5 Ways to Create Better Ambiance with Lighting

You may not think much about the lighting in your home, but the truth is it can make or break the ambiance of your rooms. Where subtle, muted lighting may be appropriate for one room, another room may call for energizing, bright lights. How do you know which is which? Check out these five ways you can create better ambiance with lighting choices alone. Whether through task lighting, accent lighting or ambient lighting, you can alter the mood of a space with lighting to embrace the natural feel of any room in your house.

1. Make Visitors Feel Welcome
The entryway of your home gives your guests their first impression—make it count. This means you should invest in just the right cheerful, welcoming lighting to make people feel at ease. A great way to achieve this is through an overhead light that is not too overwhelming or too lackluster, with a dimmer switch that allows you to control the amount of light for just the right mood. Types of lights that work well here include chandeliers, large lanterns or recessed lights.

2. Create Focal Points with Accent Lighting
Creating ambiance in a room often involves highlighting a focal point, usually one that highlights a source of pride. This could be a piece of artwork on the wall, a fireplace, a bookcase or a visually interesting and unique architectural feature. For example, recessed lights that illuminate awards or trophies on a mantle or a spotlight on a prized piece of art are an excellent way to subtly draw the eye toward the most remarkable feature of a room. This is called accent lighting, and it draws the eye to stimulate a certain degree of visual interest.

3. Use Task Lighting to Boost Functionality
A great example of task lighting is found in the kitchen. Here, the focus is on cooking and prepping where you need brighter lights in certain parts of the room, such as over counters and under cabinets. This room calls for an equal blend of overhead lighting, such as a ceiling-mounted fixture, with smaller lights placed underneath cabinets and above sinks. Cove lighting, which directs light up towards the ceiling and down adjacent walls, is another appealing option for the kitchen.

4. Dim Lights Increase Intimacy
Low-level lighting tends to make a room feel cozier and more intimate. This is why ambient lighting in living rooms and dens is a good choice. Rather than a bright overhead light, scatter your light sources around the room using a few well-placed lamps. When you need a little more light you can turn on multiple lamps, or just use one for a low-key event. You can also install recessed lighting in the ceiling with a dimmer switch that allows you to control the mood of the room through the touch of a button.

5. Use Natural Light for Positive Energy
Bright lights and natural light from the outdoors tend to put people in a better mood, with a more positive outlook and increased interest in their surroundings. This is because bright lights give off the perception of heat, which could trigger a person’s emotional response. Use the natural lights from windows, for example, to bring the cheeriness of the sunlight into your home. You can accent that with soft light from lamps or lanterns if you need extra illumination on gloomy days or at night.

Creating the perfect ambiance in your rooms is as easy as knowing which types of lighting can create the mood you’re going for. Put a little thought into the lighting choices you make and you will feel more at ease in daily living.