STATEPOINT -- Are you looking for a way to spruce up your home but don’t want to spend a bundle?
Consider your light bulbs and fixtures. Lighting can go a long way in creating ambiance in a home, and is often cheaper than painting. Plus, it’s more functional than unnecessary knick-knacks cluttering your living spaces.
Here are some lighting tips to create a welcoming atmosphere in your home:
• First impressions count. Make your guests feel at home by using floodlights, which provide illumination across a wide area. And consider adding a light bulb dimming switch, which allows you to illuminate the entry but creates a lower level of light to help visitors adapt to sudden changes in light levels when coming in from outside. Floodlights can also create added drama in hallways, kitchens and guest rooms.
• Add color. Looking for a subtle shift in the color of your living spaces? Light bulbs are available in a variety of color temperatures, from warm, soft white to cool, natural daylight. Each changes the look and feel of a room.
You can filter out dull yellow rays produced by standard incandescent bulbs with CFL or halogen lights. Or use a special incandescent light, such as GE’s Reveal bulb, to make colors "pop," bringing out the vibrant colors and textures of fabrics and furniture that would typically go unnoticed.
• Cozy up in the kitchen. Often a main gathering place, the kitchen should be well lit for both cooking and entertaining. Create a cozy look using recessed downlights that also offer a well-lit work surface for creating those gourmet meals. Place them 6 to 8 feet apart for even illumination.
• Let the dining room glitter, not glare. To achieve a welcoming ambience in the dining room, keep your chandelier dimmed. For extra sparkle, consider installing small recessed downlights on either side of the chandelier.
If your dining room table, china cabinet or fixtures incorporate dull materials such as wood, pewter or wrought iron, coated Reveal bulbs offer a softer illumination that brings out the textures of these materials. And they’re offered in candelabra, globe and other shapes fitting for decorative applications.
• Enhance brick and stone. Many of today’s home fireplaces incorporate stone and brick walls that can be highlighted with a wall-washing technique called “grazing” to showcase their great color and texture. Place recessed directional fixtures 6 to 8 inches away from the wall and 12 to 30 inches apart for a dramatic visual effect.
If you’re unsure how any of these ideas will look in your home, check out the free “mood cam” app from GE, available on the iPhone. You can snap pictures of your interior living spaces and then approximate the look of different lighting options.
More lighting tips can be found at www.gelighting.com .
With the proper lighting, you can change your house into a home.