How To's

10 Modern Options for Ambient Lighting

You might not think much about ambient lighting because generally we all just flip a switch and magically it turns on. But that light has to come from somewhere. While natural daylight that comes in through windows is great, it doesn’t always do the trick inside, especially when night begins to fall, which means ambient lighting is something we all need to think about. It’s critical because it’s the overall light we depend on to go about our everyday lives while we’re inside. And since it’s so important, why not put some thought into it to make it special? There are millions of choices out there, but we narrowed it down to 10 of our favorites that not only provide light, they make a statement.

PH Artichoke Pendant Light ambient lighting | YLighting
PH Artichoke Pendant Light by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen

The PH Artichoke Pendant Light, designed by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen, has been popular since 1958 with good reason. The sculptural pendant’s highly recognizable silhouette emits diffused light in a beautiful pattern around the room.

Stix 6-Arm LED Pendant Light by Robert Sonneman for SONNEMAN Ambient Lightin | YLighting
Stix 6-Arm LED Pendant Light by Robert Sonneman for SONNEMAN

Robert Sonneman designed the minimalist Stix 6-Arm LED Pendant Light for SONNEMAN with six arms to produce a dreamy glow that casts warm lighting around any modern space, even commercial or hospitality spaces.

Random Light - White by Bertjan Pot for Moooi Ambient Lighting | YLighting
Random Light – White by Bertjan Pot for Moooi

Designed by Bertjan Pot for Moooi, the Random Light has steadily gained a following since its released in 1999. The resin-coated yarn is coiled around an inflatable mold in a random pattern, hence its name, which leaves behind a round, visually light fixture that offers ambient illumination.

Plura Flush Mount Ceiling Light by Nick Sheridan for Cerno Ambient Lighting | YLighting
Plura Flush Mount Ceiling Light by Nick Sheridan for Cerno

Available in four diameters (18″, 24″, 30″, and 36″) and in four finishes (Oiled Walnut and Dark Stained Walnut0, the Nick Sheridan-designed Plura Flush Mount Ceiling Light for Cerno, creates softly defused light through its frosted polymer shade and criss crossed wooden accent. The flush mount fixture’s sophisticated composition makes it perfect for hallways, bedrooms, living rooms, and even hospitality environments.

Link Suspension Light - Large by Ray Power for Lzf Lamps
Link Suspension Light – Large by Ray Power for Lzf Lamps

Ray Power’s Link Suspension Light for Lzf Lamps has an eye-catching, undulating pattern formed from its strips of wooden veneer, which are available in a series of colors. The curvy pendant emits light through the breaks in form, as well as from the bottom, to create a soft glow of ambient light.

Saucer Lamp from George Nelson Bubble Lamps
Saucer Lamp from George Nelson Bubble Lamps

The iconic Saucer Lamp from George Nelson Bubble Lamps has been going strong since 1947 and its incredibly popular saucer shape works in just about any space it’s installed in. Their simple, classic shape is made from a steel wire frame that’s covered with a layer of taut plastic, which provides the perfect amount of diffused light.

Coral Pendant - Paint for David Trubridge
Coral Pendant – Paint for David Trubridge

The Coral Pendant – Paint from David Trubridge is one of his signature fixtures, which is made from a series of coral-inspired, bamboo plywood components that connect together to form a stunning sculptural fixture. The Paint version reveals a colorful interior peeking through as light filters through the organic openings.

Gambit 19 Lite LED Chandelier from TECH Lighting

The TECH Lighting Gambit 19 Lite LED Chandelier is a bold, yet airy lighting fixture. It’s made from a cluster of 19 clear, blown-glass globes, each with their own bulb to produce a stunning array of ambient light.

IC C/W Wall Ceiling Light by Michael Anastassiades for FLOS Lighting
IC C/W Wall Ceiling Light by Michael Anastassiades for FLOS Lighting

FLOS Lighting’s IC C/W Wall Ceiling Light was designed by Michael Anastassiades to work on as wall sconces or ceiling fixtures. The minimalist lights were inspired by jugglers and feature opal, blown-glass globes that allow light to fill the surrounding space.

Modo Wall Sconce - 3 Globes by Jason Miller for Roll and Hill
Modo Wall Sconce – 3 Globes by Jason Miller for Roll and Hill

And lastly, the Modo Wall Sconce – 3 Globes by Jason Miller for Roll and Hill are elegant wall sconces designed for any modern space. The bases come in black, bronze, polished nickel, and brushed brass finishes with the option of smoke, clear, or cream glass globes that provide soft, diffused illumination.

For More Inspiration:

Jaime Derringer

Jaime Derringer

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk is a Jersey girl living the laid back life in SoCal. She dreams of designing textiles, running more than 8 miles + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, and drawing.

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