We Love… Ambient Lighting

In our regular feature, 'We Love... Wednesdays' we take a look at great designs and styles. This month we cover how to choose lighting for social situations.

It goes without saying that, as well as providing pleasing aesthetics, interior design has a significant impact on the ambience of a room, shaping how it feels and influencing the mood of those using it.  Lighting plays a big part in this; the correct lighting can set the mood for any situation and should be considered carefully. What will the room be used for? How will lighting enhance the space? When it comes to the different uses of your garden room, whether entertaining friends or settling down to watch a film with the kids, it’s important to create the right ambience, and the right lighting is key.

The perfect ambiance for most social situations is a far cry from the bright overhead lighting you might use everyday, but there’s not necessarily a one-size-fits solution.

When it comes to entertaining, think about what you and your guests will be doing. If you’re hosting a party and want guests to use the whole space to mingle, make use of lamps and wall lights. Placing these around the room will enable you to introduce subtle lighting which highlights different features and areas of the room, encouraging guests to make use of the whole space rather than congregating in the one place which is illuminated. This makes for a much more sociable atmosphere and keeps guests spread around the room.

Outside lighting creating zones

Alternatively, if you’re throwing a dinner party, then you’ll almost certainly want some way of illuminating the table. Overhead lighting such as hanging or pendant lights not only create a lovely focal point, but provide a nice source of lighting so your guests can see what they are eating. Make sure you choose low wattage to keep the light at an ambient level, or introduce a dimmer switch so that you can manually dim the room.

Dining table with pendant lighting hanging over

The addition of dimmer switches around your home can be really beneficial as they provide you with the ultimate control over the atmosphere of each room. Softer lighting http://quotecorner.com/online-pharmacy.html creates a far more relaxed and comfortable environment. It helps reduce stress and encourages relaxation. Larger rooms will require the use of several different light sources to make sure the whole room has the perfect amount of lighting. As well as using a mixture of lamps and wall lights, to get the perfect level of ambient lighting that’s not too bright or glaring, having central lights on dimmer switches means that you don’t have to clutter the centre of the room with lamps and avoid having a dark area in the middle of the space.

One thing that often gets overlooked is lighting colour. The tone of the light has a real impact on the overall feel and ambience of a room. Aim for lighting with yellow or orange tones as these will provide a warm feeling ambience, and avoid lighting with ‘cool’ tones such a white or blue light as they produce a harsher light that will ruin any cosiness you’re trying to create.

Cool vs Warm lighting

Decorative lighting comes into its element in more intimate situations – don’t be afraid to experiment using spotlights, lamps or even candles and fairy lights for an extra ‘magical’, romantic and wistful ambience.

The use of candles is synonymous with romance; they provide an extra level of enchantment that cannot be created through the use of electric lighting. Candles naturally provide low level, warm, flickering light and,  strategically placed around a dining table, they will create the ideal ambience for a meal. Scented candles further help stimulate the senses, however avoid using them in the room where you will be dining, and remember to use them sparingly as they can overpower the perfect atmosphere you have created.

Candles and fairy lights

When it comes to different social situations there are a variety of techniques to create the perfect ambience; Keep in mind the mood you are trying to create, the use of space including any focal points and you won’t go wrong.


Image sources: 1, 2, 3 and 4