Not every home is blessed with great lighting! That’s ok. In this post I’ll teach you how to finesse your way to a beautifully lit home with proper light choices and placement.
I’ve used these home lighting tips on my home and others. These tips can take your home from DAY to NIGHT to PARTY at the touch of a button or via a smart home system. So follow along and click through the pics & titles to shop!
But first, a lesson on lighting:
Light can affect mood and overall wellbeing more than we might realize. I know I’m not alone when I find myself in a better mood on a sunny day than a dark rainy one.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need a good rainy day to curl up with a book, sip tea, and listen to Folklore. But most of the time, I need energizing sunshine to help me keep going! I’m basically a plant – I need sunlight and water to survive.☀️🌱
Our bodies and the light we require fall on a spectrum, just like some plants require different amounts of light.
This means that some people require less light than others. Which leads to my disclaimer: if you’re perfectly happy in your dark, moody cave of a home, that’s ok! We are different, and I respect that. However, the following tips could still be helpful. What’s important is that you know yourself and shop for your unique needs.
I believe that lighting in the home should mimic natural light as it changes throughout the day. We want sunlight in the morning and throughout the day (cool or daylight white). We want sunset and candlelight effects (warm or soft white) at night to fade as the day gets darker.
Light works WITH our circadian rhythm, so following this pattern will help you wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night.
The closer we can get our living environment to nature, and the cycles of nature, the better. That’s just science!
Now that our quick science lesson is out of the way, we can get into the fun stuff. In this blog post, I’ve shared my favorite products, some trending products (2021 edition), and I’ve ended with some of my best lighting tips that anyone can follow – whether you’re in the market for new lighting or not! Let’s go.
My favorite lighting products:
Smart bulbs are one of my favorite living room lighting tips. They are a must in the modern home. You can program them to lighten and darken as needed. You can also set them to bright white light in the day and warm light at night. Ours even know when it’s bedtime, and they start to fade and go completely off at 10 pm – or whatever time you select.
We like the Phillips Hue bulb, they’re a little pricier, but it’s an investment that will last. We’ve had ours for over three years now, and they’re still working great. During the day, we keep them in the white spectrum, but whenever we entertain, we like to play around with the colors!
They can do a full RGB spectrum – think red, white, and blue on the fourth of July, pink on valentine’s day, red and green for Christmas. Nick loves turning our entire house green and yellow during Packers games. The options are endless, and we like to get creative. They’re so fun to have for a party, but also great for everyday use.
Every home needs lamps, yet so many don’t have one! If you do, keep scrolling; if you don’t, please listen.
Do not rely solely on the built-in lighting that came with your home. Please, help your eyes out and buy a lamp that you can turn on as the sun goes down. I would recommend a warm LED bulb. The warm light mimics candlelight and is gentler on your eyes. It emits a lovely natural evening ambiance instead of the bright white light from the sun during the daytime.
Lamps obviously come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Get what makes you happy! Thrift stores always have vintage ones for a reasonable price – and if you’re lucky, a matching set!
These vanity lights stick on over any flat surface. I put mine around my bathroom mirror. They are very flattering because they light up your whole face, so there are no harsh shadows. The bright white mimics daylight, but you could also get an option that goes warmer and darker to mimic the light of an evening out.
I like these because they’re dimmable too.
In my mind, makeup will ALWAYS look better at night because it’ll be darker, and the lighting is usually warmer. So if you look good in daylight, you are prepared for any occasion!
If your home does not have sufficient natural lighting, but you enjoy plants, grow lights are your friend! They may not be the most aesthetic, but plants love soaking up the rays designed for their photosynthetic needs.
Trendy lights – made popular by TikTok
LED light strips are great modern lighting options. These lights can be used in many fun, creative and decorative ways. They can also be functional.
I’ve seen common uses include outlining your room to create ambiance. Or placing them behind TVs or gaming units to set the vibe and enhance the visual experience.
You can outline the bottom of cabinets and walkways to help you see at night for a more practical approach.
We put them under our stair railing to add some light and fun to our staircase at night. – Linked here is the kind that lights up and dances; you can control everything through an app.
Other options can be more straightforward and turn on and off as needed. Some are even light-sensitive, so for example, if you outlined the bottom of your kitchen cupboards, you could control them to turn on when you walk in at night for a glass of water, instead of getting blinded by the kitchen light.
These unique light bulbs mimic a true sunset. The direct light casts a shadow like a sunset.
This light casts a galaxy display onto the ceiling. It looks cool, and it’s uber-popular right now so I had to add it!
1. Be thoughtful and practical when buying bulbs
Look around and think about each room and your intended use. For example, what time of day will you be in it? What type of ambiance do you want to create?
For example, an office might have bright lighting so you can focus and stay alert, where a bedroom would require softer moody lighting for the night.
The living room is where I like to have the most fun – that’s where we put all our party bulbs (color-changing bulbs) for entertaining.
What’s nice about modern lightbulbs is they last almost forever. I’ve never had to change an LED bulb in my life. So consider a good bulb the simplest investment that could change your whole world.
Classic LED bulbs are less than $5 each, smart bulbs are between $20-50 depending on the type!
2. Extension cord power strips and smart outlets work wonders
Aside from the lamp, if you buy one thing, let it be an extension cord! I keep one under my couch with my spare laptop charger and phone charger attached to it. The easy-to-access location also makes for convenient vacuum or guest use -highly recommend!
Smart outlets are a cheaper investment than smart bulbs and can perform similar tricks. You’ll need to figure out how to hook it up via an app, but it’s quite simple! An easy way to turn lights off or on as we go about the house, whether we’re home or not.
3. Block out bad lights at night with stickers
They make these light-blocking stickers to cover all those tiny blinky technology bulbs at night. I like this because it helps me sleep better. It’s not a must, but I wanted to share since it’s cool!
That concludes my list! I’ll end with one more lighting anecdote: In case you haven’t caught on, yes, I am a little vain. When I look around my home, I want to be happy with what I see. The same goes for when I look in the mirror. Lighting dramatically affects BOTH of those outcomes!
I joke that I only go places if there’s good lighting!! But seriously, looking in the mirror in unflattering lighting could ruin your whole vibe. Have you ever gotten ready at a friend’s or hotel bathroom and thought, “I didn’t realize my pores were so big” or “why do I look so tired”? If the face you see is NOT the face you know, the chances are it’s the lighting.
Whenever I’m in this situation, I’ll check my reflection in front of a window using my selfie cam, and behold – my face is normal! I didn’t age dramatically overnight; it’s just the lighting!!!
I’ve carefully curated my home to have good flattering lighting that takes you from day to night, and with these tips, you can too. — Cheers to being and feeling fabulous at all times! So now go out there and buy some better lights!
PS If you click through my links or pictures, I can earn some affiliate cash. It’s a simple and easy way of showing gratitude! Thanks! 🙂