Don’t Let The Dark Get You Down: Upgrading Your Lighting for Winter

With daylight’s savings plunging us into darkness once again, you may be wondering how to beat the winter blues that comes with it. One of the simplest ways to do it is to combat shorter, darker days and the lack of sunlight by upgrading your lighting fixtures. What kind of lighting should you look for? That depends on what kind of blues you’re trying to get rid of.

Add Lighting to Brighten Your Space

Sometimes the solution is as simple as adding more lights to your home (by Brooke B. Sammons)

The absolute easiest way to brighten up your home in the winter is to add more lights – in addition to the ones you already have. That can be as small a project as getting a new table or floor lamp to add light to one small area or a big renovation like installing recessed lights to give a room bright, all-over light. The first step is to find somewhere in your house that feels too dark. Next, locate the nearest outlet or wiring that you can use to plug in or install an extra lighting fixture. As soon as you turn it on, you’ll start feeling the benefits.

Change Out Your Bulbs

Make sure to switch out your lights to a brighter daylight bulb to make up for the lack of natural light (by Mary Cook)

Think you have enough lights already? You might want to take a look at the bulbs in the fixtures instead. If you have old incandescent bulbs or soft white LEDs, your lamps are producing a soft, dim light that won’t do much to help your mood in winter. Bright white or daylight LED bulbs, on the other hand, produce a more intense light that mimics sunlight. They are not the same as UV lights (which can be used to treat seasonal depression) but they brighten up the room significantly and can make your days feel longer even when they’re getting shorter.

Cozy, Calm Lighting

Reading in a cozy corner of your choosing is a good way to pass the winter (by JWT Associates)

On the other hand, sometimes in winter you just want to curl up and read. What better way to do that than with some cozy lighting? If you already have a reading nook you’re all set, but making one is fairly easy. All you need is a spot of your own, a good chair, and a lamp. You want to be sure that the light is softer than a daylight bulb, but bright enough to read by.

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Relax by the Fire

Another way to curl up during winter is beside a warm fire. An electric fireplace can generate both light and heat, but if you want the real deal you don’t need a built-in fireplace to get it. Biofuel fireplaces are extremely clean-burning and require minimal installation, but offer actual fire instead of a fancy space heater. You can get them wall-mounted, floor-mounted, or tabletop, so while they don’t provide a lot of ambient light, you can put them just about anywhere to get that little extra bit of coziness.

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Wind Down with Candlelight

That said, not all cozy lighting has to be functional. As days get shorter and darker, you may seek out candlelight for a good evening light. While you probably don’t want to read by candlelight, having one or more lit candles can create a nice atmosphere for relaxing after a long day. It’s light that doesn’t wake you up, so you can use it to help wind down in the evening. Plus, most candles are scented, making burning one an enjoyable experience in more ways than one.

So if you’re not looking forward to the dark, drab days of winter, don’t worry. The right lighting can help energize you, comfort you, or both!

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