Lighting is crucial to the look and feel of every room in your home, as well as the activities you do in them. The three basic types are ambient, task and accent lighting, and while you should incorporate all three in your lighting plan, in this article we’re going to focus on number one.
In short, ambient lightingis the primary source of lighting in any room. It provides a basic foundation of light for functional purposes, allowing people to navigate a space safely, as well as creating a sense of warmth and depth. Think of it as the glow that surrounds all spaces and objects. So why is ambient light important in the home?
Benefits of ambient lighting
Ambient lighting achieves a comfortable, even level of illumination – which the Macular Society recommends – that’s neither overly bright or too dark. Having this base of light is important for preserving your eye health, avoiding severe straining which could lead to discomfort, migraines and serious eye damage. On a similar practical note, you and your guests will be less likely to bump into things and cause damage or injury.
But ambient lighting is crucial for curating your home aesthetic too. Whether you’re alone or with guests, its naturally warm and inviting glow welcomes people into the room.
And while its basic purpose is to light up a room, it also encourages you to focus on specific features and areas, like the television, fireplace or pieces of artwork.
Ambient lighting can even alter the mood of a room by changing the colour tone at different times of day, for example turning a cool light blue wall into a warm and perhaps even moody canvas at night.
How to incorporate ambient lighting in your home
We’re spending more on home improvement projects right now, and for the reasons we discussed above and more, lighting isn’t something you should skimp on.
You can create ambient lighting using a variety of standard fixtures like central chandeliers, pendant or track lights, recessed lights and wall-mounted lights. Floor and table lamps can support your lighting goals too, as can indoor lanterns placed on the floor or on tables.
The point is to have several options working together to create an even distribution of light around certain objects like chairs and sofas, or the entire room.
One important tip is to use warm-toned LED bulbs over cooler colours reminiscent of hospital waiting rooms. Playing with different heights is smart too, as by using low lamps and up-facing wall sconces, you’ll cast light at different angles without creating anything too harsh overhead.
With these points in mind, assess the lighting in key areas of your home such as the kitchen, living room and bedroom. Is it ambient and inviting, or more of a deterrent?