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How to Light Your Home

We are heading towards the longest day of the year. A time when we benefit from the longest hours of natural light. However, I’m still feeling deprived of bright sunlight. I can’t change that, but I have created a sense of warmth with interior lighting. So, I thought I’d share my tips on how to light your home.

Multiple Sources of Interior Lighting

When you move into a new house and flick on the light switch, the room is typically illuminated by a ceiling light. This provides general brightness across the room, however, it isn’t ideal for creating ambience. Therefore, you need to add multiple light sources to add interest, focal points and mood.

Optimise Natural Light

When considering how to light your home, the starting point is natural light. Where does daylight flood into your windows at different times of day? And, how can you optimise this? For example, you might position your home office desk or favourite reading chair close to the window. Equally, think about the window dressing. Thick curtains add opulence to an interior, yet sheer voile drapes or roller blinds help to maximise natural light.

Accent & Task Lighting

The next step is to consider the work areas in the room. Having focused task lighting above desks and kitchen counters is a good idea. They ensure that you can easily see what you are working on. No more straining your eyes or struggling to see the detail!

In addition, accent lighting helps to make certain areas more of a focal point. Hang pendant lights over a dining area. Or light up a treasured sculpture or heirloom to draw the eye to these points of interest. Accent lights also provide an opportunity to add character to an interior and reflect your style. And, if you have open-plan rooms, use accent lighting to zone the space.

Subtle Lights for Cosy Interiors

Sometimes it’s lovely to lower the light levels, but I don’t mean sitting in the dark! Low lighting provides a soft glow that adds a cosiness to your home. This is where table lamps and lights with lampshades come into play.

Another option is to use candles and tealights in holders, which I often use in my home. Many people combine the calming nature of subtle candlelight with other beneficial properties. By that I mean scented candles, where the aromas can lift your mood or aid relaxation. Alternatively, Himalayan salt lamps give off a warm tone and are believed to improve air quality.

Light a Candle for Buddha Jayanti

In India, candles and tealights are an integral part of most celebrations and gatherings. For example, candles were lit on 23 May for Buddha Jayanti. This is the day on which Gautama Buddha was born in Lumpini. It’s an occasion to visit the temple and focus on enlightenment.

“Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Candles are lit to offer prayer and many find that staring into the flickering candlelight helps them to clear their mind for meditation. Marked on the first full moon of May, it is traditional to wear white clothing and serve ‘kheer’ a sweet rice pudding. It is said that this food was presented to Buddha as a birthday gift.

Outdoor Lighting

Lighting isn’t all about home interiors. Like me, you may be hoping that summer will arrive so you can enjoy relaxing evenings in the garden. Bring those lanterns, tea lights or portable lamps out onto your table. Use wall lights and fairy lights or even a fire pit, to add a glow and your space instantly becomes more inviting.

This Ideal Home article offers many more tips on outdoor lighting.

Holding out for the Sunshine

While I am hopeful of a long bright and sunny spell, we can’t rely on the British weather. So, the answer is to add warmth and illumination to our homes with lighting. This article has shared my tips, but how have you added layered light to your interior?




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