Similar to how smell triggers memory, light can impact your mood. After all, we definitely feel a bit less more depressed than usual when we're working, eating, or doing pretty much anything in a space without abundant natural light. However, in more subtle and immediate ways, lighting can help cue different moods, helping us to relax. If you are in the market to make your space—whether it's the bedroom, bathroom, or living room—you may want to consider lighting to get the job done.
Here are our top tips for spicing up your space using nothing other than lighting.
Experiment With Different Options
Invest a little time playing with the light in your room. Each space will be different, from the furniture that's in it how it is positioned to the size and angle of the walls and height of the ceiling. What works in your friend's loft may not work in your small-space apartment, so try to focus on your own room when choosing which types of light you're going to buy.
Consider the Mood You're Going For
Before making any purchases (both lighting fixtures and bulbs), think about what kind of vibe you want the room to have courtesy of the lighting. Are you going for a frenetic night of animalistic abandon in a club atmosphere? Or, are you going for the feel of a slightly mysterious, titillating five-star hotel room in French circa the 1920s? Your options are truly limitless and, with the right lighting, you can set any mood you want to.
Don't Shy Away From Dimmers
Consider installing dimmers on all of your overhead lights to give them a little bit more variety than just on or off. Installing dimmers isn't hard to do as long as you have some good safety instructions and make sure to flip the right breakers (making it impossible to electrocute yourself). Trust us; dimmers make a world of difference.
Even with low wattage, fluorescents are the wrong option considering how many choices of bulb you have. First of all, fluorescent lights aren't stable—they flicker on and off a lot—and though it's not necessarily perceptible to the eye, it can still cause headaches and fatigues your eyes. Second, and perhaps most important, fluorescent lights just don't look as warm and inviting as other options, like LED bulbs.
It's better to use lots of localized points of light rather than rely on one big light for the whole space. Grab whatever desk lamps or reading lights you've got and play around: Point them at the wall, into a plant, or at a painting. Lights that illuminate specific points of focus are great for making a room look beautiful.
Use this technique (localized lights) to draw attention to parts of the room and hide corners that are filled with items you may want to hide.
Don't Invest Too Time or Money
If you don't have a ton to work with or you don't want to spend too much money on your lighting scheme, play with what you've got. This is a good opportunity to get creative. For instance, if you hate the hue that your standard taupe lampshade gives off, drape a colorful silk scarf over it (just be careful that it doesn't catch fire).
Keep Candles Around
Nothing sets a sensual mood quite like candles do, so make sure you have a lot on hand. Whether you opt for long tapered candles in beautiful candlestick holders or little votives that conceal shorter candles, you'll definitely make the space feel sexier. If you want to go the extra distance, go for scented candles.