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How to brighten your home’s lighting through winter and beyond

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A variety of light sources in a room can improve the atmosphere.

Whether you live in a temperate zone or the sun sets at 4 p.m. come winter, your home’s indoor lighting plays a vital role in your daily comfort and happiness.

Here are some tips for lighting your interior for a bright feeling year-round.

Add diverse lighting

The classic solution: Placing two different light sources in a room adds variation and creates a more pleasant ambiance. One primary overhead light will do the trick, though some homeowners find it to be monotonous, and it sometimes over-illuminates a space.

A good fix? Layering lights. Floor and table lamps are excellent ways to add lighting to a room and enhance your favorite activity, whether it’s gaming or reading.

Consider your window treatments

Your choice of curtains or window treatments plays a significant role in your home’s feel, even when they’re wide open. Sheer, light-colored curtains can let in more light, block glare and give an airy atmosphere to the room.

On the flip side, heavy light-blocking shades will block out nearly all natural light. But even open curtains can curtail your room’s light. If you want blackout options for sleeping, consider shades that you can push all the way up.

Install a mirror

Sometimes the best lighting tricks don’t even involve lights. For example, adding a mirror to a room will open it up and reflect more light. If you position it across from another mirror, it creates the effect of another window in the room. Hanging one next to an existing light source will kick your room’s light up another notch.

Just take care not to place it directly across from a light fixture. Doing so may bounce light around, and your room can feel more like a carnival fun house — and not in a good way.

Wash your windows

You might be surprised at how much even light seasonal grime will dull your windows and block incoming sunlight. If you wash your windows thoroughly inside and out, you’ll get a boost of sunlight right away.

If your house is taller than one story, or your windows are particularly dirty, consider hiring a pro whose expertise can do the job safely and effectively.

Add a coat of paint

Paint a room with warm colors like yellow, orange, red or white. Avoid bright white walls, which could look dull without natural light. Think about your finishes, too. Satin tends to be best to brighten up a room. Glossy surfaces can cause too much glare, while a matte finish can seem flat and dull.

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