Skip to content
What is Ambient Light and Why Shouldn’t You Overlook it

What is Ambient Light and Why Shouldn’t You Overlook it

When you walk into a room at night, what do you do first? Turn on the light, right? Now, consider which light switch you look for first. This light switch is most likely connected to the main ambient light. As the principal source of illuminating a space, ambient lights are almost always enabled before task and accent lights.

Ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting are the three primary forms of lighting used to improve a place. An effective lighting plan makes the most use of these three forms of lighting to illuminate a room based on purpose and style.

Task and accent lighting are more focused on specific functions, whereas ambient lighting offers general illumination for a room. This sort of illumination should never be underestimated.

What is Ambient Lighting?

By definition, the term “ambient lighting” is also used to refer to general lighting. Ambient lighting dominates the lighting landscape of any space. This lighting category generally includes the main lights that you use to illuminate the entire area.

Ambient light also has a way of setting the mood in a room. The amount of ambient lighting determines whether a space is bright, homely, dim, or more atmospheric.

Ambient lighting is often hung from the ceiling. Chandeliers, pot lights, and track lights, among many others, contribute to the ambient lighting of a space.

Table and floor lights can also help to illuminate a room. This is especially true if you intend to use one to illuminate a large area of the space. However, there are occasions when these lights are referred to as task lights.

On the other hand, there are instances when you’re confined to a tiny area with limited space and don’t need the entire space to be brightly lit. At these times, task and accent lights will come into play.

ambient light

The most fundamental of the three forms of lighting is ambient lighting. It includes natural light coming in through your windows, as well as artificial lighting that acts as a substitute for natural light.

Ambient lighting is essentially indirect lighting. It is a soft light that is reflected off the ceiling. It reduces the shadows on people’s faces and fills the room with equal brightness, opening up the architecture and drawing people in. Ambient light may be produced in a number of ways.

The following are examples of ambient lighting fixtures:

  • Ceiling fixtures such as chandeliers
  • Ceiling fan light kits
  • Track lighting
  • Torchieres
  • Recessed ceiling lights
  • Ambient LED downlights
  • Wall sconces
  • Spotlight
  • Table lamp
  • Floor lamp

What Is Task Lighting?

Unlike ambient lighting, task lighting provides concentrated illumination on specific areas to facilitate detailed activities like reading, writing, cooking, or working.

It ensures bright, focused light to enhance visibility and reduce eye strain, often using adjustable fixtures like desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, or pendant lights. The color temperature for task lighting is usually cooler, in the range of 4000K to 6500K, to improve concentration and clarity.

Why Include Ambient Light In Your Home?

Including ambient light in your home is essential for creating a safe, comfortable, and functional living environment. It provides general illumination, ensuring all areas are well-lit and reducing the risk of accidents. Ambient lighting also creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, enhancing the mood and making spaces suitable for various activities.

Ambient lighting serves as the foundation for a layered lighting design, which includes task and accent lighting. This approach ensures that rooms are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. By providing uniform lighting, ambient light highlights the room's architecture and decor, adding depth and dimension to the space.

Modern ambient lighting solutions, such as smart LED lights and smart lighting systems, are energy-efficient and customizable. Yeelight offers a range of products that allow you to adjust color temperatures and brightness levels to create the perfect atmosphere for any room. Visit the Yeelight website to explore our ambient lighting solutions and transform your living spaces.

How to Add Ambient Lighting to a Room

To obtain the best outcomes, consider the following variables when selecting ambient lighting for each room:

Choose the right location

First, you’ll need to select where you’ll place your lights by identifying the important locations you wish to illuminate. You’ll want your ambient light to be well distributed and balanced, so avoid lighting up only one area of the room and leaving the remainder in darkness. Don’t worry if there are small areas that appear a little gloomy, as you can simply brighten them up later with accent and task lighting, such as lamps and LED strip lights.

The first step in deciding on a place for your installation is to assess a specific room in the dark. You can turn off as many lights as you like without losing sight of the room, and then mark the places that need to be highlighted. Pathways, reading rooms, fireplaces, coffee tables, bookcases, seating areas, and plants are common features of these locations.

It is critical to strike a balance when deciding where to use ambient lighting. A huge room will be imbalanced if just one corner is lit. Attempting to illuminate every part of the room, on the other hand, might make it excessively bright, which is definitely not the atmosphere you’re aiming for.

The easiest approach to establish balance this type of lighting is to illuminate a specific location, most likely at the front of the room, and place a table lamp in the rear corner of the room.

Colour temperature

Choosing the most suitable color temperature is critical for mood lighting. To create a welcome and soothing ambiance, warm white LED bulbs with a comfortable yellow glow are a safe choice.

Light temperature is measured in Kelvins, which range from blazing white at 2000K to cool, blueish lights at 6500K. We recommend LEDs with color temperatures ranging from 2000k (flame white) to 3000k(warm white) for your ambient lighting. This type of lighting is ideal for creating a cozy environment in dining and living spaces while also providing adequate illumination for everyday tasks.

Color rendering index

Ambient lighting must be more than simply aesthetically pleasing; it must also be functional. Color rendering index (CRI) refers to a light’s ability to accurately display the colors of diverse objects when compared to a natural light source (sunlight). It is assessed on a scale of 0–100, with 0 being a low CRI and 100 representing the highest.

We recommend a CRI of at least 75 in your house, which is equivalent to the CRI of daylight. Utilize lighting with a CRI of 90 or above in clothing stores or restaurants if it’s for illuminating a commercial store where the colors of the items being sold are essential.


Since the ambiance in your space during the day is likely different from the evening, you’ll want dimmable lighting to adjust accordingly. Dimmable LED lights are ideal for this since they can be kept bright throughout the day for a more lively atmosphere, but lowered at night to create a more comfortable, calm atmosphere.

Accent lighting

After you’ve placed your ambient lighting, you can add some personality to your area by installing accent lighting. There are several methods to do this, including utilizing table lights or LED strips to emphasize essential elements of the space. Yeelight LED Light Strip 1S can be used to add tasteful accents throughout your home, including your dining room, bedroom, kitchen, patio, and living room. They’re especially great for adding décor for holidays, parties, and special events.

When selecting LED strip lights for accent lighting, it is critical to examine the number of LEDs per meter. If there aren’t enough LEDs per meter on the tape, you’ll wind up with tiny spots of light instead of a continuous line, which won’t give you the sleek effect you want. We propose using an Yeelight LED Light Strip 1S Extension up to 10 32.8 feet long to avoid this issue.

Creating the right ambient lighting can be very technical and complex, requiring careful consideration of several variables to develop an excellent plan. However, when achieved, it surely can improve the dull appearance of a room and make it more impressive by giving a little personality.

Examples of Ambient Lighting Design

The dark floor absorbs light, making the white area rug with black calligraphy stand out aesthetically. Without indirect illumination, the whole ceiling plane would be black. It also makes the rooms appear bigger while highlighting the wood and beams. The accent lighting gives complexity to the area, while the ambient lighting sets the cozy and elegant tone for the room.

The bedroom demonstrates how the ambient lighting gives softness to this black and white environment. Accent lighting highlights the artwork, while table lamps provide a beautiful glow as well as some reading light near the bed. The key objective is to include ambient lighting into your entire design strategy. Ambient light is what makes a room home.

Consider the glow of light produced by a raging fire in the fireplace. That soothing light showers you. You’re pulled in by its warm amber glow and want to melt in it. Well. ambient light may convey this sensation throughout a house, a restaurant, or a hotel lobby. Without it, the accent lights take center stage. This is known as the “museum effect”, in which the items in the room become more significant than the people who occupy that area.

Ambient Lighting is the First Layer of Your Home Lighting

Ambient lighting is one of the three basic forms of lighting – it’s critical to remember that every space requires a combination of these to design an efficient lighting environment. As is often the case, selecting lighting for your house is not as easy as it may look! Some spaces require all three forms of lighting to precisely layer the lighting, while others just require one or two types of lighting. Depending on your personal requirements or preferences, you may be able to make a more flexible selection.

In summary, we typically begin planning our lighting schemes with ambient lighting and then go on to determine the places where accent lighting would be required. It is typically best to move from generic to particular when picking the many forms of lighting you will utilize in your circumstance. We’ll walk you through ambient light’s definition, its “why”, “where”, and “how”, hoping this will help you design a better ambient light setting for your place!

Related reading: Yeelight vs urban ambiance lighting

Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping