How to Make Lighting Work For You

If you are decorating your home, you should know that lighting is an important consideration in all spaces. From your bathroom to your kitchen, living room to your bedroom, lighting affects the mood, working capabilities and generally style of every room. Here are a few tips to help you make lighting work for you.

Assess what kind of lighting you need.
Different living and work areas call for different lighting. If you are lighting an office or workspace, such as a tool shed, you will want to opt for lighting that is bright and high overhead so that you can see clearly.

Consider fluorescent lights if you would like an over-all bright feeling. Fluorescent lights will illuminate a large amount of space and are energy efficient. They are, however, harsh with bright amounts of light, so you may want to avoid using them in areas where you enjoy festive entertaining, such as a living room.

For areas of your home that require more dressing, look into soft, low lights, such lamps that require 60 Watt bulbs or below. These lights are easy on the eyes and will not wash out a room with too much illumination. They will also help to create some interesting shadows and hues that you and your guests may find comfortable.

Choose appropriate fixtures.
Lighting fixtures can make the difference between having a light that “works” and a light that feels out of place. If you are lighting a workspace, overhead or track lighting will probably fit your needs well. Overhead lighting works well to illuminate a broad space and eliminate harsh shadows that can be distracting. Bright overhead light will also help to keep you alert, as it raises the melatonin levels in your system and tricks your body into thinking it is daylight.

For living spaces, such as the living room or bedroom, consider softer and more diverse lighting. Avoid overhead lighting altogether and opt, instead, for nicely matching table lamps. Table lamps can be a perfect accessory to any theme or style. Floor lamps can brighten a corner and add the overhead light that you need if you are reading a book or newspaper. They also cast light upward, which will help to length a short room (or call attention to an unkempt ceiling.)

Alternative lighting can add charm.
Alternative lighting, such as balls of light, twinkle lights and oriental lanterns, can add charm and interest to any room. Use alternative lighting sparely and tastefully, as it can contribute to a sense of your space being cluttered if it is used too much.

Candles are an elegant form of alternative lighting. They add a sense of romance, flavor and dressiness to any room for any occasion. Be sure to enclose your candles in a hurricane or other class fixture when setting them out to prevent wax from dripping on your furnishings. Candles should also be used sparingly, but with good balance and purpose. Consider investing in an elegant candle stick for your dining room table or fireplace that can serve as a centerpiece as well as a functional item.