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How can I improve lighting?

By Paul F.P. Pogue, Ask Angi
Published: April 19, 2024, 5:59am

It’s easy to overlook the importance of good lighting design. Sure, a few bulbs can give you the light you need to see by, but light is more than just practical illumination. It creates beauty and art in its own right.

Just as you use paint to spruce up your walls, light acts as visual paint to not only illuminate your home but increase aesthetics, direct your focus and create the pleasing look you want. Here are several options to brighten up your home. With all these cases, a lighting pro can help you with your options.

  • Ambient lighting

This is the classic old-school stuff. Ambient lights illuminate a room without drawing attention to themselves and provide the primary light to see by. Good ambient lighting will work in just about any room for creating a welcoming, warm feel, and it’s good at softening shadows. The biggest downsides of ambient lighting are that it can be flat and it’s not ideal for tasks.

  • Wall sconces

You don’t see these as much as you used to, but sconces are both a beautiful addition to a room and provide excellent ambient light. You can use them in hallways or stairways as visual transition guides through the house.

  • Floor lamps

These give excellent lighting without having to install overhead lighting, and they’re as flexible as it gets; if you don’t like where the light is at, just pick it up and move it. (Try THAT with a wall sconce.) However, make sure they’re placed wisely to get the best effect.

  • Chandeliers

The oldest of old-school luxury items are best used when you want to make a statement that ends in an exclamation point. A chandelier adds an elegant touch to a dining room, foyer, entry hall or anywhere you’d like to establish a focal point.

  • Recessed lighting

Don’t call it a comeback; recessed lighting was never really gone. By stashing the light fixture in a recessed container, often known as a can, you keep the fixtures out of the sightline and prevent glare. Recessed lights give you very tight and focused control over your space. They’re also handy when headroom is an issue.

  • Track lighting

Track lights went through some years in the wilderness of uncoolness, but they’ve become trendy again thanks to their versatility. You can adjust track lighting to match any changes in your furnishings. Plus, you can use track lights to illuminate a pool table, kitchen island, artwork or anything you’d like to draw attention to.

  • Light strips

Advances in LED lights makes them more versatile, brighter and effective than ever before. A light strip under your cabinets can help with task lighting during food prep, or you can use them to fill in shadows on bookshelves. You can often program specific colors and designs with your phone, too. Contact a lighting pro near you today to learn about the best options for your home.