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20 Lighting Tips for Your Home Lighting

Updated on August 28, 2010

Good Lighting Warms the Home

Don’t know what to do when it comes to adding lights to your home? These twenty tips will help you get started:

1.     Go green. You’ll save yourself a lot of money if you get energy-efficient light bulbs. You’ll also save yourself some trouble since they need to be changed out a lot less often. Get LED bulbs when possible. Otherwise get CFL bulbs.

2.     Learn about the new light bulb labels. Light bulb labels are changing in 2011. They’ll be easier to read so that you can choose the right bulbs for your home.

3.     Understand task lighting vs. ambient lighting. Task lighting is specifically for areas where you need a lot of light for reading, sewing or completing other tasks. Ambient lighting is general lighting for the room. Most rooms need both types of lighting.

4.     Consider swing arm lamps for task lamps. These are lamps that are mounted to the wall and then swing open when you need them. They offer a great design option and can be tucked out of the way when they aren’t in use. These are perfect as desk lamps as well as for bedroom reading lamps.

5.     Reading lights should be placed behind you at a right angle. Place the light slightly to the left or right but always behind you. Many people have their reading lights directly next to them. This is bad because it creates a glare when you are reading. This leads to eye strain. Simply moving the placement of the light slightly can greatly reduce this problem.

6.     Motion-activated floodlights are a top choice for exterior home lighting. These lights offer safety and security for the home but don’t light the exterior unnecessarily. Choose medium-watt lighting for the outside; bright enough to keep the yard safe but not so bright that it wakes all the neighbors.

7.     Under-counter lights are worth it. These are unfortunately rare in many homes but so useful in kitchens and bathrooms. Adding lights inside all closets is a similar good idea.

8.     Dimmer switches are also worth it. You’ll be able to light up a large area of the room with the brightest setting as needed. You’ll also be able to turn the light down when you don’t want to waste electricity.

9.     Use recessed lighting where you have high ceilings. You can choose directional lighting here in order to create the best light for the room. Learn more about recessed lighting.

10. Be picky about decorative lighting. Sometimes you’ll love a fixture so much that you buy it for its aesthetic appeal even though it doesn’t give off a lot of light in your home. Treat these types of lights like artwork. Be picky about which ones you choose and where you put them.

11. Mirror lights are important in bathrooms. These are designed to offer shadow-free bright lighting when you’re looking in the mirror. This is important for shaving, applying make-up and doing other detailed bathroom tasks. Mirror lights should be on the side of the mirror not on the top.

12. Make sure that you have enough room for a chandelier before you buy one. The most common place that we se chandeliers in the home today is in the dining area. If you’re going to be hanging a chandelier here then you want to make sure that you not only have the width of ceiling space to hold the chandelier but also that there’s enough room between the ceiling and the table to allow plenty of space for the chandelier to hang.

13. Put a floor lamp next to your television set. When watching TV, you don’t want there to be too much other light in the room because it distracts you from what’s happening on the screen. However, it’s bad for your eyes to watch a bright TV screen without other lighting. The best solution is to put a low-wattage light in a floor lamp next to the television.

14. Stay away from halogen lamps. They are more dangerous than other types of lamps because they tend to start fires. They create more heat which also makes it more expensive to cool your home.

15.  Notice how lighting affects your mood. Dim lighting will make you feel relaxed and simply. Bright lighting may make you feel energetic. Pay attention to this and adjust your home lighting choices accordingly. Light up the spaces where productivity is important and dim the ones where rest is valued.

16. Always take advantage of natural light in the home. Although there will be times that you want to close the drapes to shut out the sun, it’s best to take advantage of sunlight where you can. This helps to save energy in the home and feels like a healthier light option for the body.

17. Use small electro-luminescent night lights. If you need night lights for the bathroom of kids’ room then invest in this type. For one thing, they are cool to the touch which makes them a safer choice for kids in the home. And for another thing, they’re more energy-efficient than traditional night lights. Learn more about electroluminescence.

18. Support lighting companies that do good work. There are many lighting companies that contribute to charity and do great things for the environment. Research the companies that you’re working with to do your part.

19. Some lights are better than others for indoor gardening. If you plan to grow herbs, flowers or any other plants indoors then you need to pay special attention to your lighting. An entire course could be taught on this but you can learn the basics here.

20. Remember to turn off the lights. You want to make sure that you turn off the lights when you aren’t using them so that you save energy in the home. If this is something that you often forget then you should put your main lights on timers.


Submit a Comment

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 

    6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    Found this hub just in time! We are totally redecorating our house, including lighting. The tip about the chandelier not being too close to the table is much needed. I hadn't given it any thought. Now I know how to plan. Voted up and useful.

  • jcales profile image


    8 years ago

    swing arm laps are great for doing late night research. I love the topic since design is one of my hobbies.


  • tectonic profile image


    8 years ago from Singapore

    Yes, lighting does affect my mood.... great hub

  • 49lart profile image


    8 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

    I think that most people prefer the ambiance tungsten light gives out, but there is a push to encourage wider use of energy saving bulbs, which have a less attractive quality of light.

  • cindyvine profile image

    Cindy Vine 

    8 years ago from Cape Town

    I need regular electricity for this! Mind you, our power cuts have been good lately, this time it's me that forgot to recharge my electricity meter and am waiting for it to run out any minute!

  • barryrutherford profile image

    Barry Rutherford 

    8 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Ive been experimenting with lights & different globes etc for the past couple of months with positioning different light strengths etc & it has transformed the place without any other decorating. Love this hub thanks !


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