five ways lighting

It’s easy to get caught up in the visual aesthetics and added functionality of a home remodel project. That’s understandable, since new paint colors, fresh artwork, and added features have the most immediate impact on a room and the people who use it. However, there’s one other aspect of home remodeling you should pay attention to, primarily because it arguably has the biggest immediate effect on a space and how it’s used: the lighting.

Consider the following five ways that lighting can elevate your home remodel project:

1. An Unexpected Lighting Fixture in an Unexpected Place

Much of home lighting seems to be designed to fade into the background, so to speak. The light itself should be visible, of course—otherwise, what’s the point?—but the fixture itself should be unobtrusive.

Imagine the delightful surprise of an intricately beaded chandelier in a bathroom or the industrial warmth of a string of Edison bulb pendants in the dining room. Small surprises in lighting design can create a whole new vibe, even without remodeling any other part of the room. Just be sure your lighting is adequate to the room’s functions before you make a final decision.

2. Upgrade to Smart Lighting Bulbs and Fixtures

Smart lighting connects to an app on your mobile device via your home’s WiFi network, letting you control the lighting in your home whether you’re there or not. If you have a voice-activated home assistant speaker, you can even choose compatible lights and control them through vocal commands.

Smart lights aren’t just cool, fun technological toys. They can help you control the lighting in and around your home for safety and energy cost management, too. Some even offer advanced features such as dimming controls, changing colors, and even playing music.

3. Add Pendants for Cozy Area Lighting in Living Rooms

Designers often recommend carving up large living areas into smaller areas built around different functions—games, TV watching, and conversation, for example. One of the best ways to do that is with pendant lighting of various styles, heights, and wattage. Closer, larger pendants make it easier to put together puzzles. Higher pendants with a lower wattage cast a more diffuse glow that helps encourage conversation.

First, get clear on the different areas you’d like to create in your den or living room. Arrange furnishings to create those areas, at least on paper. Then experiment with placement, wattage, and style to find the right combination of lighting elements for your home’s needs.

4. Think Artistically

For those of us who didn’t grow up with parents who were brave explorers of interior design trends, it’s tempting to rely on traditional light styles and fixtures. We tend to think about the single chandelier fixture over the dining room table, the recessed lighting in the hallway, or the sconces in the entryway.

Why not get more creative? Explore possibilities through catalogs, home design publications, lighting stores, and even other people’s homes. Group two or three small lights to achieve the same overall effect as a single brighter piece. Or think about segmenting your room’s lights into layers, with differing heights mixed with wall sconces and table lamps. Experiment by trying different shades on the same light fixture, while you’re at it.

5. Don’t Neglect Accent Lighting

Whether you’re remodeling your home for a fast sale or simply upgrading for a fresh look, it’s easy to focus on the big overall lighting source for a particular room or area. But while you’re at it, don’t forget about the often overlooked magic of accent lighting!

Use task and accent lighting to highlight the most beautiful parts of any room that you’re remodeling. Take advantage of the incredible variety of fixture styles, shades, and configurations available these days to put your lovely remodeling work in the spotlight.

Light It Up

When you’re confused or overwhelmed by your lighting choices, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Professional designers, experienced home DIYers, and your local real estate agent are all great sources of information to help you make the right choices for lighting your home to show it off to the best possible effect.