Creating an Ambience: How to Use Lighting Around Your Home


One could take the utilitarian approach when it comes to home lighting. It beats carrying a kerosene lamp or keeping the home stocked with candles. Others take fashion and alternative function into consideration to create a unique ambiance. Here’s how to use lighting in your home for more than mere illumination.

Add a Dimmer

The evening demands bright light so kids can do homework, yet the kitchen gets a lot of light in the day after school. In such a case, adding a dimmer presents options. It can brighten up an otherwise gloomy, rainy day or make it possible to have a romantic evening for mom and dad at the table. A dimmer makes sense in any space that hosts multiple family members and behaviors.

Avoid Fluorescent Lighting

Your home could have a number of more expensive and outdated bulbs. Experts suggest avoiding fluorescent bulbs. CFLs or compact fluorescent light-bulbs and screw-in LEDs are better options. Fluorescent bulbs are linked with eye fatigue and can throw off color schemes and presentation.

Deconstruct the Room

Consider how a given room is used. Dimmers add options, as mentioned, but digging deeper into the function of a space helps identify proper lighting solutions. A library or study for kids, for example, should have layers of light, with dedicated reading lamps along with table-lamps or standing models. Alternatively, a movie room needs little creativity since films are better viewed without light.

Add Layers

As suggested, some rooms demand layers of light versus a one-light-to-a-room philosophy. Two table lamps, for example, double the warmth in a room. Whereas, one overhead bulb makes a space appear drab with colors drained of vibrancy.

Shine a Spotlight

Shine a light on sculptures, paintings, and statues. If you made an investment, you want to appreciate the art as well as draw the attention of guests. Proper lighting reveals greater detail to make a grander impression. Situate standing and table lamps to augment the presentation of art pieces.

Define Kid and Pet Proof

Finer furniture would look great in your place but it’s not practical if you have clumsy little children and curious (and sometimes destructive) pets. Consider what’s practical given your situation. You would not want to invest in expensive solutions that can be damaged by pets, and you would not want to choose models that pose a threat to a child’s or pet’s safety.

Consider the Contrast

Consider how adjacent rooms contrast. A super bright kitchen next to a dimly lit living room could be awkward for guests and family members who suddenly experience a vast difference in mood in a few moments. Similarly, if you’re trying to relax and get sleepy, resting by a brightly lit kitchen or foyer is not going to facilitate your intentions.

Keep Recessed Lighting in the Closet

Recessed lighting was popular for a period of time and presently found in many homes. Modern designers, however, limit or omit such. Consider investing in standing and sitting lighting solutions versus a cascade of overhead and recessed fixtures. One place recessed lighting works well and is sparingly used, however, is the clothes closet. Walk-in and smaller closets need more light.

Do Away with Switches

Wall switches are unsightly, but you may do away with them given today’s technological options. A bunch of smart bulbs can be manipulated by a smartphone, so there’s no need to get up from the couch to dim the lights or go back downstairs because you forgot to turn them off. Go with dimmers or stay away from putting any switches on the walls.

Account for the Seasons

Some have SAD or seasonal affective disorder. Moods are influenced by natural light or the lack thereof. Some artificial lights, however, are great for treating such conditions. It’s one example of how some account for the seasons with lighting solutions. Winter’s colder temperatures lead to increased time inside and it’s darker for longer periods. One’s choice in lighting makes a difference, so check out this range of selections at Lamps Expo.

Count the Watts

If you’re a Type A personality, counting the wattage in the room can help get a sense of how bright or dim you would like it to be. Also, if burning too much energy is a concern, use a timer.

Deter Robbers

Speak with lighting specialists about indoor and outdoor solutions that deter robbers. Motion detectors, flood lights, and lights that double as cameras guard homes from potential break-ins. Use outdoor lights in conjunction with those inside to make it appear as if someone is always home.

Bethany Mellor is an interior designer who loves helping people to create a new ambiance in their home just by making a small change or two. Read her articles to make your home the best it can be!