Ambient lighting provides a room with overall illumination. As the American Lighting Association explains, every room needs a central source of ambient light — but that’s just the beginning of perfecting a room’s ambient lighting. A balance of many other lighting design considerations are essential to ensuring that ambient lighting achieves both its aesthetic and functional objectives in a space.

Factors ranging from multiple light sources to indirect lighting are just a few of the considerations when developing a room’s ambient lighting. Below are a few additional tips that will help you “get ambient lighting just right.”

– Consider Color Temperature: Color temperature indicates whether light will appear warm (yellow) or cool (blue). Lights with lower degrees Kelvin typically have a warmer glow similar to candlelight, while lights with higher degrees Kelvin appear cooler and whiter. Warm lights work well in traditional style homes, while cool lights lend themselves well to more modern spaces.

– Reflect Natural and Indirect Light: Reflective surfaces – walls, countertops, floors, etc. — will distribute light across the room and make a space look and feel brighter.

– Use Dimmers: Dimmers are great to use with ambient light sources because they create zones within the room. For example, install a main light on one circuit and perimeter lights on another so you can turn off lighting on the periphery. This helps to set the mood of the room by reducing light from bouncing off your walls.

– Amp Up Ambient Light in High Traffic Rooms: Lots of ambient light will “boost energy” in high traffic spaces. When calculating a range for wattage, make sure you estimate on the higher end rather than the lower.

– Reconsider Fluorescent Lights: Fluorescents provide lots of light, so they’re a great alternative for ambient lighting in functional areas like kitchens and laundry rooms. They use very little energy, generate less heat and have a whiter appearance than incandescent bulbs.

Are you looking for the perfect fixtures to provide your home with new sources of ambient light? Contact us to get some great ideas.


Bathroom Sconce Lights
Fluorescent lights inset into the mirrors of this master bath provide lighting at face level, while also creating a sense of serenity and warmth.


Kitchen Pendants
This kitchen features recessed lighting, task lighting under the cabinetry, as well as three overhead light fixtures above the kitchen island. In combination with the reflective white finishes, these help boost energy and functionality in a high-traffic area.


Living room lighting
The dimmers around this living area creates a soothing and comforting effect, while the two main chandeliers above the seating area can be shut down when the area is not in use.


Dining chandelier and sconces
The reflective quality of a polished wood table makes this dining area, created for one of Hammerton’s clients, appear larger and brighter.


Dining Chandelier
The colored LED lighting in this dining room’s tray ceiling adds visual interest to the surrounding stone walls, as well as a cooler atmosphere.


Candle Style Chandelier
The yellow glow from a candle-lit chandelier gives this rustic family room a warm, inviting atmosphere — perfect for entertaining.
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