Lighting can be used to affect our moods and the way we feel about a room. Brighter lighting stimulates activity, while softer lighting promotes restfulness.
Many rooms come with one overhead light fixture, but that single light can create unwelcome shadows and glare. Using mood lighting is an easy and effective way to improve your space.
The brightness of your lighting is a huge factor in how a room feels. Brighter light evokes feelings of cheerfulness and alertness, while darker, more muted tones encourage coziness and relaxation.
If you want your space to have a cheery and upbeat feel, consider installing bright lights that are well-placed to highlight your favorite paintings or design elements of your home. Dimmer switches are also a good option, as they allow you to control the brightness of your lighting depending on how you use the room and when.
Floor lamps and table lamps are great options for mood lighting. They soften light to reduce shadows and accentuate texture, which can make your rooms look more inviting. Opt for low wattage bulbs, like 15 watts, to create flattering mood lighting that’s not too bright. Including a lamp shade is another way to reduce harsh shadows and soften the light for a more pleasing, flattering glow. The color temperature of your bulbs can also affect how a room feels. Cooler temperatures (around 5000 Kelvin) are more stimulating and ideal for working or reading, while warmer colors (around 3000 K) have more of a relaxing effect.
When creating mood lighting in your home, softer colors and warmer light evoke feelings of coziness and warmth, perfect for bedrooms where you want to unwind after a long day. On the other hand, cooler color temperatures evoke feelings of calmness and productivity, making them ideal for living areas where you’re working or entertaining guests.
Another way to make your space softer is by using dimmers on your overhead lights. A single bright overhead light can create shadows on your face that highlight flaws and can even be distracting, so a dimmer switch will help to soften the lighting and reduce glare.
Another great way to add a softer look to your room is with LED strip lighting. This can be placed in different places around the room like under cabinets and on shelves to add a softer glow, or you could hang some fairy lights in a window for a romantic feel. A good place to start is by using a Wi-Fi-enabled smart light bulb or switch so that you can control the lighting in your home from anywhere with an internet connection.
If you’re looking to add warmth to a room, look no further than mood lighting. Floor lamps with opaque shades are a great way to subtly highlight a feature wall, architectural element or key possession like a mahogany leather sofa or winged armchair.
A directional light on the ceiling or wall can also create a sense of cosiness. Similarly, a spotlight symmetrically positioned on either side of the fireplace can instantly add an air of elegance and sophistication to a room.
Mood lighting is best used in layers around your home and can be controlled via apps that allow you to tweak the brightness and fluctuating color gradients right from your phone. If you’re wanting to be more productive and alert, choose bulbs that are on the blue end of the spectrum (around 5000 Kelvin), while warmer colors can encourage relaxation. The best thing about using mood lighting is that it’s a great way to experiment with different color temperatures to see what suits your space.
Lighting doesn’t just have to be a functional necessity, it can also help set the mood for the room. Whether it’s creating an alluring ambience for a dinner date or a feeling of relaxation in the bedroom, clever use of light can really make your home feel like a place you want to be day in and out.
A good way to start is with a general ambient light such as recessed lighting or downlights. Alternatively, wall sconces and pendant lights can be used to add that extra bit of drama. Smart bulbs, which can change the color and tone of your light, are another great way to create different moods within a room. Brighter lights with a blue hue are great for spaces where you need to be alert and focused, whilst warmer tones like yellow can be used to relax and unwind.
The key is to use lighting in layers and to incorporate different types of lights for maximum effect. A single overhead light can produce unwelcome glare and shadows, but a combination of lights including lamps, sconces, backlights and under-cabinet lighting is much more effective.