top of page
  • Stephanie Donnelly

How lighting in your home affects your energy and mood

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

We know that a lot of things can influence our moods and affect our energy levels. Sunny, blue skies make our moods brighter while dark, rainy days can leave us feeling glum. Drinking coffee in the morning can greatly improve our mood as well as give us energy, and working out can give us a rush of energy and make us feel ready to tackle the day. But what about the things that aren't as obvious?

Lighting plays a huge role in our moods and energy levels. Though frequently overlooked, lighting can shift our entire mood and help control our level of energy. Not enough light typically equals low energy while too much results in a high amount of energy. So how do you know what the best use of lighting is for your space? This blog will walk you through the three main types of lighting that are used to make your dream interior design come to life.

Types of Interior Lighting

Every room should have three types of lighting - general, ambiance, and task. Each of these types of lighting have their own specific uses and are used to brighten, decorate, highlight, backlight, set moods, and provide assistance for everyday tasks.

General Lighting

General lighting is the most basic foundation of lighting in a room. It is used to provide consistent lighting across an entire room, and illuminate a space functionally rather than aesthetically.

The defining characteristic of general lighting is that it’s usually direct lighting and controlled by a main switch. A central light fixture is typically the most commonly used form of general lighting and can become a focal point of the room design.

Fancy chandeliers and unique light fixtures can both be used as fantastic statement pieces in a room that capture the eyes attention. However, in order to create the most welcoming spaces, general lighting needs to be accented by other types of lighting since a central light source by itself gives no real life to a room.

Ambiance Lighting

The next type of lighting is ambiance lighting which is a fantastic accent to general lighting. Both types of lighting share similar characteristics as they are both primarily functional and used to completely light a room.

The main difference between the two is in the direction of their light. General lighting is practical light for every day and night use while ambience lighting is generally used for entertaining with its controlled levels of lighting that it provides.

Ambient lighting is typically indirect and therefore softer than general lighting. Because it doesn’t usually use downlighting, it doesn’t create unflattering shadows. Spotlights or wall sconces are examples of ambient lighting that washes a wall with light along with backlit panelling or concealed coffer lighting which throws light onto a ceiling verses directly onto the room.

Task Lighting

Just like its name suggests, task lighting is any light source used for a particular task like reading or working. By default, these lights need to have a stronger wattage than most other lighting.

Reading and working areas are a couple of the most obvious areas that need task lighting. Desk lamps are great lighting options for working while flexible reading lights attached to a headboard are perfect for bedtime reading.

The kitchen might be somewhat of an unexpected area in which task lighting needs to be incorporated. In order to make food preparation easier and safer, under-cabinet spotlights, downlights, and lighting over kitchen islands are just a few options for kitchen task lighting. Additionally, task lighting can be used to create paths in a room, hallway, or stairs in the form of floor-level directional lights to avoid tripping in the night.

Warm Lighting

Warm white is the perfect lighting option for creating a cosy atmosphere. Most people choose this color for areas they want to spend time with family and friends such as their living room, bedroom or dining room where everyone is gathered together. Warm light simulates ambient sunsets by offering between 2700-3200 Kelvins and creates the ideal cozy atmosphere with relaxing tones.

Cool Lighting

Cool white is fantastic for pairing with contemporary and modern decor as it casts a fresh, clear glow and complements the rooms design. Since it is brighter and more focused, cool light is a popular choice for use in bathrooms and kitchens. Cool White consists of 5000-6200 Kelvins and therefore helps focus the attention in active areas with cool light.

Daylight Lighting

Daylight is the main go to if you’re looking to create a natural effect. It mimics natural light and can be comfortably used anywhere in your home. Daylight sits between 4000-4500 Kelvins and creates an excellent atmosphere with it's natural effect.

Next Steps

Now that you have an understanding of how the lighting in your home affects your energy and mood, you're ready to move forward in the design process.

Need help from an expert? Contact us by clicking here and book your FREE consultation call with one of our design experts who specialize in interior design services for lighting today! For more inspiration, visit our portfolio page!

~This blog was brought to you by S. Donnelly Interiors. Learn more about the interior design project process by following Stephanie Donnelly and her interior design services in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and the surrounding areas!


S.Donnelly Interiors
bottom of page