Quick Lighting Fixes

BY RACHEL STARK ON JUNE 9TH, 2017

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There’s no over-exaggerating the importance of good lighting in a home. Design expert Lucy Dearborn, Lynn, Mass., says, “We pay attention to the furniture we buy and the home décor, but if you shut the lights off, you don’t see any of it.”

But not everyone has the money or electrical skills to install brand-new fixtures in their homes.

Instead, a few experts offer some bright ideas to improve the quality of light – no electrician required.

• Change your lampshades. “The most obvious quick fix is one people forget,” says Dearborn, owner of Lucia Lighting and Design. Over time, shades get dark and dingy. Spruce up a lamp by putting in a new shade that complements the season, such as one with a flower pattern for summer or a warm, gold-colored shade for winter.

• Layer your lights. “A combination of tabletop and floor lamps of various sizes can really highlight different things in the room beautifully,” says Cincinnati interior designer Amy Youngblood. She recommends people avoid matching lamp sets and aim for variety.

• Pop in a funky light bulb. “There are all kinds of fun, sparkly bulbs out there and people don’t take advantage of what they can be,” Dearborn says. Nostalgic Edison light bulbs, fluorescent plumen bulbs and bulbs with a crystal finish can add a spark – the good kind – to a fixture.

• Install a dimmer. Adding a dimmer switch enables people to easily adjust the lighting to meet their mood, Youngblood says. It’s not a difficult DIY project, but make sure to read and follow instructions carefully.

• Hang a pendant light. Suspend a fabric drum shade by a decorative colored or covered cord from the ceiling. To avoid pulling a new fixture, some products can be plugged into the wall and hung from the ceiling with a hook.

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