It doesn’t matter if you live in a warm or cool climate: we all experience less daylight this time of year in North America. We have some good news, though – simple lighting and decorating changes can instantly help brighten up your winter days. Here are a few décor and lighting tips for inside and out to help you overcome whatever Mother Nature brings this winter season.
Inside the Home
An easy way to alter a room’s mood is by swapping out the light bulbs in your lighting fixtures to those with higher or lower wattage. To compensate for dark days, use a higher-watt or lumen bulbs that more closely imitates daylight to bring a cheery mood into the space. Are you craving a warm, soft glow? Use a lower wattage or lumen to keep the room cozy when snuggling up on a cold winter day. A word of caution: whether you go bright or dim, make sure you keep your bulb choice within the wattage range recommended by the fixture manufacturer.
If you’re shopping for new lighting this season, consider choosing fixtures that incorporate selectable LED technology right within the light. It’s easy to change the color temperature within a range from warm to cool by merely flipping a switch. We explain more about how this technology works here.
Use dimmer switches to fine-tune the illumination in a room. Want an inviting glow? Just dim down the switch to instantly establish intimacy. When you need bright light for office or schoolwork, turn the dimmer switch higher to raise the room’s light level.
Tips to Maximize Daylight
Maximize natural daylight with some décor hacks. Since textured and dark surfaces absorb light rather than reflect them, replace heavy curtains or open them wide to supplement the room’s light. Add sheer curtains if you need privacy. Same goes with lamp shades: try swapping out heavier drum shades for lighter weight and lighter colored shades to help brighten a room. Finally, use the power of reflection to your advantage by hanging a mirror across the room from a large window to reflect, heighten and amplify light.
More is Better
Instead of relying on one bright overhead light, use three or more light sources to layer the light for better ambiance and contrast. Try a combination of ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendants, wall sconces and floor and table lamps at varying heights to create the perfect atmosphere.
Outside the Home
Exterior lighting is a must for short winter days. They add a level of safety as well as curb appeal. However, they don’t need to be shining all the time. Save energy and money by putting outside lights on timers or motion sensors. Speaking of energy and cost savings, there is no better time to switch to LED fixtures and bulbs than in the winter. Not only do they use less energy, but LEDs are also known for performing better in the cold.
Finally, clean your outdoor lights! Dirt, snow and other debris blur outside lights, making them appear dim, even when they’re working.
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