Lighting Research Center NYSERDA Lighting Patterns for Homes Image Map


Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides general, diffuse illumination for a space, and is appropriate for activities that are not visually demanding, such as conversation or television viewing. Most rooms in homes are small enough so that one or two fixtures will provide adequate ambient light. Ceiling-mounted diffusers are meant to distribute light uniformly throughout the room, especially if the fixture is mounted near the center of the room. Uplights also provide good ambient light by aiming light toward the ceiling and upper portion of the walls, so that these surfaces serve as reflectors, creating soft, shadowless ambient light. For best reflectance, paint the ceiling white or a light color, using matte paint. To shield bulbs from view, and provide diffuse light, fixtures that are used for ambient lighting typically have a translucent shade or enclosure, made from glass or plastic. Well-designed architecturally integrated lighting such as coves, valances, and soffits also provide high quality ambient light. For maximum efficiency, combine low ambient lighting with local accent or task lighting for work areas.


Example Patterns