When decorating or planning our rooms, lighting might be the last thing on our minds, but the type of lighting you use can drastically alter the look and feel of a room. Are you wondering how to light a house in a way that looks and feels inviting? Do you want that picture-perfect home that you see in magazines?
It’s not as hard as you might think, and it all begins with the lights you choose!
Here are a few simple lighting tips anyone can use to improve the look of their home.
1. Consider the Purpose of the Room
Before you begin planning which types of lights you want to install or place in the room, you need to consider the purpose of that area. The lighting you’ll use in the kitchen will differ from the lighting you’ll want in the living room or bedroom.
Think about how you use the room. Do you eat here, relax by the TV, lounge around and read? Think about the purpose of the room and what kind of activities you do there, and then consider how much light you’ll need.
You may also have to consider the shape and style of the room. If there are any architectural details, you may want to highlight them or plan around them. If the room is an odd shape, you may need to get creative with your lighting.
Lastly, you’ll want to think about shadows and whether you notice any “dark spots” in the room you’d like to brighten up.
2. Plan by Room
Adding onto the last point, you’ll want different styles and types of lighting for different areas of the home.
In the kitchen, you’re obviously doing a lot of food prep. This means installing enough light to keep the kitchen safe and prevent accidents when prepping and cooking food.
You also want to light up all surfaces well enough so you can keep them clean. For example, under-cabinet lighting helps light up your countertop.
The bedroom is usually a place to relax and unwind. People primarily use the bedroom to sleep, but many people choose to read or watch TV in the bedroom as well. If you love to read, consider a bedside lamp, sconces, or dimmable lights.
There are a lot of options for bedroom lighting, including twinkle lights, rope lights, and portable lighting!
3. Layer the Lighting
For the best effect, you’ll want to layer your lighting. What does that mean? Well, you’ll want to combine different styles of lighting to create both ambiance and visual interest.
Having different types of lights also allows you to pick and choose which ones you need on at any particular moment. For example, you can hang pendant lights in the kitchen and combine those with under-cabinet lighting. The beauty of layering lighting is that you can experiment with different light fixtures.
4. Choose the Right Bulb
There are so many different types of light bulbs on the market that it can get overwhelming at times. How do you know which type to buy? Should you choose a warm or cool temperature?
Here are some of the options to consider:
- Standard bulb style
- Globe bulb
- Candle bulb
- Spot lighting
- Vintage or decorative bulbs/Edison bulbs
There isn’t a “wrong” type, although many bulbs have advantages over the others. LED bulbs, for instance, use less energy and can last far longer than non-energy efficient lightbulbs.
You’ll also want to consider temperature when choosing a style. Warm lighting casts a yellowish glow, and cool lights have a higher color temperature and will appear more blue or white.
This comes down to preference, but warm lighting tends to look better in areas where you want softer light. Cool lighting works well in the kitchen and garage. Depending on the style of your home, you may prefer cool lighting for its more modern look.
5. Use Natural Light
When you’re planning the lighting in your room, always consider any natural light sources. You’ll want to work with these to enhance the appearance of the space.
For instance, if you want to brighten up a room or make it appear larger, use light paint colors that bounce the light. Shiny surfaces, white furniture, and mirrors can also help reflect light and give a room a brighter, more welcoming appearance.
If the room is too bright, such as a bedroom with too much light coming in during the early mornings, you’ll want to consider window treatments. Blinds and curtains can help control how much light you let into a room.
6. Think Green
When we say “think green,” we’re not talking about the color. If you want to save on your energy bills and make the most of your lighting, make the switch to eco-friendly lights.
Compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs use less energy, as we mentioned earlier, and they last longer, so you don’t have to replace them as often. Both of these benefits save you money, and they look just as beautiful in the home as traditional light bulbs.
Modern energy-saving bulbs come in a variety of styles, so no matter which types of interior lights you have in the home, you can find the right style bulb for it.
7. Think About Style
Lighting isn’t just about creating ambiance or improving safety. You also want to consider your favorite styles when you’re choosing lights for your home. Do you prefer more modern and trendy fixtures, or are you looking for a style that suits an older, historic home?
Style comes down to preference, and there is no shortage of light fixtures out there to choose from. Whether you’re into sleek and minimalistic or rustic, you can find a light to suit any style of home.
Maybe you prefer the look and feel of recessed lighting, or lighted ceiling fans are more your style. To get a feel for what’s out there, consider checking out some online galleries.
Use These Lighting Tips to Bring in the Light
We hope these simple lighting tips helped give you some guidance and inspiration. Now you can go about choosing home lights with confidence, knowing what to look for and how to maximize your space.
For more useful tips like these, check out our many other informative design and home improvement posts!