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Home Lighting Tips and Tricks

Updated on September 18, 2015

Home lighting tricks and tips to solve every problem

Many people are surprised at the impact that good home lighting makes on their living environment. Before switching around lighting schemes, you may have experimented with re-decorating, moving around furniture or using different colour ways in your home and then all of a sudden, a light bulb is replaced or a lamp moved and the whole room changes in look, depth, atmosphere and functionality.

Good lighting is powerful and visually beautiful in the home. It's also essential for carrying out tasks in a domestic setting; preparing food, working in the evening, watching television or reading, for example. But what are some of the common problems that people experience related to lighting and how can they be fixed?

Some people find that they are spending too much money on their electricity bills and in these instances, it's well worth switching to energy efficient light bulbs. Simply switching just one of these will shave around £7 off the annual electricity bill, so doing so for the whole home can make a real impact. These needn't be expensive and the technology has vastly improved in recent years, so that these bulbs are brighter, quicker to fully illuminate and last for much longer periods than the old fashioned glass bulbs. They are also less dangerous as they are more resistant to breakages and do not heat up to the same extent as incandescent glass bulbs. You may find that your utility provider offers discounts or even free energy efficient light bulbs and it's worth asking them what's available. Alternatively, look for promotions in local supermarkets or home DIY stores, or buy in bulk for the best savings.

Another common problem is that people get headaches in the home and can't understand why. Good home lighting can go a long way to solving this. Low lighting or ineffectual lighting will lead to squinting and strain on the eyes, which is a common source of headaches and irritation. Make sure your lamp is bright enough to facilitate the task in hand. So for reading, use a focused reading lamp. For working, use an adjustable desk lamp and for food preparation, look at task based under unit lighting or bright halogen spotters.

Insomnia is a problem that many people now believe is linked to the use of back lighting in TVs and laptops or computers. Playing computer games, watching films until the small hours or playing with a tablet can cause your brain to lose its natural sleep rhythms, as the back lighting is reminiscent of natural daylight and leads your body's natural clock to become confused, much in the manner of when it deals with jet-lag and changing time zones on a long haul flight. So avoid working with digital gadgets before bed and allow a little quiet time to either catch up with the family, relax or read, all with the correct lighting on hand of course!

Dining Room Lighting
Dining Room Lighting

Creating a year-round home with the right home lighting.

In the same way that many homes redecorate to match the changing seasons, home lighting is best tweaked and changed around to match the different needs of the year. This doesn't mean buying expensive new products every season, but rotating a few key pieces around to keep décor looking fresh and working well for the family.

In spring, most of us are keen to shake off the long winter and start to embrace lighter and fresher colours and schemes. We might be opening doors and windows more to enjoy the lightening days and looking forward to the summer to come. Try introducing a bright coloured pendant light over a dining table in a fresh shade - perspex round shades in oranges, greens, teal blues or deep pinks are very popular at the moment and an inexpensive way to change the entire look of the home. Try installing a light paper white floor lamp in the corner of the room, with a Japanese inspired paper shade. This will bring a very clear and fresh functional light into the living space which will work well with lighter furnishings and curtains you might introduce into the decorating scheme.

In summer, outdoor time is maximised. So focus your lighting on entertaining in a patio or garden area. Try stringing led solar lights around trees or a balcony - small lanterns or coloured shades look beautiful in the dusk. Consider using solar lanterns or Moroccan inspired lights on an outdoor dining table to create an intimate and celebratory feel. Indoors, halogen lights offer a very clean and bright finish and look good in both bathrooms and kitchens. Floor lighting running up a stairs also creates a glamorous look.

In the colder months of autumn and winter, lighting is likely to be used more and a cosier feel will create a warm and comforting effect. Experiment with different lighting positions and bulbs. You could freshen a look by changing a lamp shade or putting a in coloured or tonal light bulb. It's a good time of year to ensure you're investing in energy efficient home lighting too, to keep the bills down. Just one energy efficient light bulb can shave around £7 a year from your annual bill, so it's worth updating your home lighting and removing any old fashioned incandescent bulbs.

Bring decorative lights into the mix - these aren't just for Christmas! Try putting small led lights into a glass bowl for a pretty effect or stringing small decorative lanterns around a picture frame or mirror. Get the lighting mix right too - soft ambient lighting, bright task based lighting to allow reading, working or other activities and then decorative lighting to illuminate artwork or interesting home features. A chandelier effect light can also be very beautiful in a hallway or dining room.

With experimentation and inspiration from interior design magazines and store displays, you can create stunning lighting display that will entirely change and freshen your home for the seasons to come.

Love your home enough to light it properly? Let me know here!

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