10 Tips to Improve Your Lighting

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We've said it before and we'll say it again: good lighting makes all the difference in a room. If your space is feeling a little lackluster, click below for 10 simple ways to improve it through lighting...

  1. Consider scale. Table lamps are great, but sometimes a large lantern, an oversized pendant, or a big sculptural floor lamp can bring the focal point that a room requires.
  2. Add a dimmer. This allows you to easily change the mood and brightness of your lighting depending on the time of day. For a quick demo on how to install one, click here.
  3. Include at least three sources of light in each room: general (overhead or pendant) lighting, specific (task or table) lighting, and ambient (sconces, candles or decorative) lighting.
  4. Choose the right shade. White shades let more light through, but usually create a colder tone. Colored shades will tint the light, making it appear creamier, warmer, or cooler depending on the hue you choose.
  5. Use CFLs or LEDs for energy efficiency. CFLs tend to emit a harsher light, but you can try full spectrum versions for light that enhances blues and reds.
  6. Light the dark corners of your home: closets, shelves, kitchen counters, cupboards. Areas like these are often neglected, but they become more functional and beautiful when properly lit.
  7. Use candles for ambiance. Nothing helps to set the mood for a party like a row of tealights or a set of candlesticks on a dining table.
  8. Incorporate reflective surfaces into your home. Mirrors, glossy floors, and metallic finishes will bounce light around a room.
  9. Deal with ugly fixtures. We've all had them: the hideous frosted glass, 1970s ceiling fixtures that wash the room in dingy yellow light. Switching out the shade or replacing the fixture all-together can completely change the look of a room.
  10. Maximize natural light by keeping your windows clean. It's cheap, simple, and really does make a difference.


Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

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