Ambient lighting is light that has no visible source but sometimes appears to have come from various directions
around you. This type of lighting is usually spread out over an area not not focused on one point or direction.
Ambient lighting is sometimes called mood lighting or mood lights. The light will have a source but it will
not be easily visible. Even if the light is focused in one direction you usually don't see the bulb or the light source.
Ambient lighting is used in various applications and across various situations but in the automotive industry
the lighting is used to add to the overall comfort of the vehicle. The mood lights can change the entire atmosphere of the interior
of the vehicle.
Ambient lighting may also be used for some functional reasons.
Ambient lights can be found on various places around the interior of a vehicle. They can be found across the
dashboard usually integrated into the veneer or in a joining, horizontal across the doors again integrated into the veneer
or in a joining, in the headliner or roof of the vehicle and in the areas that I just mentioned above.
- They are used to illuminate the name of the vehicle, its respective marque or any other words or automotive logos
in the door sills.
- They are sometimes used as a background light in the instrument panel, this ambient lighting may change colours
automatically if the driving mode is changed.
- They are used to illuminate cup holders, around the ignition or start/stop button,
footwells and door handles which decorates these areas and makes them easier to locate in the dark.
- They are sometimes used to illuminate the areas around some controls that are not on the dashboard for example
controls on the back of the center console or on the interior of the roof of the vehicle.
These lights are available in several colours or moods on most vehicles that have ambient lighting. The lights may
also have varying levels of brightness. The adjustments between colours and brightness can be done by dedicated buttons or
by using the infotainment system of the vehicle.
One of the three colours of the ambient lighting in an S-Class (image from s.mymb.com)
Other ambient lights such as those around the ignition or on the door sills may be automically operated.
A variety of light sources and bulbs including LEDs can be used to provide
the ambient lighting for the interior of a vehicle.