March 21st, 2016
Written by Crystal Watts on August 11, 2014
Lighting is one of the biggest opportunities for homeowners to subtly but effectively influence the ambiance of your home, whether for your own comfort and convenience or to set the mood for your guests. When skillfully applied, lighting can elicit a wide range of emotional responses, helping to make a party more cheerful or a romantic dinner more intimate.
There are many options for lighting: LED lights, lamps, overhead lights, chandeliers, accent lights, etc. With these tools, you can literally set the scene for any type of mood.
Here are 5 mood lighting ideas, which you can easily apply throughout your home to impress your guests and increase your own levels of comfort and enjoyment.
Brighter light will set a cheerful mood and encourage activity and alertness. People don’t like to sit in bright, direct light, however, so lighting should be focused on walls and points of interest. For example, use light to accent a prized piece of artwork, or an interesting design element of your home.
Textures can also be emphasized with light—light reflecting off crystal or metal surfaces can make a room lively. A shadow cast on a wall by direct bright light is another effective technique for creating visual interest.
Use of color in lighting can also be effective, if it’s not overdone. Warm colors like red and orange will increase the cheeriness and warmth of a room, and a red light on a red wall will intensify its effect.
A relaxed and intimate feel can be achieved by lowering overall lighting levels, and subduing colors. Warm, soft light is more flattering to a person’s features, and a few choice lighting accents on the walls or dining table centerpiece can enhance the mood.
Here are two tricks for creating a romantic mood: keep upper walls dark, and hide light sources. This will add a touch of mystery to your romantic dinner.
Everyone has a pre-bedtime ritual that helps them transition from the alertness of the day to the calm and restfulness of slumber. Lighting has the unique ability to help you on your way toward a good night rest.
Lower light levels can transition you from the brightness of day. If you like to read in bed, a bedside lamp can be set at a level just bright enough for comfortable reading. The rest of the bedroom should be much lower, but still bright enough to find your way around.
Sometimes a midnight snack really hits the spot, but if you’re hit with the bright lights of your kitchen it could be a harsh contrast from your dark bedroom, making it difficult to transition back to sleep. You also risk waking up others on your quest for a sandwich or glass of milk.
The ideal lighting for a midnight snack would provide just enough light to find your way through the house without stumbling over furniture. Your eyes won’t be pierced with blinding light, and you’ll find your way to the refrigerator and back safely. Motion detectors can light a pathway to the kitchen and back—turning off one after another—following a specified amount of time.
The entrance of your home is a great opportunity to welcome guests and set the tone for the evening. Lighting can serve the dual purpose of transitioning visitors from the bright daylight into the lighted interior, and accenting conversation pieces or points of interest.
For example, during the day your entrance shouldn’t be too dark that it takes someone a few moments to adjust. Similarly, at night it shouldn’t be so bright that guests are startled by the contrast when coming in from the dark.
People are naturally attracted to illuminated areas, so use light to your advantage as you lead guests into your home. Show off artwork and architecture by accenting it with direct light. If you want your guests to take a certain path to the living room or dining area, make sure it’s well lit and that other paths aren’t.