Lighting can be one of the most important design elements that homeowners often overlook.
Most of the time, you might think of lighting as simply something that doesn't have a decorative element to it, but just the functional purpose of providing light.
However, the right lighting can actually work to improve the aesthetics or visual impression you get from your home.
Here are a few ways both outdoor and indoor lighting can change the way your house looks.
1. Feeling Welcome
Starting from the outside – there are plenty of lighting options you can go for, and they can all add to the visual impression your home makes.
Something like a LED wall pack lighting above the windows or along the base of your house, shining soft light outwards to the front path, can really create a good impression of a warm and welcoming home.
You can also add some lighting to enhance the path up to your front door.
The right placement and amount of lighting here can really help give off the impression that the home is well-maintained and cared for.
As a general rule, you don't want the exterior of your house to be too brightly lit up at night, but just enough for it to catch the attention of passersby.
Think of the way sunlight shines through a forest.
You can see the sunrays gently landing on a tree in a way that accentuates the entire forest.
In a similar way, the lights you use on the outside of your home should have just the right amount of brightness, without feeling too forced.
2. Accentuate Features
Whether we're talking about interior or exterior, lighting can be a way to highlight a certain area in a subtle but effective way.
Perhaps the exterior of your home has an interesting architectural feature, or you have a painting or a gallery wall you really want to set as the focal point in a room.
Using suitable lighting will add to the visual element and enhance the look you're trying for.
That said, it's important not to go too overboard with it.
Just enough light can really make the features you want to accentuate shine, but if you make it too bright, it can actually take away from what you're trying for.
As with any clever design, the first impression should never be – oh there's light there. Instead, it should only be noticed after the focal point was already admired.
An extra benefit to directing the spectator's attention to specific elements is that you can hide potential problem areas you'd rather not have them see, such as a stain on the wall or drapery that doesn't quite fit.
3. Create Moods
Lighting is another non-spoken way to communicate a message about how you feel and what kind of energy you want to convey in a room.
For example, if you want your living room to feel calm and serene, subdued lighting can help.
For a game room or an office space where you want the vibe to be more energetic, brighter lights would work best.
Light colors like yellow or orange create warm feelings, but cold hues like blue or purple are perfect for creating moods that are calmer and less urgent.
Lighting is also something you can experiment with to see how it changes the look you want to go for.
Even if you never plan on changing the lighting, just different kinds of lights in place, turned on or off at certain times, can create subtle but noticeable differences.
Of course, when it comes to indoor lighting, it's always better to layer on different kinds of lighting, each creating its own mood and adding to the entire atmosphere you want for a room.
4. Illusion Of Space
Lighting can have a powerful effect on how the size of a space is perceived.
Brightening up a building or a room, as well as adding lots of different kinds of lighting, can give the impression that there's more space or add to the illusion that it's bigger than it actually is.
On the flip side, using fewer light sources can make things feel smaller and more boxed in. Of course, this all depends on where the light is used.
Some areas look better when you allow for some shadows to bring more dynamic into the space, while other work better when the whole area is evenly lit.
For example, a bathroom that isn't evenly lit will probably look a bit on the unkempt side.
On the other hand, a living room that's all lights and no shadows will feel too exposed and even uncomfortable.
The way you light things up can also affect the depth and dimension of a space, such as adding up-lighting or down-lighting to make sure it's not just well lit, but also painted with different colors of light that create shapes and shadows that give the impression of depth.
There are a number of different reasons you might want to add the right lighting in your home.
Lighting can be an accent, or it can create moods and make a space look bigger or smaller, depending on where the light is used.
Trickling in light will give your home a more open, airy feel while highlighting features of rooms and buildings, and it can make them look more attractive and well put together.