Lighting plays an essential role in our day-to-day experience, whether outdoor lighting when entertaining at home or the interplay of lighting in design in the physical world and online. Mobile devices and monitors have never been sharper, and the power of light has never been more fundamental to the design experience.
If your designs for your websites are not taking advantage of the mood effects generated by light, you’re missing out on an incredible design option. If the average user’s electronic device can convey beautiful lighting better than even a few years ago, you owe your visitors to take advantage of their technology.
Showcase of Websites with Lighting Effects
These websites use lighting techniques to highlight and emphasize their unique products and services. Check out the range of lighting effects and see how they might inspire your design projects.
Stripe, the payment system, utilizes calming swirls of light. The subtle lighting effect is not dissimilar to a lava lamp with waves of multiple colors washing across the top of the page. The result is vibrant, creating initial visual interest that gives way to a more standard color scheme as users scroll through the website. This is an example of how even a small amount of lighting techniques can elevate any website.
Monopo London makes excellent use of interactivity when it comes to lighting effects. Visitors will find, shortly after arriving, that their mouse cursors affect the colors in the background. The interactivity creates exciting visuals as the cursor, in the form of a bubble, bends and shifts the shade of red and blue against a dark void over periods of time.
Design+Code features a website with interactive lighting effects. The site’s background is primarily soft pink and purple background lighting. The somewhat transparent layers over the background function much like hills, giving the entire area a smooth, rolling appearance. Despite the interactivity, the website utilizes subtle lighting effects.
DreamStorm Studios uses a clever trick of lighting to appear mysterious and intense. The majority of the background is a black void. However, the scene’s center comprises an amorphous shape of lit purple, blue, and violet. Though it is not animated, the play of light makes it feel moving and pulsing.
The use of lighting effects on Use All Five is subtle and quite pleasing to the eye. The lighting creates an iridescent sheen across the background, allowing the black text to contrast sharply. Overall, the subtle lighting is an asset to the welcoming feeling of the website. Subtle lighting can often have health effects, so aiming for something calm is intelligent.
Forwwward Studio, beyond having a surplus of Ws in their name, features excellent lighting effects on their website. The site takes advantage of the contrast between the purple-colored patches of light and the dark, almost black background. The site is also heavy on interactive elements, jumping from black voids with pleasing lighting to a bold white, then back again as users scroll.
Zeus Jones offers a website with bold, eye-catching lighting effects that evoke psychedelics. You see swirling grey mist as you load the page, but there are explosions of swirling colors soon enough. The color choices all contrast beautifully with the white text on the page, so nothing is lost in the ever-changing background lighting effects.
Cosine uses subtle and beautiful lighting effects with complementary colors to create a soothing experience that reflects its lighting design. The shades of purple and blue change slightly on the page through limited animation and movement, lending an almost organic feel to the website. Of course, the colors of the lighting effects are chosen to complement the white text of the page, so nothing is lost to the eye. It is an effective use of lighting, not unlike a rear colour wash.
Reech, an influencer marketing service, uses dynamic lighting effects to evoke stage lights which lends an air of performance to their website’s staging. The colors are rich blue and pink, contrasting sharply with the white text for the website’s copy. Users can find the combination of blue, purple, and white all over the site in different styles.
EarCOUTURE’s stunning website uses brilliantly lit, shifting backgrounds to promote its fantastic array of headphones and earbuds. Each image features thematically lit backgrounds that complement the featured products and is a great way to use lighting effects to promote a product or service. The whole site feels like a neon-drenched night scene.
Verida echoes many design tropes as other websites do regarding lighting effects. For example, there is a usage of three colors, green, blue, and white, and the blue and white intermingle, appearing in motion though the background is a static image. A white layout frames the site, which then frames a swirl of red and blue in another section as you scroll down.
Leonard Agency’s usage of lighting effects and color choices are subtle but reflect a premium brand. This creative agency utilizes pale lighting with the occasional decadent reddish splash of light across the background at different intervals. Watch the edges of the website to see this warm wash in action and supplement the overall peaceful mood.
YGGY Technologies offers a website that uses dramatic blue and teal elements set against a gradient of blue lights that gives the website a technological feel. Aspects of the appearance almost transition like that of a circuit board as new elements appear as users scroll.
Wonderland serves as an example of the power of dramatic, colorful lighting and animation. The website has a fascinating and eye-catching appearance, with transparent shapes backlit by brilliant colors and chromatic bubbles bouncing around the page. The non-specific chromatic nature of the colors then allows other site elements to maintain unity with the lighting choices.
When it comes to vibrant colors, few sites are as dramatic as Mališauskas’ own. The combination of bright purple and green bubbles on a white light background, shifting back and forth, gathers attention. The motion evokes an underwater scene, as though in a lighted pool. However, the environment is not oversaturated, resulting in easily legible copy necessary for any website.
TC Group Solutions uses a lighting style that evokes some similar sites on this list. The black background features a single lighted spot of magenta, almost like a spotlight. Elements of the website’s design revolve around the usage of black, white, and magenta, creating a unified theme. Screen time on this website evokes a peaceful mood.
Evina presents one of the dramatic examples of lighting effects on the list with a full-motion background animation. The animation depicts rolling waves of tiles as light bounces off the surface, ranging from warm orange to cooler purples. It is pretty dramatic but highly appealing and unlike anything else on the list. The animated lighting effects are not unlike mood effects, like those novelty mood rings.
Zoox is a website that requires a button press to get to the lighting effects, but they are well worth exploring. The entire website utilizes an interplay of chromatic electric lights and heavy shadows to emphasize the form and shapes of the autonomous ride vehicles Zoox has created. It is very dramatic and stylish lighting.
PMD Technologies offers an intense purple lighting effect that evokes the cult film TRON. Rolling waves of purple pixels animate across a black background. Even more impressive, the waves respond to the motion of the website as users scroll. Despite the vibrant nature of the colors, the background impressively remains subtle so as not to distract from the messaging. The effect is not unlike a night scene in a digitized city.
Mango Media’s lighting effects are as fun to manipulate as they are to view. The website presents an amorphous green ring, but as users move their cursor around, it distorts and bends under their influence, offering other colors. The site also utilizes pale green text on the splash page, creating a unified theme. It is some of the unique animated lighting effects on the list.
CodeMyConcept doesn’t offer much animation or motion to supplement the lighting choices, but it still stands out as a very vibrant-looking site. Like many sites on the list, it uses variations of blue and purple by including bright icons against a darker background. The background itself, while not animated, does over a sense of transition through lighting thanks to the gradual arrangement from blue to purple.
Final Thoughts on Websites with Lighting Effects
The lighting techniques on the website represent a large array of different approaches to the interplay of light and colour washes in design. Unlike the physical world from which be browse, the artificial light source of technology can accomplish incredible things, so you are not limited to the natural rules. Embrace theatrical lighting and use your website’s interplay of lighting to tell a story.
Websites do not merely need to be black text on white light. Embrace color and find inspiration from a wide range, from summer mornings to night skies, and see how lighting can appeal to your website visitors.