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Tips for Improving Your Home's Interior and Exterior Lighting

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Do you have a beautiful home that you're very proud of and want to show off? The best way to highlight the unique beauty of your home is to have excellent lighting -- both inside and out. When it comes to outdoor lighting, well-executed lights can create major curb appeal while doubling the safety factor.

Improve Your Home Lighting

Whether planning to move now or down the road, increase your real estate's value with these simple add-ons. Even if you are not selling right away, generate a visual masterpiece that will make the neighbors jealous!

Improve the lighting inside your home

Every room is unique, and it's advisable to have different kinds of lighting in each room of your home.

  • Hallways should always be well-lit, because if you can't see what jacket is yours or where your keys are, chances are you'll be late for work. Use task lighting in your hallway. Instead of track and spot lights, opt for classy wall sconces. They are not only functional but will add character to the area. Don't completely abandon overhead lighting though, because soft overhead light will make the space seem warm and inviting.

  • You should always have a clear view in the bathroom, because you are brushing your teeth, cleaning your face and applying your makeup. Sidelights are simply the best for applying makeup, so you could add a pair of sconce lights to both sides of the mirror. Add an overhead light as well; it will fill any shadows on your face, and it will also fully illuminate the room. This is of utmost importance when you're cleaning the place. If your bathroom is spacious, you could also consider getting a light directly over the shower.

  • The living room should definitely have more than one source of light, since it is a room where many things happen -- whether watching TV, reading and socializing. You can make the space look more inviting by choosing to light three of the four corners, and focus each of the lights on an object -- a painting, an armchair, a plant in the corner, a bookshelf. By using a combination of table lamps and floor lamps, you will get that lovely combination of downward and upward glow which blurs sharp corners. If you happen to have an overhead fixture, put it on a dimmer which will allow you to switch between bright light and a soft, romantic touch.

  • Kitchens should have functional lighting, because you definitely want to see clearly when you're reading recipes and chopping vegetables. Ceiling-mount light fixtures are the most convenient for kitchens. However, if you need something more subtle -- but equally effective -- you can hang pendant lighting, which offers a decorative touch. They are more subtle than chandeliers, and they can be placed over sinks, islands and counters.

  • For a nice overall ambiance, you should have a softly lit bedroom. A simple ceiling-mount fixture or chandelier are the best choices. If you're someone who likes to read before bedtime, lovely wall scones above the bed or stylish table lamps will do the trick.

  • Night lights are necessary for bedrooms and hallways. Night lights are perfect for nurseries and kid's bedrooms, because they calm children who wake up at night and need to go back to sleep. On the other hand, night lights help parents who are trying to navigate their way through dark rooms and hallways.

One of those things you don't notice unless it's wrong right is the lighting in your home. If the first instinct when you enter a room is to shield your eyes or squint, you will know that something's not right. Take time to examine the lighting in each room. Making a small effort to see better in your home will make your home a more comfortable place.

Improve your exterior lighting

Real estate agents set up a lot of appointments after sundown. Because most of their clients work Monday through Friday, options are limited to weekends and weeknights. Not every seller can accommodate Saturday or Sunday showings, meaning a lot of buyers only view the landscape at night.

For better curb appeal, avoid overkill and stick to warm whites. Darkness is beautiful when staged correctly. Use outdoor lighting to accentuate your architecture with a technique that simulates moonlight. The aptly named "moonlight effect" adds a naturalistic and gentle glow with strong but well-placed shadows.

  • If your home is symmetrical, use the front door as a focal point
  • Highlight desirable features, such as fountains or flagpoles, from the foreground to showcase your property's individuality
  • Create a unique look by illuminating trees from above; mount lights inside branches instead of near the trunk's roots
  • Uplights, in moderation, establish a dramatic presence

TIP: Confirm no lights shine directly into bedroom windows at night.

The Center for Disease and Prevention reports seniors die more from fall-related injuries than any other unintentional cause. Steps and uneven sidewalks need extra attention. And although a shocking 55 percent of older adults fall victim to dark pathways, strategically placed security lighting aids every age.

Safety does not automatically mean high voltage! Big pockets of shadows encourage intruders so eliminate areas of darkness with subtle security lighting. Motion-detectors around the property's perimeter will both hinder and point out any movement.

What about the backyard?

Whether selling your home or accommodating party guests, you'll need nighttime ambiance. These lights prove more for aesthetic purposes but form follows function.

Some ideas for backyard lighting include:

  • Globe string lights
  • Lanterns
  • Strips of hidden LEDs
  • Orb and sphere lamps
  • Illuminated pots and planters
  • Glowing furniture
  • Pendant lighting
  • A firepit

How have you improved the lighting in your home? Tell us in the comments below!

Kelly Martini  Posted by Kelly Martini on December 13, 2018

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