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How to Get Great Home Lighting

Does something just not feel right about the look of your home? You have all the decorations you want in place, but it still doesn't have the appearance you were hoping for. Your home lighting may not be great, which is easy to overlook. Changing the lighting can make a big difference in your space, and following these great home lighting tips can help you improve the efficiency, aesthetics and day-to-day livability of your home.

Tone down overhead lights

Every room has overhead lights, but you might be using them too much. Mix it up with some other light sources. You also don’t want it to be too bright or you’ll spend all your time at home feeling like you’re on stage. As a first step, try relying on overhead lights less.

Use lamps

Lamps can be weaker than overhead lights, but can also be in more places around a room. Place them wherever you need some extra light, and play around with lighting a room only using lamps. You may still need the overhead light in some rooms, but not all.

Use dimmer switches

If you still need an overhead light with all of your lamps in a room, try putting the overheads on a dimmer switch (you’ll probably need your landlord’s approval to do so, but it’s worth asking). This gives you much greater control over how bright the light is within a particular space.

Have lights for specific tasks

Do you often sit at a table, on the couch or in bed and read? If so, you’ll probably want a reading lamp. This applies to any other tasks that require light. It’s best to have these set up and ready to use at any time. Not having light for these activities means you’ll either have the room lit for that task all the time, which might not look great, or you’ll not have enough light to do what you need to do, which can strain your eyes.

Plan light placement early

This may not help with your immediate problem, but remember that lighting is an important part of decorating. You should consider how to light a room the moment you start to decorate it. Next time you redecorate a room or move to a new house, think about lighting from the beginning.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Try a new look and see if it works. If you’ve moved some lights around and it just isn't working, try again. You don’t have to commit yourself to any lighting scheme until you’ve found one you love. Keep experimenting until you find it.

Pay attention to shadows

You'll also want to make sure you aren’t casting unwanted shadows. Is your lamp behind something that casts a shadow across part of the room? If so, you may want to move it.

Lighting is very important but easy to do incorrectly. Start with these tips and see where they take you — you're bound to make your home look better.

Categories: Renters

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About the Author
The managing editor of Apartment Guide and rent.com, Brian Carberry has more than 10 years’ experience as a content creator and award-winning journalist. Brian’s work has been featured on CNN, Search Engine Land, Randstad and a number of other organizations around the world. In his free time, Brian enjoys sports, cooking and debating the correct pronunciation of “gif.”