Portrayed as a psychophysical phenomenon, gloom is hypothesized to be a visual experience occurring when lighting systems, while up to industry standards, are not fitnessed into creating a positively lit environment. The components and context of ‘gloom’ have been noted in psychology and lighting engineering literature but a consensus on the configuration of spatial, lighting, and human factors producing gloom has yet to be reached. While lighting professionals have produced speculative indoor lighting designs which induce the perception of gloom; the connection between evaluating an environment as gloomy and the link to one’s mood has not been investigated. Small incongruities in people’s relationships with his/her environment may lead to physical and/or psychological discomfort prompting both positive and negative adaptations. Synomorphic relationships between people and their behaviors within working and learning environments are dependent upon the cohesion of their needs with what the space can afford. Gloom can be conceived as having two semantic divisions – one part rooted in mood, attitude, and subjective evaluation and one part rooted in external, tangible features of the natural and built environment. In the tradition of ambient environment research, this study explores why people perceive and respond to certain spaces as ‘gloomy’ in the hope of creating a framework with which to identify relationships between these factors as to better understand how gloom is constructed within our socio-environmental world. Twenty participants maintained a journal in which entries were made to directed questions in five familiar spaces. Narrative content analysis and frequency analyses were run on seventy journal entries (n=14) made within five environmental contexts defined by function (“a space within your work environment”) or associated feeling (“a space that makes you feel energetic”). Taken together, emerging themes indicate that aesthetic evaluations of gloom may sit at the intersection of one’s expectations for a space, present mood state, aesthetic and physical characteristics of a space and how these characteristics are interpreted. Recognizing that characteristics of the individual will affect perception of the illuminated environment should indicate to architects and designers that flexible lighting systems are most effective for indoor environments with multiple users/uses. Future research uncovering dynamics between specific lighting qualities and mood would add to the existing body of literature.