What Kinds Of Light Are Considered Ambient Light?

When lighting your home, there are a lot of things you should consider, such as the difference between ambient and down lighting. Let’s get started below!

Down lighting directs light at a specific object, giving that object an outline and casting the rest of the room into shadow. Many designs use them to emphasize an object or feature in a room, such as artwork or architectural details.

However, ambient lighting is the opposite—these fixtures illuminate the entire space evenly. Ambient lighting lets you see everything clearly and without making any one thing stand out.

When picking out which type of lighting, it’s important to consider the space and what you want out of your light fixtures. For instance, if you want to highlight your dining room setup, down lighting is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you’d like to create an atmosphere to relax and chat instead of obsessing over seating arrangements, ambient lighting may be better suited for your needs.

What Is Ambient Lighting?

Ambient lighting provides illumination for your room. It can produce a uniform level of light in certain areas (recessed lighting) or where no special lighting is required.

This light helps create a mood, whether it is a romantic dinner or a movie night. Ambient lighting gives off a soft hue. These lightings take on many forms, from recessed lamps (lamps or torches that wash the walls with light)—or sconces that shine on ceilings and walls.

Similarly, ambient lighting is essential in corridors and stairs for optimum orientation and visibility. Similarly, they are also useful in kitchens, apartments, and offices, where a wide beam ensures even lighting.

What Is Downlighting?

Downlighting is placed behind a transparent surface to create a more even and less visually harsh light. The most common examples of down lighting are in pendant lamps and recessed ceiling fixtures, but you can also use wall sconces or table lamps to achieve this lighting.

Examples OF Downlighting

With light fixtures, there are three main types of down lighting fixtures: recessed, surface, and pendant.

Just as the names suggest, each type of down lighting fixture differs in height and placement from the others.

You can install recessed lights into the ceiling and point them downward at an angle. They’re typically used for task lighting or to create a spotlight effect on certain areas of a room.

Add surface-mounted downlights along the top of a wall or ceiling molding or use them for general room lighting and highlighting art or decorative items.

Hang pendant lights from the ceiling and over a table or countertop for ambient lighting. They’re also commonly used in kitchens because they offer task lighting directly over the workspace.

Types of Ambient lights Include

Chandeliers comprise multiple fixtures that are most commonly used in your dining rooms. However, many people confuse chandeliers with pendant lamps. While both fixtures are hanging lights, the chandelier has multiple shades of light sources connected.

Compared to a pendant that contains only one source of light hanging from a single rod or chains. Chandeliers are used as statements, and for ambient lighting. They are perfect for a high ceiling or for highlighting artworks, sculptures, or anything worth showing off.

Recessed Lighting

The best thing about can light is they sit almost flush in your ceiling with no visible wires. They are helpful in rooms that require a lot of light and rooms with low ceilings.

Can lights are excellent for downlights and are used in rooms where doors swing close to the ceiling. Further, flush-mounted means nothing hangs directly above the lamp, but more importantly, nothing hangs under it.

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces may be one of the oldest lighting types available, but it is still very popular. Whether your room is big or small, you can install these wall lights anywhere you like. They don’t take up any ceiling space, leaving them free for pendants and cans.

Wall sconces can be elegant, rustic, subtle, or bold. You can choose from a variety of colors and styles, such as modern, rustic, industrial, and or farmhouse.

They look different from conventional ambient lighting, but are also very attractive, and offer beautiful lighting. The good news is these lights are not bright and can blend in with any design. So when you install them, your room will be decorative and unique.


A floor and table lamp can be used for both ambient and task lighting. You can find various light bulbs for your lamps in stores, however, it is better to avoid colored bulbs. Instead, opt for a soft white one that is easy on the eyes and enhances your home decor.

Wall Sconces

Tips To Level Up Ambient Lighting

To level up your ambient lighting, try a lamp like the Philips Hue. It’s stylish and it cast a good amount of light. Think about where you sit as it’s an amazing place to add ambient lighting.

You can also use this lighting to highlight decorative places in your home. Further, invest in LEDs because they can help save energy and uses less power than the average single-person household. When choosing bulbs, go for 3000-3500K as it creates a relaxing atmosphere.

Ambient Lighting Vs Downlighting

As you can see, there is a vast difference between ambient and downlight. However, there are similarities in the fixtures. For instance, you can use recessed fixtures for ambient lighting, but you can also have them as downlights. So it all depends on the room and the purpose of the light. Is it to highlight or to create a mood?

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