QUICK FIX: Make a big change in a little time.
It only takes minutes to make a big change in your home’s lighting. Here’s how:
• 5 minutes – Put in a new light bulb. Pick an LED to save energy and light bulb life. To better match traditional incandescent light, go for one with a 2700 Kelvin rating. (Look on the package for key numbers.)
• 15 minutes – Switch out a lamp shade or two. Try textured options, such as linen, to add interesting contrast, or spice things up with a color to match an accent piece.
• 30 minutes – Trade dimmers and switches for new smart-home options. This can be surprisingly easy, and can totally transform the look and comfort of a room.
• 60 minutes – Install a new chandelier, pendant(s), sconces or other fixture. Depending on your level of DIY experience, this makeover may require the help of an electrician, but is not a complicated or expensive procedure.
EXPERT ADVICE: Want More Ideas? Ask a Lighting Professional*
I have elderly relatives coming for an extended visit. What are some easy ways to adjust my lighting to make them more comfortable?
Preparing for your older visitors by adjusting your home lighting is a great idea. As we grow older, our eyes change. Research shows that a 60-year-old needs twice as much light as a 30-year-old. With that in mind, it will help to set up special lighting for task areas before your older guests arrive.
It is important to have light that you can direct, such as a pivoting or adjustable head on a task lamp. If possible, have a few table lamps or a torchiere that can be turned on while they watch TV. That will help reduce the contrast between the bright screen and the surrounding darkness of the room.
Dimmers are ideal in the bathroom to add a bit of illumination to navigate during the night. That is helpful for people of any age.
*Q&A courtesy of the American Lighting Association.