House Lighting Done Right: 4 Tips to Create Beautiful Lighting in Your Home

About 25% of your home’s energy use goes toward lighting. Yet many people don’t give their lighting much thought.

Thoughtful house lighting creates beauty while offering energy efficiency.

Don’t settle for ugly old light fixtures and the lamp you dragged with you from college. A few small lighting changes make a dramatic difference in your home.

Here are 4 tips for a great house lighting makeover.

Bulbs Matter

Think about the amount and type of light you want for each area of the house.

A lumen is a measurement of light. The more lumens, the brighter the light. A 150-watt incandescent lightbulb puts out 2700-plus lumens of light. That equals 30-55 watts if the bulb is a compact fluorescent (CFL).

You only need a 25-28-watt LED for the same amount of light. Once you understand lumens, design the best mood and work lighting for your home.

Mix and Match

There are many different types of light:

  • General
  • Natural
  • Task
  • Accent
  • Decorative

General lighting is the ambient light in the room. During the day, it’s often natural light coming in through large windows. It’s the main light source such as a large overhead light.

Natural light is the light coming in from the windows.

Task lights are for working, such as a desk lamp.

Accent lights are for highlighting something, such as a painting or portrait. When using accent lights, hide them well so the focus is on the subject, not the light fixture.

Decorative lights put the emphasis on the fixture itself. A pretty chandelier or a colorful rope light are decorative.

They don’t always give off a lot of light, but they do draw attention. Find fun, energy efficient, decorative lights at Birddog Lighting.

A Variety of Light Fixtures

This is where you express your style and create a fun atmosphere. Once you’ve figured out where you need light, decide on the type.

There are several types:

  • Wall lights
  • Downlight
  • Uplight
  • Lamp
  • Spotlight

Wall lights are great for general lighting. Use them by the vanity in the bathroom. Decorative sconces are often functional as well.

Pendant lights are downlights that work well for tasks if the lumens are high enough. They’re also great decorative pieces.

Most people avoid downlights, but they’re perfect for creating a warm glow. Put concealed uplights on the floor behind a pretty plant.

Lamps are flexible and perfect for task, general, and decorative lighting.

Spotlights are for accent lighting, but they also work well for task lighting.

Recessed spotlights work great in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Don’t overdo the spotlights, though.

Use Dimmers!

A big mistake many homeowners make is forgetting about dimmers!

Dimmers create a nice atmosphere. Dimmers work for the overhead lights in every room of the house adding flexibility and drama.

Ready for Your House Lighting Makeover?

Now that you know everything about lighting, you’re ready for your house lighting makeover. Lights should be more than functional.

The right lights add style and atmosphere. Start with the general lighting. Get your task lighting where it’s needed.

Add in decorative and accent lighting, and you’ve got the perfect lighting environment for your home.

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Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.