Ambient lighting provides general, overall illumination to an entire room or space. This type of lighting is designed to produce diffuse, uniform light that fills the area with a basic level of brightness, without any harsh shadows or contrast. Ambient lighting creates a comfortable, inviting background environment, allowing safe passage through a space and making it usable without straining the eyes. It is often accomplished using ceiling lights, wall sconces, table lamps, floor lamps and other fixtures that cast light in multiple directions. Adjustable dimmers allow the brightness of ambient lighting to be customized as needed. This baseline layer of ambient light can then be paired with task lighting and accent lighting to create an appealing, functional interior lighting design. The ideal ambient lighting feels subtle but supportive, enhancing a space without drawing attention to the light fixtures themselves. It establishes the mood while allowing focal points to be selectively highlighted.

Some examples of lighting fixtures used for ambient lighting are: ceiling lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, floor lamps, table lamps, pendant lights, indirect lighting, LED strips, wall wash lighting, and decorative fixtures.