We often underestimate the ability of lighting to transform a room. Different types and placements of light fixtures can make a small room in the winter seem very spacious, or make a big room seem small. Lighting can be adjusted throughout the year to accommodate the increases and decreases of natural lighting in different seasons. Here are a few tips and tricks to use lighting to enhance any room, in any season.
1. Pick the right type of bulbs
The first thing to consider when picking lights is the type of bulb itself. For most lighting fixtures, you can use incandescent, halogen, or fluorescent bulbs. Each different type produces a slightly different color of light. Incandescent bulbs create a warm, yellowish glow. They are best for rooms that you want to feel cozy. Halogen and fluorescent bulbs produce a whiter, almost blue glow. These bulbs can make a room look much brighter, which is ideal in kitchens and bathrooms.
If your room gets a lot of natural light, you might use an incandescent bulb in the summer, when you need only soft lighting at night, and a fluorescent bulb in the winter, when you need brighter lighting throughout the day.
2. Change lamp shades
Changing a lamp shade is one of the easiest ways to change the lighting and feel of a room. An opaque or dark lamp shade will highlight certain parts of your room and make the room as a whole seem darker. This approach works well in rooms that you want slightly dim. A white, more translucent shade will shine more light into the room.
3. Light up darker spaces in the winter
In the winter, when there is less natural light, parts of your room that may get lots of light in the summer won’t get as much light, or won’t get as much light for most of the day. In the winter, corners especially tend to get drowned out in darkness. A floor lamp or tables lamps placed on corner tables will light up these areas, making the whole room feel larger.
4. Layer lighting
No matter the room, overhead lights alone will make the room feel one-dimensional and dull. The lighting from overhead lights hits only the tallest pieces of furniture, leaving spaces beneath cabinets or behind large furniture dark. Many types of light fixtures can fit into these spaces, but the easiest approach is to have a variety of different lighting types. Pair overhead lights with floor lamps and table lamps to create layers of lighting at different heights in a room.
5. Add mirrors
Because mirrors reflect light, they enhance lighting fixtures in any room and make spaces feel larger. Place mirrors high on walls or near light fixtures to reflect the most light into a room. Mirrors work especially well in areas that natural light does not reach.
These adjustments will make clear the huge difference good lighting can make to any room. Use these tips to make any space feel more open, no matter what time of year it is.