Even rudimentary wiring tasks are enough to give most of us the willies! Thoughts of electrocution or simply doing things wrong plague us, keeping us awake at night.
It’s a small wonder that many choose to augment the lighting profile of a room without tampering with the dreaded electrical spaghetti that runs behind the scenes throughout our homes.
Granted, if you want to make any big changes to fixtures hardwired into your service panel, a tangle with the electrical system is inevitable, but being that there are so many ways you can improve your lighting without ever having to fear for your life, why wouldn’t you give it a try?
No matter your situation, there’s almost always a workaround, and it’s these very workarounds that I’ll be discussing here today.
Switching Out Your Lightbulbs
We’re starting with a pretty obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how often it slips the mind. I’m talking, of course, about switching out your existing light bulbs for higher-wattage bulbs.
Generally speaking, the higher the wattage of a bulb, the more lumens it will throw out, which in plain old English means that they’ll make your room brighter.
If possible, I’d recommend switching out any incandescent or halogen bulbs for LEDs, as they’re brighter and cast a wider beam, but bear in mind that you can’t always just make a straight swap.
Another benefit of LEDs is that you can pick the hue of your lights from a large range of color temperatures. So, if you feel your room is a little too dim and cozy, you can opt for a bright white or even slightly blue-tinted light to freshen the space up and improve visuals.
Hang Some Mirrors
Here’s a neat trick for you… not only can you brighten up your room without touching the wiring, you can do so without even purchasing any new lights! All you have to do is hang a couple of mirrors in some choice locations.
As you know, mirrors are highly reflective, and when lights hit them, the wavelengths are sent ricocheting around the room like a cartoon bullet. In essence, a mirror is a light multiplication device!
To make the most of your mirrors, it’s essential that you place them in a bright spot. Window-adjacent is always a good move, or failing that, opposite a window can be effective. But don’t neglect the evening when the natural light dies down.
Station some in prime position to reflect the light from your fixtures too. This way, no matter the time of day, you’ll always have a bright, airy space.
Hire A Window Cleaner
Speaking of windows, a simple solution to brightening up a space is to keep the windows clean. This can be hard to do yourself, especially if you have a busy schedule, so consider hiring a professional to keep your windows in tip-top shape.
The best way to introduce more light into a space is simply to purchase some plug-in units and scatter them generously around the room. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
We are currently living in the golden age of table lamps. Table lamps are available in all shapes and sizes, with lots of interesting little design features, so there’ll absolutely be something out there that fits into and elevates your established interior aesthetic.
As the name suggests, table lamps are usually squat affairs that sit on tables or other similar furniture.
To give you an example of placement, I currently have four in my living room: One is on my side table next to the couch, another is on a parlor piano, the third is on a bureau/bench, and the fourth is on the music cabinet.
All of these furnishings are at different heights, adding a nice bit of variation even between the same type of fixture, thereby producing a very pleasant ambiance in the room. But if you really want to take that light profile to the next level, you need to start “layering light”.
Floor lamps are long-stem units that sit on the floor, they add yet another element to your interior design while also augmenting the ambient wash provided by your table lamps.
Floor lamps are particularly good for task-based locations in your home, as they’re often highly directional.
I know what you’re thinking… Plug-in pendants! Are you mad? But they’re a thing, people… a great thing!
Plug-in pendant lights arrive with ceiling hooks and cord clips for effortless installation. You simply run the cable along the ceiling, down the wall, and into one of your outlets — Simple, right?
If you’d like to add an ambient twinkle rather than a task-based light to your room, then I highly recommend draping some fairy lights about the place. Combined with some nice lamps, they’ll make a space very nice to inhabit indeed.
Don’t have many outlets for plug-in fixtures? Don’t sweat it!
There are a number of amazing battery-operated LED units on the market, and they typically arrive with remote controls so you can alter the color temperature and brightness of the light.
Sometimes you can even formulate custom lighting scenes and sequences.
They mostly arrive in flexible strips, but that’s not to say there isn’t some variety to enjoy. For instance, these Star-Spangled push lights are little disks that are held on a surface with adhesive tape, as are these bar-shaped Goodland cabinet lights.
It’s good to learn a little about wiring, especially if you become a homeowner, but if you’re not too confident dabbling with electricity, it’s not a big deal, as there are tons of ways to introduce more light to your rooms without doing so.
In fact, I’d go as far as saying that hardwiring new fixtures is hardly ever the solution to lighting issues in a room. As long as you have at least one feature playing the role of an overhead, the way to improve the lighting profile of a space will always involve the methods detailed in this post.