What Is Ambient Lighting and How to Get It Right March 20, 2017 – Posted in: Lighting Information
Lighting is a very important aspect for every room in your home. However, its proper utilization and placement can often be overlooked. Having a bad case of lighting in a quite impressive room downplays the beauty of the interior.
There are three basic types of lighting that can work to improve a certain room; the ambient lighting, task lighting, and the accent lighting. An excellent lighting plan maximizes the use of these three lighting types to illuminate a room depending on function and style. Task and accent lighting are more specific on its purpose while ambient lighting provides the overall illumination to a room. This type of lighting should never be taken for granted.
What is Ambient Lighting?
Ambient lighting, or what is commonly called as general lighting, serves as the primary source of light for a certain room. It is the foundation of all the lighting of a room. Aside from the basic lighting functionality, the ambient lighting improves the sense of warmth and depth of a room or space.
It works to provide a comfortable level of illumination without too much glare. This allows you to navigate an entire room safely too. A central source of it for every room is essential to achieve an excellent lighting plan. A perfect source needs a strategy in choosing which lights to use and in what area or part of the room to place it.
Ambient lighting can be accomplished by using basic lighting fixtures such as chandeliers, track lights, recessed lights, and wall or ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures. There are various ways to achieve balance in ambient lighting and this often depends on what type of room you are using it for. In some rooms, this can also serve as a primary source for task lighting just like in a laundry room.
Choosing Ambient Lighting
There are factors to consider in choosing ambient lighting for every room to achieve the best results:
Choosing the Lighting Location
In choosing the location for your installation, the first thing you need to do is evaluate a certain room when it is dark. You can turn off as many lights as you can without losing the room’s visibility and note the areas that need to be accented. These spaces often include pathways, reading areas, fireplaces, coffee tables, bookshelves, seating areas, and plants.
Balance is important in choosing the location for ambient lighting. Lighting just one corner of a large room will make it unbalanced. However, trying to illuminate every corner of the room can make it overwhelmingly bright instead, which is probably not the kind of mood you are trying to achieve.
The best way to achieve balance in this type of lighting is illuminating a certain area probably at the front space and putting a table lamp at the back corner of the room.
Choosing the Lighting Types
The next thing to consider is choosing the lighting type that is ideal for your needs. The size and the amount of light a fixture can provide are also something you have to consider.
A few accent lighting types you can choose might include recessed lights, nightlights, lamps, and track lights.
Choosing the Right Look
Accent lighting pieces that are on your ambient lighting plan is now part of the room’s décor, thus, should be treated as one. Accent lighting pieces should complement with your existing decors and furnishings.
Subtle lighting pieces work best in most rooms. The neutral tones and shades of lamps that coordinate with the room design color work best. If you are going for a dimmer lighting appearance, the darker color shades will work well since it can filter the light better compared to lighter shades.
Choosing the Lighting Intensity
Choosing the bulb wattage when installing the light should not be overlooked. This will depend on the function of your lighting fixture. If the fixture aims to serve as the main source of light such as in a reading chair, you might need a higher bulb wattage. However, for creating warmth and a little personality especially for subtle accent lighting, no need to use glaring lights.
You can also choose if you want a warm or a cool light for your fixture. Yellow light appears warmer while blue light is cooler. The color temperature of a light will depend on what effect you are planning to achieve.
Creating the right ambient lighting can be very technical and complex and there are some variables to consider in making an excellent plan. However, when achieved, it surely can improve the dull appearance of a room and make it more impressive by giving a little personality.