.co.uk is Astro Lighting.

This modern British brand is known for its stylish wall lights and downlights, and thanks to its great quality and unique design, it creates the perfect atmosphere in your home.

Using Dimmers 

During the day the atmosphere and mood of your space can be quite different from what it will be at night. So it is important to have lighting that can change accordingly. Using dimmable lighting can be a perfect solution for this. You can brighten them during the day and dim them according to your need in the latter half of the day.

Final Thoughts

Getting the right balance of ambient lighting can be very technical for ordinary people considering how many factors you have to consider. However, with a little bit of research and planning when installing light fixtures you can change the aesthetic of your room and make the mood more relaxed and comfortable.

Take a look at some of our favourite lighting fixtures to perfect the ambient lighting in your home today!