The first thing I notice when I go into someone’s home is the lighting. The #1 reason why a room may not “feel” right to you can be because of the color and types of light you use in a room. Every kind of light throws a different color, look and feel.
Understand light bulbs:
- Incandescent – We grew up with this light bulb and it offers a warm, inviting color yet is not energy efficient as other types of light.
- Compact fluorescent (CFL) – They consume a quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs do and last ten times longer. They are quiet, not like the overhead fluorescent lights that you remember from school. The newer ones are warmer in color.
- Halogen – A variation of incandescent offers the closest thing to natural daylight or “white light.” They last twice as long as standard bulbs.
- LED – A long-lasting bulb that offers directional light such as task lighting (think spot-lighting) or as mounted under cabinets.
Understand how much light you need:
When you go to purchase light bulbs these days, it can be overwhelming. Each bulb should have a label that tells you the number of lumens or the level of brightness. That’s great, but what does it mean.
Easy reference chart for bulb replacement from Watts (W) to an energy efficient bulb:
100W bulb = 1600 lumens
75W bulb = 1100 lumens
60W bulb = 800 lumens
40W bulb = 450 lumens
(For more information on how to read lighting labels, click here.)
I recommend replacing all the bulbs in a room with the same type of light bulb, and I like the light from the GE Soft White Halogen. The light is best for reading, and doesn’t change the color of the room to pink; the color is a beautiful white light where everyone looks their best.
Pick the right light:
Often when I do consultations one of the biggest issues that affect the overall feel of a room is the size and amount of the lights. If the room feels closed off and small, changing your lights could make a significant impact. Here are some general lighting rules to follow:
- If you have large-scale furniture, you need large-scale lighting fixtures to match.
- You need at least three sources of light in every room: task, ambient, and accent.
- All of the light shades should be the same color. By changing the light bulb and the lampshade to the same color (a white or cream), this by itself will bring a big change to a room.
By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, Google+ and Instagram.