Having adequate lighting in your home keeps your home functional. After all, it’s hard to accomplish even the most basic tasks if you can’t see what you are doing.
If there are certain rooms in your home that are in dire need of lighting upgrades to transform them from their present dungeon-like state, you’re in luck. A little bit of creative thinking, coupled with minor upgrades, can easily fix even the most daunting of lighting problems.
Get rid of recessed lighting
Although canned or recessed lights are great for setting the mood, this is about all they are good for. These downward spotlights provide an intense circle of light in one direction — down — which brings your focus downward to the floor. Unless you have fabulous hardwood floors or artsy rugs that you want to showcase, do not use recessed light fixtures as a primary source of lighting in your main rooms.
Instead, find places where you can add mood lighting that draws the eye upward. Well-placed wall sconces reflect light off the walls to brighten a room. When strip lights are installed on top, bookcases, shelves and mantels, they provide unique opportunities for feature lighting. What is on display is illuminated, and the light draws the eye up. Crown molding also provides the perfect place to add rope lighting or lighting strips around the ceiling. Modern lighting strips can change colors to suit your mood. By placing them near the ceiling, the amount of light seems to double from the reflection.
If you want to highlight a specific area or need lighting in one particular spot, pendant lamps are the perfect choice. And the bonus? They add character to the room. A monorail lighting system is another fabulous alternative since it adds depth to the room and can be configured to add or shine light wherever you need it most.
Optimize natural light
Nothing is worse than walking into a room and seeing the windows covered in layers of heavy curtains and blinds. Unless you are allergic to light, get rid of those burdensome window coverings.
Sunlight is free and naturally brightens any room while simultaneously boosting your serotonin levels. If you want to accent your windows or just don’t like the idea of having completely barren windows, opt for light-colored and translucent materials since they let light shine in without decreasing your privacy in the process.
For basement and subfloor apartments/condos, having any windows is a blessing. Instead of covering them up, try using a frosting film. This easy to apply material goes on like a sticker. It lets in optimal lighting but blurs the view to prevent nefarious onlookers. Some of the newest films come with artistic designs and patterns that will turn a blasé window into one all your neighbors will envy.
Change your bulbs
It’s no secret that traditional incandescent light bulbs are being phased out. If you want to be more eco-friendly and upgrade your home’s lighting, go ahead and change your bulbs to LED. Depending on your bulb choice, prices range from $5 to $100, which may seem pricey upon first glance. These bulbs use very little energy, however, and last for years without needing to be replaced.
LED lighting has come a long way in the last few years. Each bulb now emits significant amounts of cool white light, which will brighten any room. New LED bulbs also come with a range of features that make them perfect for ambience or mood lighting. In fact, brands like Phillips HUE, LifX and Bulbrite now sell bulbs that allow you to change the color illuminated in the room as well.
If you’re looking for a quick way to improve the quality of lighting in your home, switching to LED bulbs is one of the easiest changes you can make. No new lighting fixtures are needed. There’s nothing complex to install. It’s as simple as changing a light bulb.
Fixing interior lighting problems in your home doesn’t have to be an expensive or cumbersome undertaking. Even basic minor tweaks can transform that dark and drab room in your home to bright and fab.