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Ambient lighting ideas to enhance your home’s atmosphere

25th Apr '23 • By Georgia Budden

Ambient lighting is an essential element of interior design, yet it's often overlooked. It offers a personable foundation for any lighting scheme, providing a subtle background glow that creates a cosy and inviting atmosphere.

This radiant character sets an ideal tone for entertaining, or even for moments to enjoy alone, such as when reading or listening to music.

We'll explore our favourite types of ambient lighting, how to choose the right one for your space, and creative ways to use it.

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  • Ambient lighting ideas
  • Choosing the right ambient lighting
  • Creative ways to use ambient lighting


Ambient Lighting Ideas

1. Salt Lamps

Salt lamps are a type of ambient lighting that have gained popularity in recent years. These lamps are made from large Himalayan salt crystals and emit a warm, pinkish-orange glow when lit. In addition to providing a cosy atmosphere, salt lamps are believed to have health benefits. They release negative ions, which can improve air quality and reduce stress and anxiety. Salt lamps can be used in any room of the home and are especially popular in bedrooms, where their warm, soothing glow can help promote relaxation and sleep.

2. Sunset Lamps

Sunset lamps are another type of ambient lighting that have recently become extremely desirable. These lamps mimic the colors of a sunset and can create a radiant atmosphere in any room, especially the living room or bedroom. They're also a great option for those who live in areas with limited sunlight, as they can help mimic the natural light of a sunset. Many also change colours so you can choose any hue to match the mood, from purple to pink or green.


3. LED Strips

LED strips are a versatile type of lighting that can be used in a variety of ways in the home. These thin, flexible strips of LED lights can be installed under cabinets, along staircases, or behind furniture to create a dramatic effect. LED strips are available in a range of colours, making them a perfect option for adding a playful and creative touch to any space. They're also energy-efficient and can be controlled with a remote, allowing you to adjust the brightness and colour to suit the space.

4. String Lights

String lights are a fun and creative way to add ambience to any space. They're often used to create a romantic or whimsical atmosphere, and they're available in a range of colours and styles. String lights can be draped over a headboard, wound around a plant, or used to create a canopy over a bed. They’re also versatile enough to be an impressive backdrop for an outdoor dinner party.


5. Pendant Lights 

Pendant lights offer a convenient glow from above and are available in a wide range of styles, from sleek and modern to vintage and industrial. They can be used in a variety of ways in the home, from providing task lighting over a kitchen island to adding ambiance to a dining room. They can also be used to create a focal point in a space, especially when hung in a group or cluster. 

Pendant lights come in many shapes and sizes, so it's important to choose the right size and placement to ensure they're functional and visually appealing. When choosing pendant lights, consider the height of the ceiling, the size of the room, and the overall design aesthetic to ensure a cohesive and functional lighting scheme. A qualified electrician will be able to determine the optimal position and installation requirements to achieve the desired effect.


6. Floor and Table Lamps

Floor and table lamps are a versatile option for influencing the ambience of any room. They can create a soft, diffused light that is perfect for reading or relaxing. There’s a design option to suit any interior style, whether you want to choose a statement shade made from fabric, metal, or a natural material, or opt for an exposed bulb. Aim to select a lamp that enhances the style of your space even when it’s turned off.

Choosing the Right Ambient Lighting

Consider the Room

When choosing ambient lighting, it's essential to consider the room's purpose and the activities that take place there. For example, a living room may require more ambient lighting than a bedroom, where softer, more diffused light is preferred.

Determine the Purpose

Ambient lighting should complement the room's purpose, whether it's a space for relaxation, entertainment, or work. In a bedroom, for example, a soft, warm glow is ideal for creating an atmosphere that encourages you to wind down. In a home office, brighter, more focused light may be required.

Choose the Right Bulbs

The right bulbs can make all the difference in creating the perfect mood. Warm, soft white bulbs are perfect for creating a cosy space, while cool white bulbs are ideal for spaces where bright, focused light is required.

Think About Placement

The placement of your ambient lighting is just as important as the type of lighting you choose. For example, in a living room, a pendant light above the coffee table can create a focal point and provide even lighting. In a bedroom, a floor lamp beside the bed can provide gentle light for reading or relaxation.


Creative Ways to Use Ambient Lighting

Create a Focal Point

Use pendant lights to create a focal point in an area. This can be especially effective in a dining room, where a statement light can add drama and elegance to the space.

Use in Unexpected Places

Ambient lighting doesn't have to be limited to traditional spaces like living rooms and bedrooms. Try incorporating it into unexpected places like closets, stairways, or even bathrooms. 


Incorporate Colour

Finally, consider incorporating colour into your ambient lighting scheme. Coloured bulbs or tinted shades can add a playful and creative touch to any space. For example, blue or green lighting can create a calming and serene atmosphere, while red or orange lighting can add warmth and energy. For versatility, choose smart bulbs where the colour can be changed using your phone.

With so many different lighting options to choose from, it's easy to create your ideal mood in any space. When choosing ambient lighting, consider the room's purpose and the activities that take place there, choose the right bulbs, and think about placement. And don't be afraid to get creative – ambient lighting can be used in unexpected places and with a range of different colours and styles. With the right ambient lighting, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere that will make your home feel like a sanctuary.

Get in touch with local electricians today for more inspiration and tips for choosing an impressive lighting scheme.

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