Inside the home, lighting does so much more than help you see. The right lighting can improve your mood, create the perfect atmosphere and highlight all the features of your home that you love the most.
If your current configuration is coming up short, here are four foolproof tips for taking your home’s lighting to the next level:
1) Streamline bulbs
If you live in an older home, it’s likely you have a mishmash of different bulbs, which can result in a chaotic atmosphere of clashing colour temperatures. Swap out all your older bulbs and opt for one type (the latest LEDs are the most energy-efficient option) when you replace them for a unified feel. Make sure you think about what you’re using the light for before settling on a bulb, as there are many factors to consider (e.g., colour temperature, wattage, energy efficiency, shape/size, etc.).
Colour temperature is measured in degrees of Kelvin on a scale of 1,000 to 10,000. Experts often recommend LED bulbs with a warmth of 2,500K to 2,700K, a touch warmer than daylight.
2) Layer and diffuse
It is important to add different layers of light to each room in your home. One layer should be practical – usually a bright, overheard fixture – while additional layers should serve as accents to show off smaller details. Upward-facing lights make a room feel bigger, lights placed near the ground create an illusion of height, and clusters of lights can make large rooms feel cozier.
At least one layer should provide diffused light for a softer, more inviting feel. This can be achieved using opaque bulbs and/or fabric, glass or paper shades.
3) Consider scale
The size of your light source should fit the area it illuminates. Lighting should neither overpower nor underwhelm the space, so avoid using a tiny lamp to light a long hallway and don’t place a large chandelier in your cozy home office. Thinking about scale when you select light sources will also help you establish a focal point in any room, whether it’s a hanging fixture or unique floor lamp.
4) Add dimmers
Dimmer switches are your secret weapon for DIY lighting success, especially when it comes to accent lighting. Dimmers allow you to adjust brightness to suit a variety of moods and can help you balance natural and artificial light throughout the day. They can also save you money, since dimmed lights use less energy.
You can choose lamps with built in dimmers or buy third-party dimmer attachments that can be used with your existing lamps. Installing dimmer switches for hardwired overhead lights often requires the help of an electrician, but you might be able to do it yourself if you’re handy.