The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Tired of looking at the same walls? New lighting can be an inexpensive way to upgrade your home.

When you need to wind down in the evening, your space needs to be soothing and lighting plays a big role in this -- think warm, dim hues. (Courtesy of Bulbrite) (Courtesy of Bulbrite)

After months at home you may be a little tired of what was once your haven. Now that your home is your office, your gym and your child’s school, your living space may feel like one common area, blurring the lines between personal, professional and shared spaces.

Since reconfiguring your walls or a complete makeover of your furniture isn’t an option for most people, we asked Cathy Choi, president at Bulbrite, a lighting manufacturer, to share advice on how changing your lighting can lift your mood and change the ambiance of your home.

Choi emailed us the following insights on how lighting can be a tool to breathe new life into your home:

· Adjust your lighting to meet your desired ambiance. Your lighting needs typically transform throughout the day -- especially now. In the daytime if you’re working from home or doing chores, bright cool lighting can help keep you alert and focused. When you need to wind down in the evening, your space needs to be soothing and lighting plays a big role in this -- think warm, dim hues.

· Schedule scenes in advance to smoothly segment your day. Now that so many of us are home a lot more it can be tough to transition from work mode into relax mode. However, thanks to new smart lighting options, you can schedule your lighting to adjust throughout the day -- a great cue to shift gears. It’s also a perfect way to help conserve energy with schedules that can turn off lights throughout the home at a certain time each day.

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· Use the right light for the right task. While the shade of white light affects the overall mood of a room, it’s important that you have the right light source for the task at hand. Have you converted an extra bedroom or living space into a workspace? Make sure you have the appropriate lighting (either desk lamp or ceiling lights) to reduce eye strain while working on your computer.

· Lighting can make a major impact outdoors, too. String lights are the perfect and easy way to give your backyard a makeover -- it’s amazing how quickly they transform the space into a mini-bistro.

· Consider stylish smart solutions. The benefits of smart lighting used to come at the expense of aesthetic design. Now people do not have to choose between having the convenience of smart lighting and lighting that works with their decor. From the most popular traditional bulb designs, including vintage-inspired Edison styles and both clear and frost finishes, to standard ceiling solutions, you can really find every and any style these days all at an affordable price point.

· Placement is key. Finally, remember to have your light source off to the side or in front of you (vs. behind you) when you’re on your next Zoom call or shooting your first (or 100th) family Tik Tok. Lighting really does make a difference.

Online ordering allows you to buy new bulbs, dimmers or fixtures to refresh your lighting. In addition, home improvement stores are open and offer curbside pick-up.

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