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6 Smart Ways to Instantly Improve Lighting in Your Home

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If your home's structure has restricted the amount of natural light that comes in, it can be tricky to improve the lighting in your home. We asked interior designer Angela Morrison of Style Create Design to share a few simple tips on how to improve the lighting in your home.

It might seem overly simple, but good lighting is one of the most important design elements in your home. Great lighting will always affect the mood and ambience of a space — potentially making it feel warm, welcoming, and comfortable, or cramped, cold, and generally unappealing for your family and guests.

Lighting can be tricky to get right, though; many people want to improve the lighting in their home, but they may be put off by the cost of replacing light fixtures or overwhelmed with the number of choices that need to be made.

But ensuring that your home is well lit doesn't have to be difficult. Yes, perhaps the pendant lights in the bedroom that you loved so much 10 years ago are not quite doing the trick any longer, but there are many other ways that you can brighten and bring life into a space without having to do a major renovation of your fixed lighting. With ample cost-effective and stylish accessories available, there are a few simple tips for improving the lighting in your home.

1. Install dimmers.

Previously, installing a dimmer system within the home has been a costly and tedious venture, requiring rewiring and potentially refitting lighting within a home. New technology allows an easy and cost-effective way to automate and control the lighting in your home.

2. Make it smart.

With the continued growth of smart home technology and automation, consider installing smart lights and light bulbs that you can control with your voice through your smart speaker. You’ll be able to turn your lights off and on in different rooms just by speaking, as well as adjust the light strength and color hue through your phone. Try one like the Amazon Echo ($99.99, Amazon).

3. Add lamps and feature lights.

Who doesn't love a feature light or lamp in the home? With the right selection and combination of lights at differing heights, you can instantly transform a space. For example, pairing a tall, standing floor lamp in the corner of the room with two matching table lamps at each end of a sofa in a living area can immediately transform the space into a welcoming home. Highlighting any feature artwork or architectural features of a room is another way to use lighting effectively with some directional lighting. LED strip lighting can also be a great option for both functional and feature lighting, creating a lovely warm glow to a space.

4. Choose the right type of light bulb. 

The style of a light fixture shouldn't be your only consideration when thinking about lighting. The type of light bulb you choose is equally as important as the style and design of the light itself. This is for two reasons: the bulb must be appropriate for the light design itself, and the bulb must suit the intended purpose of lighting in each space.

If the purpose of lighting in a space is to create a warm and welcoming feel, you need to use a warm white bulb to create the correct ambience. Alternatively, if the light is for a task-based purpose (e.g. over a kitchen countertop or in a study nook), the bulb must be strong enough to allow for clear vision.

With so many choices available in bulbs (LED, LED Edison style, Halogen, Philips Hue Smart bulbs, and more), and such a side range of hues from warm to cool, it can be a confusing decision if you aren't armed with the right information. We would generally recommend warm-hued light bulbs over a cool-hued light globe for residential use — no one wants to feel like they're in a doctor's surgery when they're cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie or hopping into bed.

5. Use mirrors.

The use of mirrors can add a fantastic element to a room, enabling light to be reflected in a space, and maximizing the impact of an artwork or feature piece of furniture. Mirrors, when selected carefully and well placed in a home, can make a space feel larger and airier.

My tip is to not go overboard, and incorporate mirrors into the design of a space when and where they make sense, such as in an entryway, above a side table, or in a bedroom.

6. Candles

When you enter a home, your senses are stimulated by everything around you, including smell, sight, touch, and feel. This is an emotional reaction that we instinctively have when we walk into a room. Our sense of smell is not to be underestimated when looking at the design of a space, so the use of beautiful candles is very high on our must-have list when we consider the accessories for a room.

Never underestimate the power of a beautiful scented candle to make a space feel warm and welcoming, as well as helping to add additional mood lighting to a space. When you're entertaining, lowering the lights and lighting some lovely candles will make your guests feel more relaxed and at ease.

This article originally written by Homes to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

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