When you redesign a space, lighting may not be high on your list of options. You might think “There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with my current lighting” or “Lighting changes will probably require an expensive electrician.” If this sounds familiar, I encourage you to consider the important ways lighting can dramatically improve a space in my beginner's guide to lighting. 

Of the many design elements that create a room’s mood, you can make a strong case that lighting has the most influence—on the room itself and on the other elements.

Here are three benefits lighting provides:

1.  Focus:
An interesting light source or fixture can be a focal point in your room, or it can highlight the room’s focal point in all its splendor. Examples: Spotlights that draw attention to a much-loved family photo or a magnificent work of art hanging on your wall; floor lights that shine up through plants creating a fantastic focal effect and cast dramatic shadows that add depth and dimension.

2. Definition:
Lighting can help bring order and scale to your space, creating defined moods and purpose. Examples: Lighting fixtures on the high ceiling of a small room to draw focus upward and make the room feel larger than it is; distinguished table lamps with soft light bulbs to help make a larger space feel more cozy and intimate.

3. Color:
The fabric or paint color that looked stunning in the store may appear blah under your room’s lighting. If you’re a veteran DIYer, you’ve probably been shocked at how greenish, pinkish, washed out, or just different a color can appear in your home’s light. Deep, fairly saturated hues may lose their character in a room that isn’t well lit and may just appear dark. Older fluorescent lights in particular have a tendency to cast a sickly yellow glow—we know this from trying on clothes in a store’s dressing room mirror and being horrified at who is looking back at us!

Remember these three benefits when you start your next home project and you’ll be giving lighting it’s just due. Do that, you’ll be even happier with the outcome of that project and any future projects on your horizon.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?


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