I work in a room where it does not have enough light but it is not a dimmed room. If regular office rooms get 10 score on the brightness of light, this room would get 6. The lighting condition is like one in the picture below.

a dimmed room?

Is there an English work to describe such a condition?

  • 6
    Insufficiently/Inadequately illuminated office. Subdued/dim lighting. – Ghaith Alrestom Feb 1 '16 at 3:06
  • 2
    Poor lighting, or "It's too dark in here!" – user3169 Feb 1 '16 at 4:27
  • The room may be dim, but it is not dark. One could say the lighting is subdued, but this is not all that idiomatic. But I don't a native speaker who who would say that this room is dark. – GoDucks Feb 1 '16 at 6:46
  • 1
    Insufficent lighting – rogermue Feb 4 '16 at 21:20
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    I would say it's too dark. The room may not be dark compared to other rooms, but it is too dark for me to work in. It doesn't have enough ambient light to prevent eye strain. – ColleenV Feb 5 '16 at 19:18

Peter's answer gets part of the way there: "too X to Y", if X is the opposite of Z, is a useful construction in general to say that there's some Z lacking that makes it hard to do Y, even if there's still a pretty significant amount of Z. That is, even if the room isn't very dark, it can still be "too dark to work" or "too dark to read".

However, in this case, "too dim to work" is probably better. That's a somewhat weaker opposition, and in cases where there's really not much lacking at all, that has a better match to the idea that a smaller change might fix it.

Alternatively, say "not bright enough in here to work". Similarly, you can use "There's not enough light in here to work." In this case, rather than negating the basic adjective ("light" → "dark") you're negating the adjectival phrase ("enough light" → "not enough light").


Not having enough lighting can be expressed by simply saying

It's too dark to work in here.

and that will cover cases of diminished lighting to no lighting.

In an office environment, this situation can be described as

poor lighting
inadequate lighting
insufficient lighting
dim lighting (different from dimmed lighting)
lowered lighting

In a home when done for effect, it can be called

mood lighting
subtle lighting
romantic lighting
tv lighting

  • I downvoted this answer because I do not know a single native speaker who would describe this room as being dark. – GoDucks Feb 1 '16 at 6:45
  • @GoDucks well. Isn't it kinda dark, though? – NVZ Feb 1 '16 at 19:37
  • @NVZ It might be kinda dark for some activities and kinda bright for others. But, as a general term, the room is not dark. – GoDucks Feb 1 '16 at 19:41
  • 1
    Edited to state, "It's too dark to work in here." Any objections to this change? – Mark Hubbard Feb 4 '16 at 20:07
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    A dark room describes a room which is dark. A darkroom is a room for old-school film development. – Pockets Feb 4 '16 at 23:38

Is there an English work to describe such a condition?

There isn't a single word, unfortunately.

When something blocks light, the effect is called shade, but that implies being outside.

During the day, it is reasonable to leave the lights out and expect the natural sunlight to fill the room. The first thing that comes to mind is this room doesn't have enough natural light. Because typically you could turn on a light to illuminate the room but just would prefer not because of the available sunlight.


You could say the room is underlit.

Lit can be used as an adjective meaning "supplied with light" (as in the great hall was lit by candles and torches), and the prefix under- indicates that something is not enough (as in undersized, underfunded, underachiever).

If the room had too much light, you could say it was overlit.

I believe these words are often used by photographers to describe a scene that has too little or too much light for a satisfactory photograph.

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