Lighting Tips

Published on March 27th, 2015

Shedding Some Light on Proper Lighting
When moving into a new home, or renovating your current one, it’s very easy to dismiss opportunities for the ideal lighting. While it is possible to just buy some run-of-the-mill, overhead lights and call it a day, this approach doesn’t allow you to showcase your home’s full potential. With different lighting approaches, you can highlight unique features of a home, such as dark wooden cabinets or impressive crown molding that would otherwise be missed with generic lighting. To get you started on brightening up your space, here are some Do’s and Don’ts for creative lighting:



Over-powered overhead lighting? Your home isn’t a cubicle! Don’t waste time and money putting in fluorescents’ or not having any lamps to generate soft light. Overhead lighting alone drains a lot of warmth from a home and can make a room seem cold. Overhead lighting can also add unflattering shadows to your face and make your surroundings look uninviting. If you’re hosting a party, overheads have a purpose, but when you’re curled up with a favorite book and a cup of tea you’ll be yearning for that lamp.




We all know crown molding really can pull a room together. You have so many different types, styles, and lengths to choose from – this feature can really add character to your home. Installing indirect lighting or rope lighting to crown molding can have a really a unique effect, and can change the way everything looks. Plus, when you add this style of lighting to your design, it helps you start thinking of your home in “layers.”



Improperly-sized lighting fixtures can really ruin a room’s design. A small overhead chandelier for a long dining table, or a massive lamp next to a smaller couch could get you in trouble. Many homeowners make these mistakes and their interior suffers from overbearing shadows. Shadows can really be a pain and make a room seem gloomy and faces seem dark. Improper lamp heights can also be troublesome—if a lamp is too high or at eye level, the light could be blinding. Interior Designer Noelle Miceck suggests that “The bottom of a pendant light should be 30 to 36 inches above a kitchen island, and the bottom of a chandelier should be 66 inches from the floor in a dining room.”



The house is quiet, the kids are asleep, and you finally have the living room to yourself. Maybe you want to watch TV or flip through a magazine? But, you also want to take advantage of the peace and rest your eyes. This is where dimmer switches come in! You can turn those lights down low, but not all the way off with a dimmer switch. Mood lighting in a home can also make all the difference. When having guests over for dinner, dimmers help you achieve that dim, fancy Italian restaurant vibe. All you need to do after that is crack open a bottle of red wine and relax with friends.



When painting your room, make sure the lighting matches! If the walls are darker and you under-light a room, it will feel dark and uninviting. Even just slightly brighter hues can make a room much friendlier. It is a double-edged sword, though, as the picture above showcases. The darker gray really offsets the natural lighting. Get some paint swatches and hold them under your intended lighting to get a better feel for what it’s going to look like.



Do keep the Earth in mind when you’re picking out bulbs! Energy efficient CFL or LED bulbs offer a softer light, last much longer than the old incandescent bulbs, and can trim loads off your electric bill. Switching to these bulbs throughout the house is a no-brainer. In the same vain, use natural light whenever you can.

So, are you ready to tear down all your old light fixtures yet? Or is time to upgrade to a new home so you can implement all these lighting tips? If you’re looking for that well-lit dream home, it’s best to start by speaking with a qualified mortgage professional. For more information on financing a new home, please feel free to contact a member of our Housing Buzz Team today.

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