Use These Lighting Tips to Brighten Any Room

Do any of the rooms in your house suffer from being too dim? Symptoms include being unable to differentiate colors, struggling to clean surfaces, and needing to move a lamp in order to read. If any of these sound familiar, it's time to take back your space! While the obvious answer is to simply add more lights, sometimes space, cost, and design don't allow for the obvious. In that case, try using one of these lighting tricks that will make even the darkest room feel like the sun is shining!

Change the Bulbs

Ok, we're sure you've already done this, but it can't hurt to ask: have you tried brighter light bulbs? The most direct way to brighten a room is to add more light, so try replacing your current bulbs with higher-lumen alternatives. Also, don't judge a bulb on its wattage. Old incandescent bulbs may say 60 watts, but this is a measure of electrical energy used, not brightness. On the other hand, LED bulbs may only use 8 or 9 watts and be brighter than the alternative because they are far more energy efficient. On a side note, LEDs may be more expensive, but they will almost always pay for themselves through longevity and efficiency.

Did I Mention LEDs?

LEDs also provide you with great options for placing lights in otherwise unusable spots in the room. For instance, install rope or tape lighting along the ceiling or floor in order to provide a consistent, unobtrusive source of light in a room. 

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall (and Everywhere Else)

In a room with limited light, one of the simplest ways to increase brightness is to add reflective surfaces. These will help scatter light rays into more areas of the room, rather than have them illuminate just one spot. While wall mirrors always work well, you can also consider mirrored accessories or even furniture if the design works in your space.

Let the (Fake) Sunshine In

Lighting problems are more prone to occur in rooms with no natural light, such as in the basement. In these cases, the entire room can be brightened and opened up by installing a false window! This might seem like a difficult task, but it doesn't have to be; the internet is filled with ways to build your own!

Lighten Up On the Shades

If your room does have windows, try using the lightest shades possible that still provide you with privacy. Sheer fabric and warm colors can help diffuse light throughout the room, making it seem sunnier than it would otherwise.

White Isn't Always Right

One of the first ideas that occurs to people who want to brighten a room is to paint everything white. While this line of thinking isn't necessarily wrong (light colors reflect more light than dark ones), it can hurt if you go overboard. Making everything in a room white can leave it looking flat and dull. Try using light neutral tones or warm colors to brighten without getting drab.

Contrast Is Your Friend

Although it helps for large surfaces like the walls to be a light color, don't make the whole room pale. By adding dark, rich, or bold furniture, you can create contrast within the room. This will make the rest of the space seem brighter in comparison.

Source: 7 Surprisingly Genius Lighting Tricks to Brighten a Dark Home