Also known as general lighting, ambient light is one of the three main types of lighting, along with task lighting and accent lighting. Adding ambient light can provide overall lighting that sets the mood for a room, even if it doesn’t effectively light every corner of that room. Here are a few types of general lighting options.
Ambient Lighting Fixtures
Depending on the space you wish to light, ambient lighting can be created using a variety of fixtures. Some of the most common sources of ambient lighting include the following:
- Recessed downlights . Since this type of lighting is placed into the ceiling, it is a popular source of general lighting for a room. Although recessed downlights are a good starting point for ambient lighting, they should be complemented with other sources of ambient light.
- Cove lighting. Cove lighting, often around the perimeter of a room, provides pleasant indirect ambient light by bouncing light off of the walls or ceiling.
- Decorative pendants. With a wide array of decorative fixtures on the market today, a pendant fixture can add a stylish accent to any room while contributing to ambient light.
- Floor and table lamps. Depending on the size of a space, a portable lamps can be good source of ambient light. Make sure that you choose lamps that provide enough light to sufficiently illuminate the room with translucent shades to provide supplementary light for other sources of general lighting.
- Wall sconces. Like cove lighting, wall sconces can provide pleasant indirect light that softly illuminates a room.
Incorporating Natural Light
Although lighting fixtures are often the primary way to light a room, natural light is always a contributor to ambient lighting. Especially if the room has windows and will be used during daylight hours, natural light should be one of the primary sources of ambient light.
How to Enhance Ambient Light
There are many simple ways to amplify ambient light without installing dozens of fixtures in each room. For instance, adding mirrors to a room can increase the effects of natural light so that you don’t need as many fixtures. In rooms that are particularly dark, a mirror can be highly effective. In addition to mirrors, white paint can help to reflect and amplify ambient light. A strategically placed white wall or accent piece can dramatically improve the lighting in a dark room.