Every home has it's lighting quirks. Certain areas of a home tend to be brighter or darker than others. Good light comes from well-placed light fixtures and daytime sunny windows. Darker rooms and shadowy corners are usually the result of poorly placed light fixtures, dim bulbs, or corners that 'hide' from the nearest bulb's glow.
Over time, you get used to the patterns of dark and light in your home. The kitchen is likely the brightest place in your home, the laundry room is often the darkest. There are nooks and crannies that never get enough light and rooms that fill with warm sunlight every morning or afternoon. And chances are, there are a few places you wish there was a light fixture and there just isn't one.
Is there anywhere in your home you've wished to simply summon a wall light? As it turns out, adding a new light fixture is easier than it seems. Here are nine clever places to install a light fixture to brighten up rooms and eliminate shadowy corners.
Halfway Up the Stairs
There's no denying that a well-lit staircase is important for household safety. Whether you're toting laundry baskets or rushing off to work, having each step well-lit will make sure each foot lands solidly on a stair. Stairwell lighting is equally useful for finding lost toys and keeping each little corner swept clean of the roving household dust bunnies.
However, not all homes are built with well-placed stairwell lights. As many homeowners know, lights at the top and bottom of the stairs often leave a dangerous shady stretch in the center of the staircase. Ideally, you want a wall light mounted almost exactly halfway up the stairway and you can have one. All you need is a fixture that looks right in the spot and two hours of work with your local electrician. It really is that simple.
Patios are another area of modern homes that are often under-lit. There is a difference between a backdoor light and a patio light. The backdoor light is there to help you find the handle in the dark. A patio light is a more welcoming and light spreading fixture meant to make evenings on your back porch more enjoyable.
Patio lights are best when they give off a warm amber glow that can disperse over a friendly seating area and possibly the yard beyond. You may even want more than one wall light to illuminate your entire patio area in a more enjoyable way than a single light at the door.
The Laundry Room
There are two philosophies for lighting a utility area. The decorative view says "Utilities aren't pretty, no point in lighting them". This is why so many laundry areas have no light at all. But from a practical point of view, utility areas actually need more light than usual. After all, you want to be able to see your laundry clearly to check for stains, maintain the machines, and keep the area clean.
If you've found yourself fetching laundry in a shadowy corner one too many times, it's easy to make a change. Installing a bright light or two in the laundry room will transform that shadowy corner into a bright and welcoming space for anyone doing laundry in the home.
Reading in Bed
Another clever place to put a new light fixture is right next to your bed. There are dozens of reasons to have a light within handy reach of your pillow, but most people settle for a lamp on the bedside table. Unfortunately, the lamp also comes with a power cord trailing around the room and a risk of being knocked over by a dream-flung arm.
A light fixture just above and next to your bed is a perfect solution. Not only can you place this light high enough to conveniently illuminate any book, it is also the safest place to put a light you'll be sleeping near. For ideal use, we highly suggest installing a dimmer switch near the bed level so you can reach the light controls without even reaching up to the fixture.
In Every Closet
Have you ever opened a closet and wished there was enough light to see what was stored inside? Most people have experienced this. What you might not know is that many closets that are always dark actually have a light fixture. The problem is that these are ceiling fixtures in rooms too small to place a ladder. Because you can't easily reach that plain ceiling bulb, it never gets changed. In closets with a pull-string instead of a switch, the string is also often lost or still too high to reach.
The answer for any peskily dark closet is a wall light instead. What you really need is a light just above shoulder-level, casting its beams onto the shelves and items stored in the closet itself. A wall light mounted above or next to the doorway would be easier to use and easier to change the bulb, providing convenient closet illumination every time.
Pantries are also notoriously dark despite the number of important and potential perishable food items we store inside them. Pantries are underlit for the same reasons that closets and laundry rooms often lack a convenient light. Either the house designer overlooked the need for a fixture or the lightbulb is too far away to change conveniently.
Once again, a wall light or two is the ideal solution. In fact, for spacious pantries you might even consider a few cleverly placed bar-shaped lights on the walls between shelves. This will help to illuminate your pantry supplies better than any single light source.
Do you have an office at home or a desk in the living area where research and homework are done? While computers have mostly overridden the need for pencil and paper, there are still many tasks that require good lighting. From filling out official paperwork forms to your child's math workbook, a wall lamp above the desk(s) in your home is a great way to provide a pool of dedicated work illumination without taking up useful surface space on the desk itself.
Then there are the dark corners in your home that are not closets or utility areas. Almost every home, especially the creatively built ones, have a few areas that just don't get any light. Maybe there's an odd nook in your living room, a section of hallway that is always under-lit, or dark reaches of your basement that the central lighting doesn't reach.
These areas don't have to be permanently dark. With a simple wall light installation, you can finally properly illuminate every corner of your home. And remember, if there's a space you like to be dim and cozy sometimes, a light with a dimmer switch will allow you to enjoy darkness when you want darkness and to brighten up the corner when it's time to clean or find a dropped item.
Above the Spigot
Our final clever light placement is not necessarily indoors. There are some aspects of the home that we need to see infrequently, but it matters when it matters. Your breaker box, utility meters, and the outdoor spigot are all examples of classically underlit places that could use a helpful wall light. If you have found yourself fumbling in the dark for something important or rummaging for a flashlight to complete a regular utility task, there's no need to keep dealing with a dark area. Instead, install a handy wall light exactly where you need it.
For more tips and ideas on the perfect lighting for your home, contact us today!