Has the shift into autumn and the accompanying reduction in daylight hours taken it’s toll on your mood? Having started painting the shed too late in the day last weekend and finished it in the dark, I can definitely say I’m not a fan of the shorter days!
It’s understandable why the onset of autumn can impact on our general enthusiasm: those balmy evenings of barbecuing, entertaining and relaxing outdoors are gone for another year, leaving us confined to indoor pursuits and craving all things light and warm.
At this time of year, the lack of natural light makes it all the more important to get your interior lighting right. As well as being integral to the atmosphere and functionality of a room, it can have huge impact on your mood. If you’d like to give the light in your home a boost, you might want to consider these easy lighting ideas.
Choose lighter window dressings
If your usual curtains are dark, heavy and light-absorbent, consider swapping them out for fabrics that will allow a larger amount of natural light to stream into the home. Elle Decor recommends translucent shades, while House Beautiful advocates a roller blind.
Blinds are great as they can be tucked inconspicuously into a window’s recess, or mounted above the lintel. Both these options will minimise the amount of daylight that is blocked out, while still providing you with privacy.
Go for reflective surfaces – except on the walls
Reflective surfaces will do a great job of bouncing light around a room, helping to make it feel brighter. Mirrors, acrylic furniture or accessories, and reflective surfaces on things like coffee tables are all great options. Avoid glossy walls though, as these can produce glare rather than reflect light in all directions as matte surfaces would.
Another option is to use high-gloss paint on your windows and sills, as these will catch daylight entering through the window and help to bounce that light further into the room.
Bring the outdoors in with garden lighting
We typically use our gardens much less in autumn and winter, but that doesn’t mean you need to be content with looking out onto a dark abyss.
Installing some garden lighting will allow you to enjoy your garden from the comfort of an adjacent room, keeping you connected with the outdoors even when you don’t want to venture outside. There’s also the added bonus of the garden lighting helping to boost your indoor light levels too.
Mix it up with task lighting
Task lighting is where you can really play around with the colour, direction and strength of light in a room. Table lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps and pendant lights can all have a huge impact on the mood in a space. And the shade, colour and shape of a lamp can all hugely affect how it casts light, as The Telegraph notes.
Be wary of simply leaving bulbs exposed though, as this can result in harsh lighting. There are some lovely products on the market, and you won’t struggle to find pendant lights, table lamps and floor lamps that look truly beautiful.
Replace old bulbs with LED
LED bulbs are much more efficient than traditional bulbs, and you can forget about the bad old days of LEDs emitting cold blue light. These days, it’s possible to pick up LEDs of various colour temperatures, with lower temperatures producing warm white lighting.
Updating the bulbs in your existing lamps can make all the difference to light levels, and you can play around with temperatures to create the perfect ambience. With summer now gone, architect and TV presenter George Clarke advises that you opt for warm light tinged with “cooler, bluer light” to avoid an overt contrast with the weather outside. I think I’ll be trying these lighting ideas in our dingy lounge this winter!
How do you boost light levels in your home during autumn and winter?