Lighten Up! 7 Great Home Lighting Tricks

A dim room can darken your entire attitude, and this is never more true than in the depths of the dreary winter months. No matter how stylish and functional it is otherwise, a room with poor lighting can never reach its full potential. Besides being more convenient in general, a well lit room will make colors pop, raise your mood, and make cleaning much easier. You might think that your only hope is to install more fixtures, but that process can be both annoying and expensive. Luckily, there are a wide range of lighting tricks that can quickly brighten any room!

Lumens are Watt Matter

I'm sure you've already thought of this, but it can't hurt to ask: have you tried switching to brighter light bulbs? The most direct way to brighten a room is to add more light, so try replacing your current bulbs with higher-lumen alternatives. Also, don't judge a bulb on its wattage. Over the years, it became common to refer to a bulb's brightness by its wattage; however, this is actually a measure of electrical energy used, not light output. While an old, incandescent bulb may use 60 watts, a high-efficiency LED bulb may only use 8 or 9 watts and still be brighter! Although LEDs are more expensive up front, they will almost always pay for themselves through longevity (they last for years) and energy savings.

Think Outside the Fixture

In addition to their energy savings, LEDs also provide you with great options for placing lights in otherwise unusable spots in the room. For instance, run rope or tape lighting along the edges of the ceiling or floor in order to provide a consistent, unobtrusive source of light without installing new fixtures!

Take a Look in the Mirror

In rooms with limited light, one of the simplest ways to increase brightness is to add reflective surfaces. These will help scatter light rays into more areas of the room, rather than have them illuminate just one spot. While wall mirrors always work well, you can also consider mirrored accessories or even furniture if the design works in your space.

No Window Required

Obviously, lighting problems are more prone to occur in areas with no natural light, such as in the basement. In these cases, the entire room can be brightened and opened up by installing a false window! This might seem like a difficult task, but it doesn't have to be; the internet is filled with ways to build your own!

Lose the Shades

If your room does have windows, try using the lightest shades possible that still provide you with privacy. Sheer fabric and warm colors can help diffuse light throughout the room, making it seem sunnier than it would otherwise.

White Might (Not) Be Right

One of the first ideas that occurs to people who want to brighten a room is to paint everything white. While this line of thinking isn't necessarily wrong (light colors reflect more light than dark ones), it can hurt if you go overboard. Making everything in a room white can leave it looking flat and dull. Try using light neutral tones or warm colors to brighten without getting drab.

Turn Up the Contrast

Although it helps for large surfaces like the walls to be a light color, don't make the whole room pale. By adding dark, rich, or bold furniture, you can create contrast within the room. This will make the rest of the space seem brighter in comparison.

Source: 7 Surprisingly Genius Lighting Tricks to Brighten a Dark Home