Importance of ambient lighting in interior design

Importance of Ambient Lighting in Interior Design

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you talk about making your home functional and appealing? New furniture? Feature walls? Big polished tiles? Or incorporating natural light in the interior? That’s right, all these do come in mind first by the most big difference maker in the interior design are ambient lights!

Yes, really! Hear me out and I will explain with examples in this article.

A home and especially its interior is never complete without them, and it is the most overlooked aspect in interior design. 

The house does not only need regular bright lights but a mixture of different kinds of lights, lights that amplify the mood or go easy on the eyes. This article is for letting you know “what lights are” (specifically ambient lighting), “Why are ambient lights important” and “how you can use ambient lighting in the best possible manner”.

Interior Design of Dining room with free standing marble wall and dining room on the opposite side.

What are Ambient Lights?

Like any other decorative feature, lights come in many varieties too. There are three key types of lighting, which are Ambient, Task, and Accent. 

Each has its importance but generally ambient lights get a different level of fan following. Ambient lights are the soft dim lights that illuminate the entire room for performing basic tasks easily. These kinds of lights are not too bright but are the foundation layer for all other lightning elements. Chandeliers, lamps, LED downlights, and pendant lights are all the different kinds of Ambient lights.


Science of Lights:

This article will tell you all about Ambient lighting. But before that let’s discuss a bit about the science of lights and how it transforms the whole look and mood of the room. 

Light not just helps in visibility but it highlights the architectural features, enhances the colours and textures and also accentuates the décor of the house. 

Japandi inspired bedroom interior design

Considering the interior lights of your house is not just the aftermath part of building it but one should always keep the science of light in mind even while planning the house map. Lights can be resourceful and purposeful enough only when it has been installed carefully and used in varieties.

A house with perfect lights needs both natural and artificial resources of lights.  A well-lit living room with big windows installed in it gives you the perfect energy. A corridor or passage with beautiful interior light fixtures can make your house welcoming. Lights can easily amplify your mood depending on its hues and intensity.

A dim or warm light can relax and calm you, on the other hand a bright light helps creating the energy in room. Same way natural light also plays a very important role not only for your health but for your house interior as well.


Types of Lights in Interior Design:

Before talking about more ambient lights we have to talk about the basics. 

There are three basic types of lights used in the interior of the houses are ambient, tasks, and accent. 

Although this article is just to tell what Ambient lights are but there’s no harm in discussing the rest of the types too. It will help you differentiate between the three and choose the right one for your interiors. 

Master washroom with corian custom sink designed by Primarc Studio

Ambient Lights:

Ambient lights also known as General lights, are the foundation of any well-lit space. It gives the overall illumination in a room. Chandeliers, pendant lights, and receding lights.

task light for interior design 

Task Lights:

Task lights provide focused light in a particular space for different activities like cooking, reading, and working. Floor lamps, table lamps, and pendant lights with adjustable heads are some examples of Task Lights. 

Accent light in dining room interior design


Accent Lights:

Accent lights are used to enhance the architectural features and details of the house. It can add depth to your artwork and highlight any specific features and elements within the space. Spotlights, track lights, and wall scones can be your choices for Accent Lights.


Setting the Mood with Ambient Lights in Interior Design?

Let’s come back to Ambient light and discuss why it is important. Well, why is it not? 

Who doesn’t love a room that has just the right amount of light to make everything visible enough yet keep you relaxed? 

Ambient light in dining room

The use of ambient lighting serves a dual purpose; it creates a relaxing environment that helps you wind down before bed, increasing sleep quality, and enhances the aesthetic appeal of entertaining spaces. 

According to the designer Mary Jo Major, “Ambient light is like a warm handshake when you come into the room,” she says. “Its purpose is to light up the room, but it’s more than that. It’s to help your eye focus on specific areas—the artwork in the hallway, the bookcase by the fireplace, the table lamp on the nightstand to help you find your book.”

Ambient lights are beneficial in many ways:


Starting with the key feature, which is visibility. It illuminates the space in a way to make everything visible and in a way, make it safe for us to move around easily.

Enhancing the Colours:

The color of ambient lighting can significantly influence the feel of a space. Warm white lights (around 2700K to 3000K) create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making them ideal for living rooms and bedrooms. Neutral white lights (around 3500K to 4100K) provide a balanced and natural light, suitable for kitchens and workspaces. Cool white lights (around 5000K to 6500K) are often used in commercial settings or areas requiring high visibility, such as garages and utility rooms.

Aesthetic Effects with Ambient Lights:

As already discussed, Ambient lights enhances the decorative elements of the room, highlights architectural features and makes the space overall aesthetically approving.

Affects the Mood:

If the lights are properly used and designed it supports the body circadian rhythms and helps you stay relaxed, calm and also with better sleep.

Using Ambient Lighting in an Efficient way:

From a cozy library to your bedroom and living room and kitchen basically it fits every corner of your house. You just need to be skillful to use it purposefully.

Philips hue bulb used in lamp placed on desk

Ambient light fixtures come in multiple options depending on it’s use and space. If you are not on a tight budget use the Philips hue system, the color bulbs are expensive but the system is exceptional. You can control this hue ambient system through an app according to your mood, decor, and occasion. 

If we talk about cheaper yet decorative options Himalayan salt lamps are a good addition and a relatively local option. Fairy lights are a good and reasonable option for the room too. Just make sure that they have adjustable brightness and at night try dimming them down to their lowest. They make the room look much more inviting and they reduce the contrast between the TV and the rest of the room- alleviating eye strain.

Living Rooms:

Backlighting the TV is too old and not that effective.

Modern view of lounge with double height space

Try to invest in wall lights that you can integrate with the help of your interior designer and they can show you visually how well it looks. It gives a warm welcoming look to your living room ensuring it to be well lit.


For a better effect in bedroom, you can always use dimmers for your lights and adjust the lighting accordingly. But for your dressing areas, it is suggested to use task lights so it focuses more in one direction.

Bedroom interior design with ambient lighting

Ambient lighting from lamps or floor lamps can be a great option when talking about warm Ambient lighting. They are relatively affordable and gives a charm to the room.

Hall way interior design

Hallways and Corridors:

Ambient lighting in hallways and corridors are perfect for safety purpose and to roam around easily.


Ambient lighting can be used in kitchen as well but it should be bright and uniformly distributed for better and easy handling of different activities there.

hotel interior design with greenery and ambient lighting


Harsh overhead lighting disturbs the circadian rhythm of a person. Dimmable lights can be very resourceful for you, which are coming in led lights but as they are new, thus they are a bit expensive. In offices and workspaces Ambient lights help in focusing, being concentrated and reduces eye strains. A combination of ambient and tasks lights are ideal in such places.


Final Words:

Overall, Ambient light should be used at its best to ensure functionality, visibility and an appealing look for your house design.

Your choice in selecting the best light bulbs in ambiance and then fixing them in the correct position in the room and help you create the perfect environment, redefine your setting, and be more purposeful. It’s all about the balance of light and shade and bringing new energy to an interior.

Ambiance Lighting enhances the visual charm of a room by spotlighting architectural details, decor items, and key focal points. After all, it’s your own house so be creative and experimental to get the perfect fit for your house. Try different fixtures, temperatures and consult professionals! Be your own lighting designer.