Thursday, June 24, 2010
Fresh and easy home lighting projects can really transform an interior space. By changing lamps, shades, and fixtures, you can bring new drama and interest to any room. Add warmth, excitement, and ambiance to a living space or private sanctuary.
While major home lighting installations should be done when a home is in the construction stage, there are lots of projects, -some easy, some a bit more difficult,- that can be done by the average homeowner.
If you know a good handyman and don't want to do these home lighting projects yourself, you might be able to save a bit of money. But for other installations, you should contact a licensed electrician.
It's unlikely that any of these home lighting projects would require any building or lighting permit.
To bring interesting light to your room and add drama and interest, check out some of our simple home lighting update projects. They're basic and simple but can work wonders in your home.
• Update Your Lamp Shades
A fresh lamp shade can really perk up a boring lamp. When the pleats get flat or the lining burns off, get rid of the lamp shade and give the lamp a new life. The easiest way is to take your lamps and an old shade to a lighting store or home center. You'll be able to replace the size and shape easier and see how any new shade will look on the lamp.
For a real new look, experiment with a colored shade, a different shape, or one with a metallic lining. Consider covering a shade frame with fabric or wallpaper that coordinates with your decor. Another option would be to decorate a plain linen with stencils, a color wash, or decoupage finish.
For a unique finishing touch, add fringe, beads, or braid to the bottom and to edge of the shade using craft glue that dries clear or a hot glue gun. To top it all off, find a newfinial that draws the eye up.
• Install a Dimmer
Adjusting the intensity of light in a room is a simple process if each light fixture has adimmer switch attached. The light can be controlled at a wall switch or with a dimmer on the light cord. It's really quite easy to install a dimmer and it will give you the ability to adjust the light according to your need. You can choose from numerous styles of dimmers for any need.
Have full light for homework and hobbies. Turn down the light for romantic dinners or quiet evenings in the family room. For general lighting during the day, adjust the light to a medium intensity.
In addition, the life of every light bulb can be lengthened when it's dimmed. Think of the money you'll save.
• Add an In-Line Cord Switch
With a simple cut of a cord and tightening of a screw, you can have a light switch conveniently installed on an electric cord in no time at all. Select the size of switch that is appropriate for the electric cord you have. The actual on/off switch you'll install might be a roller, a rocking tab, or a little bar. Think how convenient this could be.
• Make a Custom Lamp
If you can't find a lamp that you like, consider making one yourself. If you have a vase you like, an interesting box, a pretty basket, vision it as a lamp base. Purchase a kit to construct a lamp at any home center or lighting store. Or have a lamp shop put together your new vision of a lamp. Check out some of the Lighting Projects that are posted online.
• Check Out Special Needs Lights
I particularly like motion sensor lights. When someone walks into the room or past a door, the light goes on. And when the motion ends, the lights automatically go out. What a convenience when your hands are full.
Another great light is one that goes on when the daylight dims. I have one outside my front door, but it would be great in a hallway too.
Read on for information about special lighting fixtures that add interesting lighting to your home.
• Light It Up (instead of down)
Designers and landscapers love up-lights. The fixtures are inexpensive, the require almost no installation beyond a simple plug in, and they instantly light up and transform a space. Indoors you can set a can up light behind a floor plant, behind a piece of furniture like a chest or armoire, or on top of a cabinet. The light will wash over a wall or up to a ceiling, providing indirect light for the room.
The can of an up light can get hot or knocked over if it's on the floor, so if you have kids or pets, place them carefully.
• Change Out a Ceiling Light
I just took down a dated brass ceiling light that was getting tarnished and the finish was flaking off. Replacing it with a new, more up to date fixture was the solution. I had to be careful to get a fixture whose base was wider in diameter than the previous one so that the mark on the ceiling could be covered.
Another solution would be to install track lightingor recessed can lights. The light beam can be focused at artwork, a work area, onto the ceiling, or down. Dark halls, a dining room, or home office is a great place these minimalist lighting.
• Place Lights on a Book Shelf
Often, bookshelves are dark and it's hard to find the book you're searching for. Install under shelf light fixtures, strip lights, small "hockey puck" lights, or a small lamp. If you choose a fixture with an electric cord, you might have to drill a hole the size of the plug into the back of the unit in order to get the plug to the wall outlet.
• Under Cabinet Lights
Instead of using all overhead lights, I love to install lighting under cabinets and conceal plugs and cords. Under cabinet lights shine the light right onto the work space and the room retains a wonderful ambiance. Using dimmers for all these lights is great, too.
• Change an Overhead Light With a Fan
I feel really strongly about ceiling fans, especially if you live in a warm climate. You can save loads of power over air conditioning and add a lovely decorative element, too. For extra convenience, include a remote control for both the light and the fan. You can control the fan and light from a chair or bed. What a luxury!
• Top Off Your Art With a Picture Light
If you've invested in fine art, you probably already know this tip. But even modest art looks better with directed lighting focusing on it. Select the right size for your piece and the room.
With fresh, new lighting, you can achieve a fresh new look for your home. You don't have to spend a lot of money.