The aim of ambient lighting is to provide a room with general illumination so that the occupants are comfortable and can move around safely. From recessed lights and sconces to chandeliers and pendants, ambient lighting acts as the base lighting in a room and is layered with task lighting and accent lighting. Often referred to as general lighting, ambient lighting is fairly simple to achieve, but if you really want to get the most out of it there are a few points to keep in mind.
Sometimes smaller rooms require a little help when it comes to ambient lighting, especially if they only have one window limiting the amount of natural light coming in. If you’re faced with this challenge then consider the paint you use on your walls. Check to see what your paint colour’s light reflective value, or LRV, is. The LRV is a measure of how much light a colour absorbs and reflects. Lighter colours will reflect more light while darker colours will absorb the light. In addition, the sheen level of paint will also have an effect, with a higher gloss reflecting more light than a matt finish.
2. Factor in age and health
It’s important to remember that the same level of illumination is not always suitable for everyone. Older family members and those with medical conditions such as epilepsy or photophobia will benefit from lighting that can be adjusted. This is where dimmers come in. A dimmer switch allows the user to control the level of brightness to suit their needs and comfort. It’s also a great tool for setting the mood and improves the overall functionality of the room.
3. Experiment with colours, shapes, and finishes
And finally, remember that ambient lighting can serve a decorative purpose during the day even when not switched on. When selecting decorative ambient lighting play around with different colours, designs, and finishes. Consider the space as a whole and think about the look and feel you’re trying to achieve. For example, luminaires with a concrete finish or exposed Edison bulb would work well in a rustic-industrial space, while a geometric pendant would enhance a Scandi-inspired room.
Looking for a decorative ambient luminaire? You may be interested in the following:
All lights featured can be purchased at Herholdt’s Lighting Division